Whether you conduct business online, from a vehicle or inside a physical store, you need to accommodate as many customers as possible. A growing number of people in Canada use their debit and credit cards on a regular basis. Some use it for almost all of their transactions, from their morning coffee to monthly mortgage payments. Since this trend shows no signs of abating, companies and self-employed workers that don’t accept plastic will inevitably miss out on sales.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Service
When it comes to credit card processing systems, there are quite a few options that all have unique benefits and drawbacks. Some services are better equipped to handle complaints or demands for refunds from customers, which can help if you have a high dispute rate. Some processors are specially designed to integrate into websites. This makes it easy to add online payment capabilities without handling the information yourself.
Each system has expenses associated with usage, including fees for each transaction as well as a percentage of the total amount. Some also have a reoccurring subscription fee. You should examine your sales records and other related data to find the ideal system for your business. If you make a few high-value sales, then a processing service with a low percentage fee may be the best choice.
Most systems come with clear instructions as well as the option to contact customer service with questions. If this is your first time using such a service, it’s a good idea to select a service provider that responds quickly and offers useful advice when needed. Always make sure that your selected service is PCI compliant and meets all of the necessary standards.
Integrating Card Processing Into Your Business
You may dread the prospect of installing and learning to use a new system, but many providers offer simple setup solutions with an intuitive interface. No matter what kind of product or service you sell, there is a credit card processing service to fit your daily routine. The durability and speed of physical terminals make them a great choice for brick-and-mortar establishments, while mobile businesses can use a virtual terminal on their mobile device for unfettered access.
Make sure you read all of the instructions and informational material provided by the processing service provider. Familiarize yourself or employees with it completely before putting it into use. Once everyone knows how to use the system properly, it will become a natural part of the transaction process. It’s also a good idea to keep the provider’s phone number close at hand in case you need immediate support during a transaction.
Arthur Andersen was once known as a “Big Five”, being one of the top accounting firms. These firms and their chartered accountants had solid reputations and were engaged by some of the largest clients to provide audit and attestation services. However, by the end of 2002, Arthur Andersen was facing federal indictments and an irreparably tarnished reputation. How did this prestigious firm of accountants fall from grace so quickly? There were four key mistakes that led to the accounting firm’s downfall.
Over-Focus on Consultation Services
The 1980’s and 1990’s were a time of mergers and acquisitions in many industries. This changing and fast-paced environment created a need for consulting services, which Arthur Andersen stepped up to provide. These consultation engagements were more lucrative than auditing and attestation engagements. The firm began to experience tension between the audit partners and the consulting partners, and the consulting side eventually split away from Arthur Andersen to become its own firm. Audit partners then began to feel pressured to obtain these lucrative consulting engagements, which then led to a focus more on profits than reputation.
Over-Focus on Profits
Arthur Andersen was built on a solid reputation of principles and integrity. Unfortunately this moral foundation began to falter in the 1990’s with the revelation of accounting scandals at a number of Arthur Andersen’s clients, culminating with the fraud perpetrated by Enron. This fraud would be the undoing of not only Enron, but Arthur Andersen as well. Arthur Andersen’s focus on profits and growing its consultation practice began to create a number of conflicts of interests for the firm, leading to even more problems.
Conflicts Of Interest
In addition to the conflicts of interest from providing both consultation and audit services to the same client, additional conflicts of interest were rampant between Arthur Andersen employees and the businesses they were auditing. For example, a large number of Enron managers were former Arthur Andersen employees. Arthur Anderson’s accountants who were on the Enron engagement turned a blind eye to concerns, even going as far as granting Enron’s requests to remove auditors the company did not like or who questioned their accounting practices. It especially didn’t help that Arthur Andersen began shredding important documents when they realized they were going to be investigated.
Arthur Andersen became arrogant, perhaps believing they were too big to fail. Early on, the Justice Department expressed a desire to look at settlement options, but Arthur Anderson refused. Ultimately, the accounting firm was found guilty of obstruction of justice. This conviction precluded Arthur Anderson from auditing public companies, which ultimately resulted in their demise.
The business climate has changed vastly since Arthur Andersen scandal. The scandal, in fact, had much to do with this. Many rules and practices were implemented to help ensure that accounting firms meet their professional and ethical obligation to investors and creditors. US also began shifting from rule based accounting guidelines towards accounting guidelines that rely more on professional judgement such as IFRS.