Last minute GDPR preparation for accountants

Last minute GDPR preparation for accountants

With the GDPR deadline of 25 May just around the corner, here are some of the last minute checks you should carry out to ensure that you are fully compliant

GDPR has been a hot topic of conversation since its announcement, with many businesses working tirelessly over the past year to tighten their compliance procedures. The deadline of 25 May is just around the corner with time now running out for you to prepare for the changes ahead, if you haven’t done so already.

Why does GDPR matter?

As accountants, we handle a lot of sensitive information from our clients. The nature of our relationship with clients means that we have always had a responsibility over how we handle sensitive information. And though there are already a number of rules which we must adhere to, the changes which are due to be implemented shortly mean that we will need to work harder to protect this information.

These changes will modernise protections within the digital age and mean that there will be more stringent protections on sensitive data. With the new rules, it’s crucial that you’re in the know and nothing is left to chance.

To help make sure you’re ready for the changes, SJD Accountancy highlights some of the last minute checks you should make to bring you up to speed.

1. Keep your clients informed

Clients will now have more control over their personal data: they will be able request details of who has access to their information, how it is being used and they can withdraw their consent over this data at any point. Communication should always be key in your relationship, but now more than ever, it’s crucial.

If you haven’t already, you should make your clients more aware about what these changes mean for their personal data and what controls they will have. If your clients are still unsure about what is required of them and how the changes will affect them, you should set some time aside to simplify everything and ensure that they understand.

2. Review your policies

Auditing your existing systems will give a clear foundation of the compliance you currently have in place and what still needs to be changed. As an accountant, you must be aware of the data you hold from your clients. Your privacy policies must disclose what information is being held and shared and clients should be fully in control over what information you are collecting.

3. Educate yourself

GDPR is the largest data reform since 1998 so there’s a lot of information to take in and it will be your responsibility to ensure that your clients are in the know and you’re operating compliantly. If you haven’t done so already it could be helpful for you to undergo some form of professional training.

4. Make sure your systems are secure

GDPR will increase your responsibility to inform any breaches of personal data to the Information Commissioner’s Office.  This also means that it will be your responsibility to guard your clients’ data against data breaches.

5. Consider a Data Protection Officer

For small businesses, a Data Protection Officer is not a requirement, but could benefit by helping with any teething problems and bringing you up to speed with any issues of non-compliance. Your Data Protection Officer (DPO) must be independent from your company and will oversee the processing of personal data.

This article was written by SJD Accountancy. To find out more, visit their website.

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