Does your business ask your customers for their credit card numbers at any time during the sales process? If so, it’s essential that you honor the privacy of your customers’ private data as well as stay in compliance with the Payment Card Industry rules. Every business that has an account with a merchant services vendor is required to follow PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance when collecting and storing credit card data. There are many different levels of compliance depending on the technology you use to capture and store credit card data. These levels depend on whether you use a point of sale terminal, the customer hands you their card, orders are entered through an online shopping cart, or a combination. In all cases, there are several no-no’s that you’ll want to share with your staff to make sure they are properly trained: Never ask a client to send a credit card number via unsecure email. Never take down a credit card number over the phone on paper before entering it into your system. If you do, you need to shred the paper immediately. Don’t ask clients to take a photo of their credit card to send to you. [...]
Musings of a Burbank CPA: Customer Portals and Are They For You?
If you have a business where you have to send documents of any kind to your customers, then you may benefit from a portal. You can save time on customer service and possibly postage and labor. You will also look most professional while increasing service delivery. What Is a Portal? A portal is software in the cloud that allows users to upload and download files from a secure space that only they have access to. For each client you have, you can set up a private virtual filing cabinet where only you and the client will have the key. Your client will have their own user ID and password into their area of the portal. There, they can upload and download documents. Some portals also have secure signature capability to help you take the paperwork out of obtaining signatures. How Can I Use a Portal? Think of all the paperwork that occurs between you and your customer, and that will give you several ideas about how to use a portal. If your business is data-intensive, you will definitely benefit from a portal; imagine moving all of those documents out of email and into a clean, private [...]
Musings of a Burbank CPA: Working from home – how to stay productive.
As someone who flirted with using a home office when I started my CPA firm almost five years ago, I can appreciate ways to be productive in that situation. See this post in The Christian Science Monitor by Dan Rafter for a list of five things to help with home office productivity: http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0720/Working-from-home-How-to-stay-productive?utm_campaign=Daily+Clips&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20702528&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_pUVKUwG9KbyeYXKcUI-Sg3o-Br0QnvegdKnVz2lG_eJFKVo-ycQj8dAUVh03Dt-LUv6mBrp3Hm2HVNxYdYsAnUSxvFQ&_hsmi=20702528 The biggest problem with my home office was two-fold. First it was impossible to sit down with clients at home, so I needed at least a conference room or small office to meet with people. Second and most important, the area used as an office was an extension of our den, where the big TV was. It made working at home just about impossible, so I finally rented an office in an executive suite that I still have. Working at home is great for many, just not for me. For financial, accounting and tax musings, You can count on us to count for you! Email: email@example.com Phone: 818-317-6035 Website: www.briantstonercpa.com Android and the IPhone: Has been Featured On https://twitter.com/bstonercpa