Business owners know that data entry errors can lead to a lot of wasted time and money. But they also may not realize the extent to which those errors could be avoided by taking small precautions. For example, if you’re processing payments for multiple entities, systems must check the data from those entities before being processed in your systems. This will ensure that there are no conflicts with other transactions or accounts and allow you to identify and fix any potential problems before they start costing you money.
Let’s take a closer look at what this means and why it’s important:
What is a Data Conflict?
Data conflicts happen when there are duplicates in the database. For example, suppose an account number is reused for two customers. In that case, there is a customer with that account number already in your system, and the second one gets rejected because their information matches someone else’s. The same goes for transactions or reference numbers – they cannot exist twice or more times in your database (for more complex scenarios such as these, especially when dealing with multiple entities, using a reconciliation plugin can help you identify and fix issues).
Why does it matter?
Suppose you don’t check for data conflicts before accepting payments from customers and businesses. In that case, you’re risking rejected transactions, incorrect balances, and a lot of wasted time trying to fix the mess. In some cases, you may even end up owing customers money that you didn’t realize you had!
Segregation of Duties
Segregation of duties is about separating duties in your payment process so that no one person has complete control over the situation, thus minimizing the risk of data conflicts. You can ensure that no one individual or department processes all transactions. For example, you may have a manager in accounting who checks for transaction errors before processing them in your system while also having an employee check the same information after it’s been accepted. This way, you cut down on many potential problems and ensure accuracy throughout all steps of the process.
Why It’s Important
By SoD, you can ensure that no one person has complete control over the payment process. This will reduce the risk of data conflicts and help you avoid situations where employees may commit fraud or make errors without being detected. Even if you do have robust security measures in place, it’s important to take this extra step to protect yourself from financial damages.
How to Ensure Segregation of Duties
If you want to avoid data entry errors, then here are some recommendations:
Define Policies and Processes Clearly
Having policies and processes in place for how individuals should handle each step of the payment process is crucial. This way, you can ensure that everyone involved knows their role and what they are expected to do, and you minimize the risk of SoD conflicts.
Limit User Access
It’s also important to limit user access whenever possible. If certain employees or departments need to be involved in the process, you should only give them what they need to do their job. Set up separate logins, passwords, and permissions (such as read-only) so that no one person has complete control over your systems.
Central Dashboard for Access
Create a central dashboard for monitoring which employees are doing what in the payment process. This way, you can monitor who’s got access to sensitive data and quickly identify if someone is trying to do something they shouldn’t (i.e., changing payee information, etc.).
Use Workflows for Access Requests
A manager should log and approve requests for access to sensitive data. This way, you can keep track of who has access to what information and add or remove users at your discretion.
Role-Based Access Provisioning
Utilize role-based access provisioning so that employees have the least amount of access possible to complete their job. This will help you track who is doing what and ensure that no one person has too much control over the payment process.
Identity Management With Risk Engines
Take advantage of identity management tools such as Risk Engine to ensure proper segregation of duties. Risk Engines will allow you to create separate logins for employees and automatically monitor access to sensitive data. Risk Engines monitor user behavior and transaction history so that you’ll be able to quickly see if any unauthorized changes have been made or if there is suspicious activity occurring.
By implementing proper segregation of duties policy, you can easily avoid most data entry errors and keep your payment processes accurate. In addition to using strong security measures to protect yourself from fraud and hacking, segregating your duties will help ensure the validity of any changes made in your systems.