According to a recent Thomson Reuters survey of 650 UK accountants, 83% have not yet spoken to their clients about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but plan to. Surprisingly, just 13% have already discussed it, and 4% said they have no plans to talk to clients about GDPR.
The survey also revealed that 48% have discussed GDPR internally; 43% have not yet had these conversations but plan to, and 9% have no plans to discuss it internally. When asked if they were concerned about GDPR: over three-quarters (76%) of accountants admitted they are concerned about GDPR, and almost a quarter (24%) are not concerned.
The survey was conducted by Thomson Reuters during its live GDPR webinar for accountants, presented byIan Cooper, product manager at Thomson Reuters.
Ian Cooper said: “Unlike Making Tax Digital, when accountants voiced their concerns that there wasn’t enough information available, the concern with GDPR is that there is a lot of guidance, but not specifically for accountants. Certain aspects of GDPR are also still in draft.
“On a practical level, this means it is proving very difficult and time consuming for accountants to wade through all of the information available to understand what action they need to take. This could explain, in part, why some have not yet started engaging with their clients about GDPR.
“The issue here is that if accountants aren’t talking to their clients about GDPR, someone else will be. For firms working in a more advisory capacity, there is an opportunity here to step up and provide much-needed advice to clients. That’s why we are delivering a series of GDPR webinars to dispel some of the myths around GDPR and provide some accountancy-specific information. Small steps can be taken now to review, update and improve processes, and firms can then start communicating with clients to help them towards best practice too.”
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