6 Reason why email destroying your accounting firm

The word ’email’ isn’t as simple as it sounds; it can secretly destroy your accounting firm. Your inbox can overflow with unnecessary emails, leading to missing important ones or making your employees work on reading emails and reducing their productivity. Additionally, emails are getting more exposed to cybercriminal tactics, leading to data fraud in accounting firms.

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Our guide today discusses how emails are destroying accounting firms. 

Table of contents 

What are the 6 ways email is destroying your accounting firm?

Most accounting firms use email to communicate and collaborate with clients and employees. But, this email can be destructive at times. We have listed 6 ways how it is destroying your accounting firm.

1. Email threads frustrate your accounting firm

Your inbox may contain lengthy email threads that make it difficult for accountants to follow. Finding essential information from these email threads is frustrating and time-consuming for busy accountants

It often leads to missing deadlines or keeping clients waiting for a response, affecting the company’s reputation. 

2. File management becomes a disaster 

Accounting firms receive hundreds of emails every day. One of your client’s essential files may be buried under the heap of spam, calendar invites, newsletters, promotional, and other emails. 

This takes up a lot of your time in finding the essential file to proceed with the work and decreases the overall productivity of the firm.

3. Email traps you in the circle of conflicting versions 

Accountants often receive an updated version of a file from clients while working on the original one. This creates confusion as now you have two files in hand and don’t know the difference between them. 

It creates frustration and traps your employees into managing multiple copies of the same file received over email and reconciling them into one. This, in turn, eats up their time for more complex accounting tasks and affects productivity.

4. Emails make it hard to determine accountability 

When multiple people are involved in a communication, emails make it hard to determine accountability. For example, you changed the deadline for submitting an accounting file but failed to properly communicate that change to your immediate employee. They are left out of the loop and don’t know about the change. 

The employee then sends the file to a colleague who is out on vacation but forgot to set up an autoresponder. You won’t know that the accounting file was sent to the wrong person. With all these confusions and unclear responsibilities, it becomes difficult to determine who is accountable for missed deadlines and failing to meet client requirements.

5. Securing issues

Emails are insecure methods of sending sensitive information, especially when phishing and identity thefts are at their peak. 

Hackers now use targeted phishing techniques to target accounting firms’ emails and steal clients’ financial and other essential data.

6. Zero compatibility with modern workflows 

Using email in your accounting firm is back-dated, and you must use tools for client communication and document management. Emails often fail to match modern workflows with their minimal features. Using modern tools will save time and effort for your accounting team and ensure advanced security measures for data privacy. 

Why is email the most significant cybersecurity threat to accountants?

Previously, firms focused on single sign-on, multi-factor authentication, and cloud software to prevent client data breaches. But, hackers have shifted their attention towards exploiting vulnerabilities in communication mediums, and email is one of them. It gives hackers access to relationships and data, leading to fraudulent activities. 

  • Increase in email activity since the pandemic

Email activity has increased in accounting firms since the pandemic, especially in communication with clients and working collaboratively with teams. Hackers take this advantage and send fake emails. 

Busy accountants find it difficult to differentiate between real and fake emails, leading to potential threats of phishing emails and data breaches. Scammers trick them and collect their sensitive data to steal money or sell them to earn money.

  • Targeted phishing is growing 

Instead of using the ‘spray and pray’ phishing approach, hackers use targeted phishing emails to attack accounting firms and other businesses. They focus on firms that work with client-sensitive data but don’t have proper cybersecurity training. 

In 2022, it was seen that 30% of organisations faced mobile phishing when they connected to cloud apps from personal or company mobile devices. 

  • AI leads to impersonation attacks

In a recent study, it was seen that nearly most email-based cyber attacks used AI, which made the detection process difficult. AI tools have removed language barriers, allowing people to replicate communication easily and resulting in high-targeted impersonation attacks.

What is a Business Email Compromise (BEC) attack for an accounting firm?

Accounting firms handle sensitive client data, making them suffer most from Business Email Compromise attacks. It involves a form of social engineering known as identity fraud, where criminals exploit trust and manipulate people to take actions that benefit hackers. 

Some of the common BEC attack examples are:

  • CEO fraud: Hackers pretend to be CEOs and high-ranking company leaders to trick people into making unauthorised payments and money transfers. 
  • Vendor email compromise: Scammers try getting access to your vendor’s email account, then send you fake invoices, request for payments, and trick you into sending money to them instead of actual vendors.
  • Data theft: Criminals hack into your employee’s email account and steal private information, which they either sell on the dark web or attack your firm in the future.
  • Gift card scams: Scammers pretend to be business partners and ask your employees to buy gift cards and trick them into paying money or handing over information.

Hire an Accountants

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Final thoughts!

If your messy email threads are taking up the time and effort of your team, you must try using other tools for communication. Additionally, you must train your staff to handle cyber attacks, respond appropriately, and improve security measures to prevent phishing. 

Ensure you use the best tools in your accounting firm and keep all your business and client data safe.