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Tackling efficiency and security challenges with Government Gateway

Using My1Login to streamline Government Gateway access for accountancy teams

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Government Gateway is the HMRC service where accountants spend much of their working day, but if you ask any of these users about the online experience of accessing the service, you will undoubtedly be met with a negative response.
Every day accountants must login to numerous Government Gateway accounts, but the process is far from frictionless. It’s cumbersome, wastes time, and often requires phone calls, or navigating around the corporate filing system to source the correct User ID and password details.

The biggest problem all stems from the log in process, which often involves:

– Navigating to the HMRC web site
– Clicking the Sign-In link
– Finding the appropriate, up to date, login details for the required Government Gateway account
– Typing or cutting and pasting the user ID into the appropriate login field
– Typing or copying and pasting the password into the appropriate field
– Clicking the “Sign in” button

These six steps often must be repeated multiple times each day and the login details for these accounts are often shared extensively amongst multiple team members, meaning they could be out of date if one member of the team updates them or resets the password. The consequence of this means any team members then trying  to access Government Gateway accounts using the old password will end up locking everyone out for hours.

All of this absorbs valuable time each day. Time that could otherwise be focussed on core business activities that drive productivity, profit and improved client service.

In addition to the inefficiencies, a far more concerning issue is the security risks that accountancy firms are exposed to because of how these Government Gateway User IDs and passwords are being managed by the workforce.

With accountancy firms requiring to share Government Gateway account access across teams and offices, this often leads to them saving them via unsecure methods.

For instance, post-it notes with login details might be stuck to computer screens, or passwords will be shared via email and messaging applications, or perhaps stored in unsecured documents in central document management systems or servers. While this means the passwords can be accessed more easily by employees, it also means cyber criminals can have an easy route to access them too.

With little or no audit trail of who is accessing these Government Gateway accounts, how can  accountancy firms protect against malicious actors filing fraudulent tax rebates and diverting the funds to their own bank accounts?

Furthermore, what happens when employees who did have access to these accounts leave the business? These leavers usually retain access to the login credentials for Government Gateway accounts long after they have left the firm.

This is a major security concern and the only safe way to remediate it is by changing all Government Gateway passwords every time someone leaves the firm, but this also creates user friction as changing passwords regularly creates the risk of account lock-outs.

So, what can accountancy firms do to tackle these efficiency and security issues?

My1Login – Identity Management for Accountancy Firms

My1Login is the only product on the market specifically designed to cater for the needs of UK accountancy firms by providing secure, one-click access to Government Gateway and other key banking, finance and payroll services.

The solution completely removes the need for accountants to manage, type or remember multiple passwords, and access to specific services can be securely shared with permitted members of the team or office.

Accountants don’t even have to log in or access the My1Login product, it just works for them when they need to access Government Gateway or other key applications.

The solution also provides a full audit trail of who is accessing shared accounts and can enable the workforce to log into services without seeing the password, which eliminates the risks of phishing and leavers retaining access to services.

Overall, the solution provides major benefits to accountancy firms – users have a frictionless experience, releasing time-savings and productivity gains, whilst security is significantly improved by eliminating a range of concerning cyber risks.

For more information on My1Login and how it’s solution can support accountants with access to Government Gateway and other services, please visit: https://www.my1login.com/sectors/accountancy or email contact@my1login.com to discuss how My1Login can help your firm.

 


By Mike Newman, CEO of My1Login

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