Wolters Kluwer survey explores attitudes to GDPR compliance in UK accountancy practices

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Wolters Kluwer, Tax & Accounting UK has announced survey findings which show that accountancy firms need additional education and support around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Wolters Kluwer has announced the findings of its survey about the attitudes to GDPR compliance in accountancy practices. The GDPR regulation, which will come into force on 25th May 2018, intends to strengthen data protection within the European Union and it will replace the data protection directive of 1995.

Wolters Kluwer has surveyed over 100 individuals from UK accountancy practices about their level of understanding about GDPR and the practical steps that are being put in place to prepare for the new regulation.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, 87 per cent of respondents stated that they understand the basic principles of existing data protection legislation and that they can understand what constitutes personal data.

However, when probed as to the extent of their knowledge about the GDPR specifically, 64 per cent of respondents commented that they only appreciate the most rudimentary changes that GDPR will bring. Additionally, 22 per cent know what GDPR stands for but don’t have a broad understanding of its impact and potential consequences. Only 14 per cent of the participants classified themselves as knowledgeable about GDPR.

When asked to detail who is responsible for data protection compliance, it was encouraging to see that respondents overwhelmingly stated that it should be an undertaking for all employees (86 per cent). However, some of those surveyed took a different line with 11 per cent saying that it is purely the responsibility of senior management and just 1 per cent indicating that, within their organisation, they are solely accountable.

Respondents also cited a range of concerns regarding the GDPR, including the burden of compliance, resourcing, and of course the risk of and fines associated with a breach.

Paul Brace, Head of Partnerships & Acquisitions at Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK said, “As accountancy practices gear up for the ramifications of GDPR, there is an opportunity for them to enhance the way they organise and process their data. With that in mind, Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK is providing various resources to our customers including seminars, checklists, infographics and webinars. In addition, we are planning to create a GDPR e-learning series which will provide the training and guidance to ensure they put the appropriate steps in place to ensure GDPR compliance.”

For more information, visit Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting Software.