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Obligation to provide bookkeeping &payroll backup

Obligation to provide bookkeeping &payroll backup

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I have recently taken over a client from an ACCA practice who provided a full service i.e. bookkeeping, payroll, VAT, CIS and year end accounts for this company.

It seems that they use the same software as we do i.e. Moneysoft payroll and VT Transaction Plus so I thought the easiest thing for both parties would be to let the client have the latest backups of each along with any hard copy paperwork.

So far, the client has collected the hard copy paperwork and we have been emailed some payroll reports although it's clear that these have been provided on a 'minimal' basis. We are waiting for the formal clearance letter etc. and this was only requested a couple of weeks ago.

They are understandably not overly keen to help make the transfer as smooth as possible and this is frustrating the client particularly as he runs weekly CIS which he currently cannot file.

My question is, is the ACCA practice obliged to provide the data backup of the payroll and VT bookkeeping to the client? 

My thoughts are that they are:

I have always taken the approach of being as helpful as possible with any outgoing clients generally as I am usually very happy that they are moving on!


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22nd Feb 2019 16:45

The client has been billed presumably for the work on the data, so surely the client "owns" the data and is entitled to a copy of it asap.

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26th Feb 2019 13:32

Under GDPR there is a legal duty to provide transfer of data in an electronic mean eg Excel, csv files from old provider to new provider.

This is to stop the printing, posting / email of data that has to be then re-input.

The actually data backups may be the property of the practice, but the electronic data within belongs to the client and should therefore be provided.

To me, if I loose a client, the quicker and easier that I can pass over the info the better. Much easier to send electronic data, though remember to remove any practice passwords. I've had a few Sage payroll backups with the agent filing deals still in the backup.

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26th Feb 2019 13:51

They will also certainly not give you a Moneysoft backup, since the username and password are included and unsalted.

You wouldn't give your agent logins away, would you?

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