Who should have access to your bank accounts?

Online accounting systems like Xero can lull you into a false sense of security about your bank accounts. Let’s face it, whoever you give access to your accounting records can see every transaction you process through your bank account and credit cards.

But there is a big difference between a bookkeeper or admin person seeing what you’ve paid or what money has been deposited into your bank account and them actually having access to make transactions.

I recently saw an Episode of Seinfeld where the subject of his pin code for his bank account came up as he was following the golden rule of “never give your pin code to anyone” and so he wouldn’t give it to his girlfriend and it was causing problems with the relationship as she felt he didn’t trust her.

And I remember in my very first job (long before computers were prevalent) when the office manager processed the payroll and provided one of the bosses with the list of who had to be paid how much that was approved and sent off to the bank for processing. It wasn’t until she went on holidays and the boss processed the pays that he discovered that the figures on the list were less than the total by $ 1,000 (maybe not that much but a significant figure whatever it was). On further investigation, the information that was submitted to the bank had a higher figure going into the office managers’ bank account that made up the difference. And that’s fraud.

The difference today is that if you give someone access to your internet banking, you’ve authorised them to pay bills and transfer money so whilst if they transfer more money into their own bank account than they should, it’s not such an easy case of proving that it was fraud.

So, follow the golden rule and “never give your pin code or internet login to anyone”. Your bookkeeper or admin person can do the data entry and reconcile in your Xero file or other accounting systems, but you need to pay the bills yourself.


By Amanda Fisher

Over the last 30 years, Amanda has worked with hundreds of business owners in many diverse industries, anywhere from agriculture to consultancy, helping clients to improve their understanding, sharpen their focus and increase their profit.  

There have been a lot of developments in business since Amanda started out in the mid-1980s, and Amanda has seen her fair share of strategies transition in and out of fashion. The one constant has always been the importance of understanding what your business numbers are telling you.

The thing with numbers is… they don’t lie! They tell you the health of your business at a glance, and they can also predict the future of your business. When you know how to read and understand them, they will give you the insights you need so that you know where to focus your time and energy in order to get the quickest and most effective return.

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