All the news, tactics and scams for finance leaders to know about in November 2023.
Payment Security 101
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, COVID-19 prompted many Australians to pause and take stock of their lives. According to reports, Australian workers are increasingly prone to switching careers – a process that’s been labelled the Great Resignation.
Whilst the impact of this shift is being felt by many industries, the finance and accounting are particularly effected, with reports that the recruitment of accounting staff is emerging as a significant pain point for many organisations.
That’s why the time has come to embrace greater automation in your accounting processes, so you can avoid business disruption and maintain operations, even in the face of critical staff shortages.
100 of Australia’s top accounting firms were recently surveyed by the Australian Financial Review, with a staggering 77% claiming it was increasingly difficult to recruit and retain staff.
Labour market constraints were further exacerbated by closed borders due to the pandemic, reducing the number of skilled migrants arriving from overseas with accounting or finance qualifications.
A shortage of skilled accounting staff can impose severe constraints on an organisation. It can impact its ability to send out invoices in a timely manner, delaying the receipt of funds it is owed. This directly impacts the organisation’s cash flow position, hindering business operations.
Additionally, staffing constraints can undermine an organisation’s ability to pay its suppliers in an accurate and timely manner. This can harm supplier relationships and could lead to incorrect outgoing payments, directly costing the organisation substantial funds.
Finally, accounting staff constraints can undermine an organisation’s ability to remain compliant with a range of regulatory requirements, whilst directly impacting its capacity to maintain rigorous financial controls – exposing it to a greater risk of fraud.
Of course, staff shortages are not only a problem for organisations. They also directly impact existing accounting staff, who are likely to experience heavier workloads, reduced work/life balance and increased stress levels. This in turn increases the rate at which accounting staff consider leaving the sector, further exacerbating the problem.
To help address the ongoing challenge of staff constraints, organisations are turning to a range of strategies which aim to recruit and retain accounting staff.
Some of the strategies currently being implemented include raising pay, as well as offering sign-on and referral bonuses. However, these initiatives are having limited impact. Right across the sector, from big firms to SMBs, the pain being felt is widespread.
Another strategy many firms are turning towards is increased automation.
One way to make accounting roles more appealing to professionals is through the automation of repetitive work that allows your accounting staff to focus more of their time on interesting and engaging work, such as spending more time solving complex problems.
By automating many routine tasks, organisations will be able to drive productivity and efficiency enhancements, as well as improve performance levels. This approach can be particularly effective when it comes to enhancing payments controls.
One area above all others stands to benefit from greater automation in accounting processes: Security.
Protecting an organisation’s financial assets has become increasingly challenging in recent years, with cyber attackers regularly targeting accounting departments in an attempt to deceive staff into transferring funds to the criminals. Finance and accounting executives have been forced to enhance their internal controls in order to meet the heightened threat posed by increasingly sophisticated cyber attackers.
An over-reliance on staff who manually maintain financial controls, could expose the organisation to a greater risk of fraud, particularly if the organisation is also experiencing staffing shortages. Lose one or two key staff members, and a firm could suddenly find itself unable to rigorously verify outgoing payments, making itself vulnerable to Business Email Compromise attacks.
However, with an automated security solution, such as Eftsure, it becomes possible to enhance financial security and internal controls, despite staff shortages and the Great Resignation.
Contact us today to learn why hundreds of Australian organisations have turned to Eftsure to help them automate their controls, enhance their security, and become less reliant on manual staff processes.
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Eftsure provides continuous control monitoring to protect your eft payments. Our multi-factor verification approach protects your organisation from financial loss due to cybercrime, fraud and error.