A question of security

Advances in accounting software and data management have revolutionised the process of doing your books. One of the key benefits now available is automatically importing your bank transaction details into the new generation of MYOB accounting solutions. This cuts down on manual data entry, improves accuracy and saves you time and money. Yet some other accounting services providers are offering this convenience at the potential expense of their customers’ security.

The security of your transactions

Before I talk through the issue, it’s important to note that MYOB are committed to maintaining rigorous standards of security when handling your bank data. BankLink has been selected to supply data to the new generation of MYOB solutions, including Live Accounts and AccountRight Live.

To give you a brief background about BankLink, in the late 1980s we pioneered the process of using ‘read only’ electronic copies of bank transaction records for accounting purposes. Our solutions are now used by over 300,000 businesses and nearly 5,000 accounting practices. BankLink can source data from more than 100 financial institutions including all the leading banks.

We can only do this with the written permission of each account holder. You will need to sign an authority form, which we then provide to the bank as proof that you have agreed to us handling a copy of your data. Once this has been done we then supply you with a ‘read only’ copy of your transactions direct from your bank.

The entire process is governed in accordance with international security standards. Unlike some other parties who gather bank data for accounting purposes, BankLink and MYOB will never ask for your internet banking password or login.

Keeping that in mind, let’s have a look at the alternatives out there in the market.

Manual download

You could of course log in to your internet banking account, then download and import your own bank data. The key downside is that this takes more time. And of course you have to remember to do it and be careful not to download duplicate transactions or miss others entirely. It’s certainly not as effective or efficient as automatic downloads.

Screen scraping

This process requires a business to disclose its internet banking login and password to a third party ‘screen scraper’. This third party then automatically logs in to the business’s internet banking account at regular intervals, copies their transactions and supplies them to their accounting services provider.

You’re probably now hearing alarm bells ringing – and rightly so.

By providing login and password details to a third party, a business is likely to be breaking the terms and conditions of its bank’s internet banking agreement. Most agreements:

  • Forbid the disclosure of login and password details to any party, and
  • Exclude the bank from liability for any fraud which may then occur on the account – whether or not the fraud is related to the actions of the screen scraper

And it gets worse…

Along with the potential security risks, screen scraping can also be unreliable and result in duplicate transactions. This is because the third party isn’t working directly with the banks. Not surprisingly, this lack of reliability can lead to frustration (and confusion) for business owners.

We give you peace of mind

Clearly, screen scraping isn’t a process that either MYOB or BankLink endorse. At BankLink, we spend countless hours (and a significant amount of money) working directly with the banks to make sure we’re delivering your transactions in pristine condition and using the highest levels of security.

As cyber security attacks and fraud scammers become increasingly sophisticated, protecting your finances is more important than ever. By receiving your transactions via BankLink, thankfully this isn’t a problem you have to worry about. You’ll simply get more accurate data and spend less time on your accounts.

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