James Nadal
3 minutes length
Posted: 8th May 2018

Accountants want GDPR templates – and that’s what we’re going to give them

We’ve been listening closely to our customers’ concerns on GDPR and we’ve heard clearly what’s worrying them most – starting from a blank page, with no clue where to begin.

That’s why we will be soon providing a tool kit with templates and examples to get accountants off to a flying start with their GDPR compliance.

The message from accountants came through strongly at our two GDPR conferences over the past few weeks in Edgbaston and Twickenham, with 150 delegates attending in total.

They said: “We’ll have to design 26 policy or procedures templates” and they asked us: “Is there a template or tool kit we can use?”  This has been the stock follow-up question. Delegates told us it would be great to have somewhere to start on GDPR and that the blank page is what can be intimidating.

We know accountants like having templates. They generally have some stock letters and documents, such as a letter of engagement (usually a templated version) whether from us or their professional bodies.

With some help from other qualified GDPR practitioners we will have our toolkits with GDPR templates ready for accountants very soon. So, watch this space.

Keep following our Twitter and LinkedIn pages and visiting our website for more announcements on this.

The conferences overall provided a really good broad overview, with talks by guests Scott Simpson (The Security Circle), Gyanu Raut (QA), Dave Watson (Hosted Accountants), Andy Grant (Bowan Arrow), and David Clarke (The Trust Bridge).

I was pleased that our leading GDPR experts were able to bust myths around the new rules and assuage some of delegates’ prior concerns.

William Richmond-Coggan from Pittmans Law put a lot of those misconceptions to bed.  It was most helpful for delegates because there’s been a lot of misunderstanding and throw-away comments. These include remarks that weren’t really true, such as “data has to be deleted after 7 years”.

The fundamental principle of data retention under GDPR is that if there is a business reason to keep it, that’s fine, there’s no deadline to delete it. Customers felt a lot happier about this thanks to the insight from our guest speakers, who came from related industries – legal, information security, IT infrastructure.

This knowledge will save our accountants a lot of unnecessary work!

The general consensus at the events, on GDPR and accountancy, was that the profession is pretty underprepared but those who chose to come along had done the right thing. So, although the delegates had it rammed home how underprepared they were, they were being proactive about the process of fixing that, which was really good.

I worry more about the people who didn’t come and who may be unaware of what is facing them.

Generally, the main takeaway from the conferences was that it would have been great to start 12 months ago but it is still not too late put in place the basics, then keep refining and getting better after. So, don’t panic – it’s a journey, whether you started a year ago or a day ago. It’s a process, not a deadline.

There’s still time to start the project and it doesn’t have to finish on 25 May, it’s an ongoing project towards better GDPR compliance.

If you are interested in learning more on GDPR and related digital training, this is available here: https://www.iris.co.uk/store/accountancy-training/