Astrid’s Financial Director, Matthew, mulls over the question ‘what can GDPR do for accountants?’ during a visit to the vets of all places…
The GDPR challenge for small businesses
I was sitting in the waiting room at my local vet yesterday evening. My cat was due for its check-up. Rather than a moaning feline, the receptionist was commenting about how complicated GDPR seems to be. She was responsible for updating the consents on their customer database and it was taking a long time. They’re doing the right thing - they think!
Some of the comments were a bit worrying, as a partner in a company that helps small businesses comply with GDPR. On the one hand, I had much sympathy with them. Even the smallest of businesses have to comply with GDPR and they’ve only got until tomorrow (25th May 2018) to do it! They told me they’d employed a consultant’s services to help out. Why then, I thought, did everything seem so confusing to them?
So where do accountants come in?
That got me thinking (on my other hand). For hundreds of years, firms of accountants have been responsible for ensuring compliance in one form or another. The Information Commissioner’s guidelines are quite complex, but they’re not half as complex as an IFRS, or some regulation published by HMRC. So, why am I seeing lots of emails from accountancy firms, saying ‘you must comply with GDPR’, without then offering a compliance service? Surely it’s an opportunity not to be missed? Relatively simple rules (open to interpretation). Don’t you just need an audit questionnaire and a little guidance on what’s important?
Making it easy for accountants and their clients
Here at Astrid, we’ve taken away the hard work of writing the questionnaire and ok, it was quite complex. Now it’s possible for you to go out to your client base and offer either an online solution to your customers that they can do themselves - point them at the Astrid website. Alternatively, for those clients - like my vet, for example - who struggle with interpretation and implementation of rules, you could offer a ‘done for you’ service. Your staff follow the ‘audit’ questionnaire, complete it and upload the relevant documents (and templates that we’ve produced for you) to our secure repository. And my vet can concentrate on looking after my cat.
In this world where the services offered by the high street accountant are being eaten away by making tax digital and artificial intelligence, a GDPR compliance service is an ideal way to reduce client attrition and add value. And whether the client does it themselves (for as little as £300), or pays you to do it, you’re seen as looking after their interests - just when they need it.
Find out more about Astrid’s partnership scheme and how you can benefit, contact our Commercial Director Ann today via our contact form or partner email.
The cat was fine - if you were wondering. ‘Very sharp teeth’ was the vet’s only comment!
Protect your business - become and remain GDPR compliant with Astrid