Staying safe online...

Responding to the wrong email could spell disaster... Caroline looks at ways to prevent this happening in your company.

The recent ransom-ware cyber attacks brought chaos to companies across the world. Small to Medium size firms will often be the target for criminals because they believe their chances of defeating security and gaining access are higher and once in, they can attack larger potentially more valuable organisations that have a relationship with the SME using compromised email accounts to phish contacts, customers and suppliers. 

As much as 1 in 10 individuals will fall victim to phishing attacks via email and unwittingly allow criminals access to unsecured networks. 

Because the phishing email is personalised, and appears to come from a recognised contact, many of these beat email security and are delivered to the inbox. Not expecting an attack, the recipient unknowingly opens the email and downloads an attachment, or clicking on a link, or entering in passwords releasing malware or ransom-ware into the device and across the system. 

Criminals are getting more and more sophisticated with their attacks and they only have to get lucky once.

So what should I look out for in emails?

The sender

Look very carefully and ask yourself do you know this person and is this their usual email address?

Subject

You should always give your email a meaningful subject and expect to receive the same. Does the subject contain spelling mistakes, or excessive punctuation? Is it irrelevant or poorly written?

Content

Fraudulent emails will typically ask for you to do an action, such as download an attachment or visit a website. Be wary of emails that ask for personal information and wiht a phishing email there is usually an urgency to the email. 

Be wary of links in emails that could take you to a malicious website which poses as a normal looking one. 

Attachments

Attachments can transmit viruses so open only when expecting an email. 

Advice

You should periodically change your passwords, and make them tough to guess. Use letters, numbers and symbols if allowed. 

Check that security training is included in any induction process. It is important to explain phishing to reduce the risk of being caught by a cyber attack. Always be alert and follow the news and think before clicking links and replying to emails.

Shop only on websites with https and the padlock icon showing in the address bar.

When making purchases, use credit card over debit card as they are more likely to reimburse you for fraudulent transactions

Back up all your data regularly in the event of loss, theft or ransom demand and be careful when using wifi in cafe's, hotels etc and ensure it is the genuine network so ask the staff who work there. NEVER undertake purchases over an open network and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it's likely to be a scam. 

Post by Caroline

Post by Caroline

What are millennials looking for in a role? How does this differ to Generation Z?

What is a millennial? 

Millennials are a group of people who have reached adulthood around 2000. Speaking as one myself, they have high expectations of technology, having always had use of the internet and generically speaking tend to adopt to new technology quickly compared to previous generations. 

According to *Deloitte's 2016 Millennial Survey, in general they express little loyalty to their current employers, and values overtake a need for leadership-skill development.

So what are the millennials looking for in a job role?

  • They choose organisations to work for that share their personal values
  • Flexible working, better work/life balance
  • Have a desire to succeed
  • Prefer a Flat structure over hierarchy

Generation Z (the new kids on the block)

The Generation Z are a group who are not aware of a world outside the internet. Born after 1995, they are used to getting everything instantly but still they're a social group, with their lives played out through social media.

Generation Z Career expectations?

Generally speaking, they want to make their hobby their job, they believe in their own network getting them opportunities over qualifications and like the millennials don't believe in a hierarchy at work. 

The fundamental elements remain the same as the millennials, with values and flexible working remaining high on the list. This doesn't mean however they do not want to be successful. 

 

Further reading;

* http://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html 

 

Post By Caroline

Post By Caroline

Please note, all our content is for general guideline only, every case is different and we would recommend speaking to us before taking any action as a result of the content. The content was correct at the time it was published.

Keen to simplify your paperwork processes? Cooper Curtis examines Receipt Bank & Expensify

Vs

When it comes to making your bookkeeping as streamlined as possible, there are new technologies popping up all the time. It is sometimes difficult to decide which one will be right for your business when they claim they are all singing all dancing. 

The main two 'firms of the future' applications we have encountered are 'Receipt Bank' and 'Expensify' which appear to be the market leaders at this present time. Although they are both apps to simply take a picture of a receipt, they slightly differ depending on what type of business you are. With both services having OCR detection technology, designed to eliminate time entering manual information. 

I have summarised the main features of the two applications below which may influence your decision.  If you do have any queries however, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Receipt Bank

Set up in 2010 to relieve the administrative burden placed on small businesses Receipt Bank; 

  • Integrates with most cloud accounting such as Xero & Quickbooks
  • Is useful if you are a business processing a lot of purchase invoices and receipts
  • Takes pictures of your Invoices and receipts and submit through the app.
  • The receipts sit on the cloud
  • Offers a 14 day free trial

Conclusion

Easy to use app that can create various reports. Multi mode function allows you to take a picture of multiple invoices and receipts at once. It does take a while for the OCR detection to process the information once the picture has been taken, but I haven't encountered many hiccups with the result. I do think it is quicker to categorise the information yourself rather than wait for it to finish and double check all the information.

Overall if used consistently, this does reduce time a business can potentially spend on bookkeeping.

Vs

Expensify

As the name suggests this app is more geared towards expense reporting as opposed to sales and purchase receipts like Receipt Bank. It is; 

  • Good if you need your employees or contractors to send in a picture of their expenses. 
  • Need to reconcile company credit cards on a monthly basis
  • Require approvals for submitted expenses
  • Good if you require expense policy enforcement
  • Offers a 30 day free trial
  • Most users of Expensify are in the IT & Service Industries
  • Receipts are retained on the central cloud
  • Integrates with most Cloud and accounting packages

I find this app very user friendly, and facilitates several expenses reports to be creates at once as well as 'buik' adding expenses. As with Receipt Bank, I find the 'smartscan' facility does take a while to pull the information together, and sometimes it is easier to categorise photos instantly yourself. 

Conclusion

Both apps are very user friendly, With any of these apps, the onus is placed on the business owner to post up their receipts regularly. The advantage of course is a business gains a real time insight into how it is performing and their advisor can look at ways to enhance profitability. 

If you would like more information about bookkeeping solutions, contact Caroline on 0845 3031144 or email caroline@coopercurtis.co.uk. 

Post by Caroline

Post by Caroline

Please note, all our content is for general guideline only, every case is different and we would recommend speaking to us before taking any action as a result of the content. The content was correct at the time it was published.