As you know, personal data processing is a crucial part of day-to-day life for accountancy and tax practitioners. And whilst altering procedures and processes to fit within a new framework is hardly our idea of fun, there are definite advantages to streamlining the personal data you hold on file, refining your methods of acquiring, storing and updating it and improving your security measures.
So, instead of putting it off for even longer, why not make sure you’re preparing yourself and your practice for the GDPR now? That way, you can start reaping the benefits of compliance before the laws come into full force.
What data will be covered?
Any personal information that you use within the following will be governed by the GDPR:
- Practice management systems
- Compliance systems (personal tax, payroll, accounting and bookkeeping)
- Working papers (handwritten or computerised)
- Marketing resources
- Emails and correspondence (internal and external)
So, where do I start?
There are a number of essential steps to preparing your practice for the changes:
- Carry out an audit – Compare your current practices to the GDPR framework and assign a Data Protection Officer (if needed) to take responsibility for your transition.
- Start a data register – This will act as the official audit trail should you need to evidence compliance attempts to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), in the event of an early breach.
- Classify your data – Ensure that you’ve located any Personal Identifiable Information (PII) that could be used to directly or indirectly identify someone, and you know where it’s stored, who can access it and how it’s being processed. Once classified, you can work out which data requires the highest levels of protection.
- Assess and prioritise – The privacy of the individual is the first priority, so ensure you’re only processing data that you need to. Conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) of all existing procedures to evaluate data life cycles from start to finish, making sure that you have the means in place to delete data on demand.
- Remedy and repeat – Compliance is an ongoing process, not a one-off tick box, so ensure you take the correct steps to remedy any issues that are flagged up and maintain this careful monitoring going forwards.
We can help you every step of the way to becoming GDPR-ready, from acting as your DPO to conducting a DPIA, and managing your entire transition. Give us a bell today to find out more!