Earlier this week I talked about security with OFS.
Let’s go a little deeper.
Like, deep into your business with a bookkeeper. They’re likely to see everything!
Here’s an email from Tatiana:
I have hired my first OFS at the beginning of the year and it’s going great. I want to hire another one to do bookkeeping but worried about sharing bank/ credit card information.
I heard some people give remote access so an OFS cannot download information on their end.
Any other suggestions on how to mitigate risks?
I understand why Tatiana is worried. Just the thought of your clients’ banking and credit card information getting out there; it’s terrifying.
I thought of the same thing when I interviewed Ethan Kap for a case study a few years ago.
Ethan has an insurance agency. He’s been outsourcing for over ten years, and he has a team of 22 OFS who do everything from answering the phone to preparing financial statements.
Ethan had the same fears as Tatiana when he was starting. But he was smart enough not to trust his VAs right away. He has to earn their trust and vice versa before they handle anything sensitive.
Another reason he’s able to trust the people he hires because he has a solid recruitment process and provides training.
One way you can find honest Filipino workers is through OneVAAway.com.
To give your OFS training, you can use VAsMadeEasy.com to get you started.
Does his Filipino team have access to sensitive financial information? Yes.
Could they access and steal that information? Definitely.
Has his Filipino team ever stolen from him? Never.
Because Filipinos are honest.
I also asked my OFS, Jam, about this. He has a data security and finance background. Here’s what he wrote:
“Remote access allows the OFS to access and control the employer’s computer as if they are right there. There are many types of remote access, and it depends on the permissions given whether they can download from the employer’s computer to their own or if file transfer is not allowed.
Since they have another OFS, they may want to look at the possibility of making that first OFS they trust work in a supervisory capacity to check and vet the new hire first.
Also, is it possible for them not to include full bank and card info in their bookkeeping software/spreadsheet? You can also hide numbers in Excel or Google Sheets if they’re not using a bookkeeping program. At the very least, that would allow the Bookkeeping OFS from handling sensitive data.”
I can’t guarantee that the tips I’ve provided above work 100%. There’s always a risk. Hiring a bookkeeper to work in your office isn’t a guarantee they won’t steal or use your banking information. But with a Filipino bookkeeper, they’re less likely to steal because there’s no benefit.
If you treat your OFS well, you’ll see really quickly if you can/should trust them.