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Emailing client personal data including tax return

GDPR matters

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A client is moving to someone else. (I don't mind!). His new accountant rightly wants some data re last year's tax return. I've tried to set up a new account for the new accountant on Iris Open Space, but her email address has been refused (presumably because she is already set up with her own firm).

How do you email this stuff, which of course can't now just be attached to an email without any protection?

Replies (30)

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By K81
27th Feb 2020 09:05

post it !

I understand that, providing the recipient is happy, that you can still send by normal e-mail.

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By gainsborough
27th Feb 2020 09:19

...or password protect the email attachments....

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
27th Feb 2020 09:21

Well all my T&C's say I can email unless myclient say otherwise.

But failing that, password protected zip file, text the password.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By legerman
28th Feb 2020 09:32

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

Well all my T&C's say I can email unless myclient say otherwise.

But failing that, password protected zip file, text the password.

Shouldn't the default position be password protect unless the client gives permission not to? I'm not sure your T&C clause would pass GDPR but happy to be proved otherwise.

Your second paragraph is what I do but I'm now starting to use Google Drive instead.

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By NH
27th Feb 2020 09:23

password protect the attachments, put in a shared folder and share the link via WhatsApp, ask the bods if they will accept attachments by email, send in the post, send the attachments via WhatsApp...a few options

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By JCresswellTax
27th Feb 2020 09:27

Moonbeam wrote:

which of course can't now just be attached to an email without any protection?

I don't believe this is correct.

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Replying to JCresswellTax:
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By paul.benny
27th Feb 2020 09:37

Agree.

Presumably your T&C wouldn't allow you to share data with another accountant, so I would only provide data to the new accountant on the basis of a specific written (emailed) instruction or confirmation from the client.

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Replying to paul.benny:
By Moonbeam
27th Feb 2020 09:46

That's not the question. I only ever do provide data with written instruction from client.

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By James Green
27th Feb 2020 09:36

“We have no professional reason why you should not accept this engagement.

We hold no information that is not available to your client from their online portal account with this firm that remains open for 12 months from the date of this email”

Sorted, it’s no longer your problem, it’s now up to your ex client to deal with.

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Replying to James Green:
RLI
By lionofludesch
27th Feb 2020 09:43

Would that include analyses of prepayments and accruals shown in the accounts?

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Replying to James Green:
By Moonbeam
27th Feb 2020 09:46

@James - I think that's a bit harsh. I have no reason to cheese everyone off!

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Replying to James Green:
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By Mr_awol
27th Feb 2020 11:17

Maybe it's our fairly rural location and the fact that most of the main firms know each other. Maybe people are just friendlier down here. Maybe it's because I'm quite good friends with some of the partners from local competitors.

Whatever it is, I wouldn't dream of sending a response like that, or wasting effort trying to avoid sending something just because 'the client has already had it once'. If I did, I'd feel quite embarrassed next time I walked into a room that anyone from another local firm was in.

It's not difficult to supply a full and comprehensive handover pack. It takes hardly any time and I find I get decent handovers in return. One local firm has actually provided (and received) IRIS backups. There's only one advisor I'm aware of locally who gives the bare minimum and (call me childish if you like) I now tend to return the favour. I put his lack of cooperation down to the fact that he's a total bell-end.

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Replying to James Green:
RLI
By lionofludesch
27th Feb 2020 11:34

James Green wrote:

We hold no information that is not available to your client from their online portal account with this firm that remains open for 12 months from the date of this email”

Why don't you just sob and scream "Waaah ! I've lost a client - it's so unfair !!"

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Replying to James Green:
By SteLacca
28th Feb 2020 09:31

I knew I recognised your name.

And that's not flippant. Recently inherited one of your clients, initials SB, with two companies.

Suffice to say, there most certainly was NOT enough in the client portal and has caused us no end of problems.

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By Ruth75
27th Feb 2020 09:45

I share a link with new accountants to a folder on onedrive but would also work with dropbox. The link expires after a couple of weeks. You can password protect documents too.

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Replying to Ruth75:
By Moonbeam
27th Feb 2020 09:48

Thank you Ruth. I think Dropbox will solve this problem. I'd completely forgotten I have an account (which I rarely use).

