Cautionary Tale: Keep your business off the Local News

A recent newstory out of El Paso, Texas is a reminder that businesses need to put a high priority on training employees in best practices for confidential informaition. After learning personal and business documents containing social security numbers and bank account information were thrown away in a public dumpster, two businessmen in the borderland were left feeling shocked, disappointed, and even disgusted.
News crews from KTSM found the paperwork in a dumpster located in close proximity to the business. The local business said a new employee dumped the documents instead of properly shredding them.

Remember, the professionals we hire to do billing and tax work have a fiduciary responsibility to us. The newsgroup found confidential documents including tax returns, social security cards, bank account numbers, cancelled checks, and W2’s. Many of the documents had the Tax Matters logo on them.

The business owners claimed they had told a new employee to prepare some files for a third-party shredding service. They said that employee took those directions to mean, ‘dump it.’ The employee has since been fired but the damage could easily have already been done.

With more power now in the hands of State Attorney Generals, this will likely not just cost this business a couple of clients—it will likely also be levelled with a hefty fine. Outsourcing to an on-site shredding service takes a lot of stress and hassle out of the process. Monthly clients have locked containers to store confidential files—keeping them safe from low level employees and any outsiders that may have occasion to walk through the office (deliveries, cleaners). For more information, please visit

by Judith

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