Chris Wallace, Managing Director Visionary Accountants, St Albans reviews how Visionary Accountants prepared for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changes that came into force on May 25th 2018.
GDPR Regulation changes
The GDPR regulations changed from May 25th 2018. The new regulation aims to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches, and it updates the 1995 directive following changes to technology. The key data privacy principles are still in force but changes have been made to regulatory policies.
‘The new GDPR data protection changes introduced in May 2018 means we now have more responsibilities regarding data protection. At Visionary Accountants we have always taken data security seriously which is why we underwent our Cyber Essentials audit a full year before GDPR implementation and have been Cyber Essentials certified since 2017. Gaining this certification prepared Visionary Accountants for GDPR as it strengthened and unified data protection for all our clients. We chose Cyber Essentials certification as it is a Government- backed industry supported scheme which helps organisations protect themselves against common online threats. The UK Government recently recognised The IASME standard as an excellent cyber security standard for small companies when in consultation with trade associations and industry groups. We worked with a qualified assessor and external St Albans IT consultant – Assign IT to independently verify Visionary Accountants data security policy.’
Chris Wallace, Visionary Accountants, St Albans, continued: ‘We reviewed the Visionary Accountants Privacy Notice before 25th May 2018 so our clients and other professionals understood how we protect client data and they are aware of their rights before the new regulation was made law. Our updated Privacy Notice is available to review on our website. In any case we would never share our clients’ details with third-parties for any purpose other than to perform services for clients and comply with legal or regulatory requirements. We use a secure client data exchange portal; called Openspace, to efficiently exchange documents and electronically sign or approve tax returns or contracts. We also use Sage online e-payslips and PDF password protection for data security. If any clients want to make data changes, for example their address, or ask about what data we hold for them they are welcome to call us.’
Chris Wallace, Visionary Accountants, St Albans, continued: ‘Reducing the amount of paperwork and email traffic not only reduces data security risk, it also enhances our interaction and communication with clients in a much more efficient and seamless way. The GDPR regulation has focused on the need for all companies to manage their data security effectively. Our colleagues have all had GDPR training so they understand the new data protection regulations.’