11 ways to help protect your business bank account
The security of your business bank account(s) should be a top priority. And yet, many businesses fail to take some simple steps to protect their accounts.
- Use 2-person controls. Implement dual control for high-risk activities. For example, the person writing checks for the business should not be the person reconciling accounts and transactions.
- Maintain separate bank accounts and credit cards for your business and your personal transactions.
- Monitor your business accounts online at least once a week, and daily if possible. Review your account details and transactions, and, if you see suspicious activity, contact your bank immediately to report it.
- Sign up for online bank statements to reduce the risk that paper statements could be stolen and used to commit fraud.
- Set up online or mobile bank account alerts to be promptly informed of account activity. Contact your bank immediately to report any suspicious or unauthorized transactions.
- Store new and cancelled checks in a secure location where only authorized personnel who have a need to know for their jobs, can access them.
- Shred old checks, receipts, bank account statements, and any documents that contain sensitive or confidential information in a cross-cut shredder.
- Use ACH blocking, Positive Pay and payee Positive Pay to protect your business bank account(s) from unauthorized use.
- If you use remote deposit services, protect the checks that have already been deposited in a secure location to avoid making duplicate deposits. Securely destroy such checks in a cross-cut shredder at the appropriate time.
- If your company handles a lot of cash, protect your business by using cash vault services.
- Have your business’ financial records and accounts periodically reviewed by an experienced, trusted, external accountant, auditor or similar expert such as once per year.
Fraud is an ever-present risk to businesses of every size, including small businesses. The good news is there are steps you can take to help protect your business and reduce the risk of fraud. A good place to start is to talk to your banker about these and other ideas you can implement to help keep your business bank account(s) secure.
For more tips, visit the Small Business Security Center at Bank of the West’s site.