When it comes to your business finances, you need to trust your accountant to some degree. However, it can become tricky when dealing with bank accounts. Many people aren’t sure whether they should give their bank account access to their accountant. There is no concrete answer. You must personally decide how much information and access you give to your accountant. Most people feel the most comfortable with giving their accountant View Only bank account access. With that in mind, here are the steps to follow when granting “View Only” access from various banking institutions.
Choose Your Bank:
With Wells Fargo, you have the power to give an accountant or bookkeeper View Only bank account access through Wells Fargo’s Account Access Manager.
When you visit the Wells Fargo page, navigate to the small business section. From there, select “Account Access Management.” You will see an overview of employees who have been added to your account. You have the ability to remove authorized signers and grant individuals online “View Only” access to one or multiple accounts.
Wells Fargo recommends that you review who has access to your account frequently and make adjustments to align with your current needs.
U.S. Bank allows you to share customized access for business accounts using the “Shared Access” feature. You can select “View Only.” This will allow accountants to view transactions, balances, and other details on selected accounts.
U.S. Bank provides detailed history reports that allow you to keep tabs on Shared Access users as the Shared Access administrator. To activate this feature:
- Login to U.S. Bank online using your business user ID
- Find the “I’d Like To” menu located on the left side of the page and choose Managed Shared Access
- Or you can click “Customer Service” and then select Shared Access
Reasons to Grant Your Accountant “View Only” Access
Looking at your bank statement is the best way to gather accurate information regarding expenses, income, and cash flow for bookkeepers. Your accountant can create business plans, prepare your taxes, and create financial reports with this information.
Chase Bank offers the Chase Access & Security Manager. This feature is designed to help you save time managing your business accounts and determining who has what access. It gives you the ability to delegate cash management services without turning over the control or security of your account. To access this feature:
- Sign in to your account and choose “Account Management”
- Select “Access & Security Manager” from the drop-down menu
- You will see the option to add an authorized user by selecting “Add New User”
- You will need to complete the different fields on the page
- Choose the accounts a new user can access. Assign their level of access by choosing “Assign access”
To permit a secondary user to view your American Express business account, you need to set up their account with Amex’s Account Manager feature. With this functionality, you can provide your bookkeeper a Limited Access to your bank records. You can modify your user privileges by going to My Account > User Administration and clicking on View/Modify to create view only bank account access. You will then be directed to a view where you can change these settings.
You can grant customers access to your Bank of America account by upgrading your online banking account to include Account Management. Using this add-on, you can create an individual account access level and allow a small business accountant to view and manage accounts for your different businesses.
Pro Tip: The Account Management feature of Bank of America also allows you to integrate Quickbooks to your account. By integrating, you can synchronize transactions between your bank and your Quickbooks account in real-time!
You will need to enroll in BB&T’s Small Business Online program if you wish to give your bookkeeper view only bank account access. To begin providing access to your accountant, open the business services menu of the program, and click Multiple User Access (Subscribe). You can then use this feature to limit the viewing access of up to 25 users per account.
When working with Capital One as your bank, you will need to use their Treasury Management feature to limit your accountant’s viewing access. With this feature, you can adjust the access settings of your authorized users.
At Fidelity Investments, you can give your bookkeeper access to your accounts with one of four permissions. These permission-levels include Inquiry, Limited, Full, or POA. The Inquiry access will limit privileges to view only bank account access so you accountant can see your balances and tax forms.
Only business accounts in PayPal can provide access to additional users. With the same account, you can limit the access of these users using the Accounts & Security section of Paypal. In this section, open “Account Access” then click “Update” besides the “Manage Users” section. After doing this step, you can now change the permissions you grant your authorized users.
You can use PNC Bank’s Cash Flow Insight service to give your accountant access to your accounts. This feature allows you to create an account for your small business CPA and provide them with the appropriate permissions to view your financial transactions.
Regions Bank allows you to limit your accountant’s permissions by utilizing their “People and Permissions” list. Using this function, you can create an account for your bookkeeper and provide them with permissions that allow them view only bank account access.
SunTrust’s Online Cash Manager system offers an extensive set of features. With it, you can set up an account for your bookkeeper that will give them access to your bank statements. You can also limit their access using the same system.
PayPal offers a Managed Users feature to its customers with a business account. This allows you to create multiple logins and determine the level of access users have. This feature gives up to 200 individuals access to your PayPal account. Each person has their own login ID and level of authority.
Once you have created a Business account:
- Navigate to “Account Access”
- Select “Update” under the section “Manage Users”
- Choose “Add User”
- Input the user’s information and choose only the privileges you want the user to have. Click “Save”
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