How Chartered Accountants in India Are Openly Risking Financial Data
It is so obvious that nothing is free in this world. So when providers like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo etc. offer you free email account, do you think it is charity!
Again, It is so obvious that using any free email account comes with so many data leakage risks. Which is why the free email accounts are actually meant for teenagers for connecting with peers (before facebook era). And also for spammers, of course.
To get perspective on risks involved with free email accounts - any established company pays Rs. 3500 - 19000 per year on each employee's email account to be able to secure the company's data. Whereas opening an email account with gmail is absolutely FREE. You can open unlimited accounts.
So why do these companies spend so much money on an email system? Are they stupid? Isn't it okay to open a free email account and compromise a bit to save money? Everyone does it here. "Chalta hai yar"
This "Chalta hai" attitude is at the core of this issue. An issue which covers an unbelievably vast majority of companies and tax payers in India.
Even if a company uses a corporate email system with protections, one of the most critical aspects of any company - finance data - is still vulnerable because the CA uses a free gmail account. So much discussion, file transfer, tax information and even login information is passed on to the CA on his/her free gmail id.
Not many companies understand the risks. Even those who understand the risks cannot do much due to many forces of compromise.
Nonetheless, the issue is very large, and covers crores of tax payers in India. Outside India, moreover in the developed world, data shows a huge difference. Negligible (you can say handful) of CAs use free email accounts.
Varun Singh, an email expert at EmailFRY.com says, "although many vendors of companies use free gmail accounts, but CAs and Lawyers of a company using free email systems is too dangerous considering the criticality and sensitivity of data shared with them. This is considered highly unprofessional in developed regions and even in other developing regions".
But, to be fair, there must be other reasons why CAs use free email. Rather, there must be reasons why they don't buy professional email.
Mr. Singh says, "most of them use it because it always works. Buying your own email system and maintaining it - sometimes the mailboxes are full, sometimes server is not working, etc. etc. - is difficult for CAs as it is not their domain. Even if they go for cloud email systems, where there is no need to buy any hardware, they have to buy a domain name (like ca-rajesh.com or rajesh.ca) and renew it every year, and then buy an email system and renew it every year. They feel it's easier to just open an account on gmail.com and start using."
However, just because an extra step needs to be taken to use professional email, it doesn't mean data safety can be compromised. Considering the sensitivity of the data, a little extra effort towards annual renewal doesn't look that big.
"We understand the criticality of the situation", says Mr. Singh, "But we feel that a small effort required only once in a year should not be a road-block towards data safety. Which is why we built packages for CAs where they get a domain name and cloud email together, so they don't have to maintain it separately. The packs start from just Rs. 85 /month. The most suitable pack - where they get gmail like interface which they have already used and are familiar with, is just Rs. 210 /month.”
“Other than the most important aspect - data safety - professional email ID enhances reputation by a huge margin and also builds a brand name. It is NO more a value add, but a necessity, like visiting cards”, adds Mr. Singh “We see individuals as well as companies, when presented a list of email addresses of CAs, they ALWAYS select the ones having a professional email id."
Experts at EmailFRY.com have very clearly pointed out the reason why CAs use free emails and not professional email ids, and also pointed the correct approach. It can be seen at this page - emailfry.com/ca
It should be checked out by every CA who is still using a free email account. If you are an individual or company owner, forward it to your CA if he is still using a free email. Tell them to stop being a teenager and start getting professional.
EmailFRY.com has been providing email solutions to entrepreneurs, professionals and companies of all sizes since year 2000. In about 18 years of professional premium service, experts at EmailFRY have gained massive experience in setting up email systems in large enterprises as well as in small companies. EmailFRY understands the basic issues of small companies. Hence, all products at EmailFRY are reliable, always working, mobile friendly, fast and cost effective. Relevant to offering email products, EmailFRY.com offers the widest range of email services - email system deployment, support, data migration, system training, 3rd party integration, scripts development, system customization and solution consulting.
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