Fraud can have disastrous consequences on a small business. Knowing how to identify your risk factors is a key element when it comes to preventing fraud within your enterprise. Because small businesses are more prone to spending less time and money on fraud prevention due to limited assets, the risk is vastly higher than those of huge corporations.

Due to technologies such as mobile devices that can span numerous operating systems, criminals now have even more ways to infiltrate in-house networks to steal your information.

Even though it may sound daunting, small businesses can administer safeguards and procedures that can maximize fraud detection. Consider the following low-cost strategies that can lessen the possibility of fraud for your small business.

-When hiring new employees, be thorough. Call all former employers and always conduct a background check. This can help you to single out potential candidates that may have a criminal background.
-Make sure to implement a standard code of conduct and share it with all of your employees. Make sure that they are aware of any repercussions for not following appropriate protocols.
-Keep close track of all of your bank statements. Be aware of how much is coming in and going out at all times. Being detail-oriented and watching out for inconsistencies is crucial when it comes to taking control of your finances.
-Use firewalls and anti-malware software. Protect your network by using unique passwords that have random upper and lower case letters and numbers.

Sadly, no business is free of the threat of fraudulent behavior. Being diligent when it comes to identifying your risk factors can greatly diminish the chance of being a victim. If you would like more information on fraud prevention, please contact us.

We want to thank everyone who participated in our webinar.  Here is the video in case  you missed it or would like to view it again.

A successful business starts with a profitable idea, but entrepreneurs also need to learn how to manage their finances properly in order to thrive in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

Take the time to analyze what your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to managing your money. Using the following small business financial success tips will ensure the continued growth of your vision.

-Set and establish your financial goals and hold yourself accountable.
-Examine each and every purchase that might induce debt. Will it generate the cash flow needed in order to pay for itself?
-When an issue arises that impacts your cash flow, be proactive. Talk to your banker. A good way to avoid any serious financial setbacks is to identify and resolve problems as early as possible.
-Many people only need an office part time. If you have a very small business and staff that works remotely, coworking can be an excellent way to save money.
-Using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can help you to get your name and brand out there for all to see. It is an budget friendly and cost efficient way to keep a social media presence. If you happen to be comfortable in front of the camera, Youtube is also another alternative to advertise your business in a low-cost way.
-Establish strong relationships with your vendors. If you show loyalty, they may repay you by being more open when it comes to negotiating prices.

It is also a wise idea to update your budget on a regular basis so that you can track how much money you are actually saving by implementing some of the money saving tips. To find out how ProPay can help towards your financial goals, please contact us.

With so many payment processing solutions out in the market today, it can be hard to find the right payment processor that supplies the best service possible for your business. It can be tedious comparing costs and finding the processor that’s right for your type and size of business. Here are some tips for finding the right payment processor for your small business.

Shop around.

You don’t have to sign up for processing from your bank. There are many other options that are far less expensive and provide a better service that is customized to your business’ needs. Today, payment systems have moved from being bank owned to technology providers that can vary in size, depth and trust. Always be aware of hard costs that you really can’t get away from, and be wary of hidden fees, and surcharges that some payment processing companies will tack on. Make the choice to go with a price that will fit your budget and is manageable for you.

Only consider payment processing services from companies that explain their contracts, use plain language, and have no hidden or confusing fees. Small business owners need to be able to understand the terms of a contract, so it is important to find service providers that openly communicate contract terms and obligations. Look up reviews online, check out blogs and even go as far as speaking with a company rep armed with questions.

Look for dedicated support.

Look for a service with a dedicated support team. The payment processor should handle all of your service inquiries regarding problems or issues 24 hours a day. Full service is essential because you never really know when a terminal might suddenly stop working, making you unable to process any transactions. Make sure the company you choose is one that provides real customer support and matches you with a payment service that you can depend on when the worst happens.

Look for security.

The processor you choose should be fully compliant with all industry security standards. Payment Card Industry (or PCI) compliance is a requirement of all businesses that interact with credit or debit cards. PCI compliance ensures that you are up to date on the latest best practices to protect your business and your customers from card payment fraud. A breach of security can result in the loss of existing customers and have an impact on how many new customers choose to do business with your organization. Business owners that take the time to do research will have no difficulty finding a reliable and secure processor that offers a wide variety of payment options and offers secure, dependable service.

Evaluate the impact of growth.

Always take a look at how growth will impact the affordability of any service you’re considering. If growth will make a certain contract relatively less affordable in 2 years than it is now, and changing or getting out of the contract will be costly, then you will want to consider other options. Ideally, payment processing partnerships are long-term relationships, therefore it is critical to find a processor that suits your business’ needs today and has options that will allow for making adjustments as the company and industry change and grow.

Finding a payment processor that meets your specific business needs is vital, so it is a good idea to thoroughly investigate and compare all options and value-added services available. With these tips in mind you will be able to find the right solution for your business, one that will scale and support your business’ growth.

For more information, or if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Cyber security breaches regarding financial data seem to be a recurring theme lately.  From large department stores to national banks, hardly a day goes by that you don’t hear about a cyber attack on one business or another.  Just recently news broke that another national brand, this time in the home and office industry, is investigating a possible data breach in the Northeast. In response to all of this, the fourth annual Cyber Security Summit opened Tuesday in Minneapolis.  All businesses, large or small should be aware of not only the possibility, but the probability of this happening to them.  They should be working on ways to beef up their own cyber security.

One of the ways to prevent cyber security breaches is to encrypt your data so that even if it is stolen, it won’t be able to be read. Another is to make sure your systems PCs, laptops, etc. are protected by firewalls and up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware programs. Work out a system for detecting breaches- monitoring traffic and creating a central log of security-related information to alert you to suspicious activity on your network would also be helpful.  Hackers may know your router’s default settings so always change the username and password for new routers immediately.  Did you know that pass phrases are more secure than traditional passwords?  Use long pass word phrases when securing sensitive data. An example of this is “Ilovepizzapie”.  Use proper capitalization in your pass phrase to increase its complexity and make it even more secure.

To find out more on how you can protect your business from potential cyber security threats, please contact us.

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