How Your Accounting Site And Sas 70 Certification Can Protect Your Clients’ Private Info

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Does your website include a secure file transfer? Nowadays just about all CPA website designs do, but not all secure file transfer systems are the same. I’m not worrying about about the online security here. Your IT specialist will find that straight forward to assess by just perusing your website and it’s source code. Just make certain the data is nicely password protected and encrypted and you’re pretty well covered. The weak spot in most CPA site security isn’t in the data management, it’s the real datacenter that the data is stored on. Datacenters with professional looking websites and first rate code may very well be stored in the basement of a private residence. It takes a physical examination of a datacenter to determine it’s real quality, and that can make shopping around rather expensive. You don’t want your client’s accounting data hosted on a low cost “cheap” datacenter.

A few years ago I had something of an epiphany when a transformer explosion outside a datacenter I was using was using disabled some of my clients’ data portals. It wasn’t just a matter of the power going down for a few hours. The explosion started a fire that was so close to the room that it the servers were stored in that many of the servers were damaged or destroyed. Well this really opened my eyes. It also threw me into something of a panic. I had made a mistake common to code-monkies. I had been myopically focused on the web-based security. I had utterly failed to properly consider the physical security of the actual servers. What good was all my hard work on the website and security design if the server it’s running on isn’t secure?

As bad as this was I got lucky. It could have been a whole lot worse. While “what if” scenarios were rolling around in my head when a worst case scenario made me shudder. A server sitting in an office building someplace would be easy pickings for a gang of identity thieves.

This is a pretty horrifying prospect. Not all identity thieves are in India or Russia. There is an increasing number of American gangs getting into the business. I had to address this, and address it fast.

After researching the subject for a few days I determined that the the best datacenters for storing information on your accounting website would be SAS 70 Type II certified. SAS 70 is a security protocol set up to audit accounting firms, and this includes reviewing their data centers. By law publicly traded companies have no choice but to use this type of datacenter, but it just so happens that they’re requirements are exactly what I was looking for, rigorous and thorough. These exhaustive security audits are administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and performed by specially trained CPA firms.

Once I decided what I was looking for it was time to start shopping around. The difference between these data centers and the ones I had been using was night and day. They were secured in what can reasonably be described as a fortress. The facilities were locked and guarded twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. They were also equipped with state of the art electronic security, including motion sensors and closed-circuit video surveillance systems. There was no casual access to the site. Only authorized personnel were permitted on site. When I made my choice I went high-end. I found a place that used fingerprint scanners, and nobody gets in without being authenticated by their own prints and a fingerprint from the guard at the front desk.

When assessing the security precautions of your accounting website design don’t overlook the value of the physical security of your datacenter. Finding a good datacenter can be tough but, providentially, someone has already taken care of the work. SAS 70 certification is a much easier way to check if a datacenter is reasonably protected.

Kenny Marshall is a consultant and former Officer of CPA Site Solutions, one of the nation’s largest website firms oriented solely to accounting website design.


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Matching School Ads
  • Available business concentrations include Accounting, Economics, General Management, Marketing, and Human Resource Management.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA and Online Graduate Business Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Programmatic accreditation provided by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business - Accounting
  • Earn Your Bachelor's Degree in Business with GCU's Colangelo College of Business!
  • Emphases: Accounting, Applied Mgmt, Business Admin, Business Mgmt, Finance and Economics, Marketing & more.
  • Develop and refine skills in core areas such as economics, accounting, marketing, statistics, org. behavior, and legal and ethical issues.
  • Serving undergraduates who are preparing to initiate careers & working professionals who are seeking to develop their careers further.
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP).

Programs:

  • B.S. in Accounting
  • B.S. in Finance and Economics
  • Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration.
  • Students are instructed in relevant business skills like communication, mathematics, and management.
  • Coursework emphasizes the development of project management, communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
  • Flexible, 100% online and campus based programs available.

Programs:

  • BS in Accounting
  • BS in Accounting - Managerial Accountancy
  • BS in Accounting - Public Accountancy
  • And more...
  • Recognized in the first Best for Vets: Business Schools list in Military Times Edge magazine’s 2013 “Best for Vets” edition.
  • Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
  • Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
  • A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
  • Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor's (BBA) - Accounting
  • Bachelor's (BBA) - Finance

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school experience.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business with a Concentration in Accounting
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business-Concentration in Accounting Administration
Locations:  Virginia Beach

CTU can help you connect to what matters most: a powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. And now several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News Best Online Programs for 2015.  Are you in?

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Finance
  • Online degrees offered include BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration, MBA, and more.
  • Business students may be eligible for scholarships such as the Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
  • Courses help students develop knowledge of marketing, accounting, economic principles, and financial management.
  • Business Administration students can specialize in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Project Management.

Programs:

  • BA/Accounting
  • BA/Finance
  • BA/Sports and Recreation Management - Finance
  • And more...
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.

Programs:

  • Business Administration - Accounting (BS) (Online)
  • Business Administration - Finance (BS) (Online)