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Replying to Ruth75:
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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
27th Feb 2020 10:16

Ruth75 wrote:

I share a link with new accountants to a folder on onedrive but would also work with dropbox. The link expires after a couple of weeks. You can password protect documents too.

That’s a good idea. Thanks

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By frankfx
27th Feb 2020 10:34

https://www.datasend.co.uk/trial_form/register.html

Many other solutions have been proffered.

The above UK based business has a 14 day free trial.

Your client appears to have access to an OPENSPACE account, but unable to use , why?

With client's permission You could create a DUMMY Openspace account ,for the one off nature of this matter, for the receiving accountant sole use?

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By ohgoodgodno
27th Feb 2020 11:34

why not just post the handover info??

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Replying to ohgoodgodno:
By Moonbeam
27th Feb 2020 12:39

I'd need time to print out the data, stuff in an envelope and work out the postage, and trudge down to the post office in my local town as no other local post box has a big enough opening to force the envelope into.
Instead, I took Ruth's invaluable advice, set up a Dropbox account, and shared a link to the documents with the other accountant. She received the link earlier this morning and has since emailed me to thank me.
So "just post" means lots of extra time and hassle for me.

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By frankfx
27th Feb 2020 19:03

https://parcel.dhl.co.uk/dhl-service-point/size-and-price-guide/

There may be a time when an analogue solution required.

Flexible and affordable in context.

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By 0098087
28th Feb 2020 10:23

send by email. I use six digit date of birth as password..

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Replying to 0098087:
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By raju m
01st Mar 2020 09:53

What is the easiest way to password protect pdf documents?? Raj

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Replying to raju m:
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By Carolynne
02nd Mar 2020 12:31

Raju M, to save as a password protected pdf, I select print, and then change printer to the pdf version, then I get three tabs, one says General, one says Encryption and one says Settings.

If you choose the file and name you want to save it as then click the encryption tab put the password in you want to use and tick the box 'use 128 bit encryption', when you create it, it will appear on your screen with a box asking for the password, so that you can check it works.

I usually text the password so that it is separate to the email when sending a document such as this to someone.

Remember to remove the password next time you save a pdf, or it will keep the one you chose last time.

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Replying to raju m:
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By Homeworker
02nd Mar 2020 16:14

raju m wrote:

What is the easiest way to password protect pdf documents?? Raj


I use Primo pdf, which is free and has password protection ability.
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Replying to Homeworker:
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By Carolynne
02nd Mar 2020 17:48

Yes but with Primo pdf, doesn't this mither you with an Adware Program, that recommends other Software packages to you, whilst you use it?

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By David Gordon FCCA
28th Feb 2020 10:35

Why not just print and post the Return? Simples!
Also, Cover the cost, the peace of mind is worth £6,
Send it tracked special delivery, with a note that any further time will be charged at £250 per hour or part thereof.

Another true story.
I needed a copy of a letter, from a previous accountant. He asked me for £500. When I complained to ICAEW the reply was he is entitled to charge whatever he wishes for his services.

Yes, you may share information with another accountant if the client has so permitted. He/she is covered by similar rules of confidentiality as you are. In any event, do you not have a letter in hand from the ex-client authorising and requesting you to give every assistance to the new agent?
Fees for such is a different issue.
Let us not get silly about this.
If you are really uptight, put the stuff in a brown envelope and ask the ex-client to collect and sign for it.
The rules are "Reasonable care" should be taken, not "Security for Harry & Meghan".

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By pauljohnston
28th Feb 2020 10:56

Beware there are still some firms who use an email provider that can not receive a file that is greater than 1gb. Others have security in place that rejects emailes that its virus protection software wont open (zip with password). In these casees we use www.sendthisfile.com or you can use winzip courier

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By frankfx
28th Feb 2020 12:43

I have requested Iris to allow open space to have a shared file folder facility.

Along the lines of Dropbox et al.

That is Easy to use

Not happened yet.

With thousands using Openspace it would be a useful feature.

Openspace users could place a feature request with the CEO.
We may catch him in listening and action mode.

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Jennifer Adams
By Jennifer Adams
29th Feb 2020 17:44

I use the wonderful Accountancymanager ... never fails...but you already have Iris.

I'd Dropbox or post. Post will give you an excuse to get out of the office.

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