On the record: Recording calls with clients

Kashflow logo
Jon Wilcox
Technology Correspondent
Sift Media
Share this content

Jon Wilcox takes a brief look at the legality of recording telephone conversations with clients, and what technological options are available for those looking to do just that.

When AccountingWEB member ShirleyM posed an Any Answers question about telephone call recording, the community responded with a barrage of comments and answers. 

Shirley asked whether any members warn incoming callers the call is being recorded, and also if so do they notice it acting as a deterrent for existing (or potential) clients from calling.

While some said they did not record calls at all because (in reference to Orwell’s literary classic) it is not 1984, others like member Albert Camus, shared stories of when they wished they had done just that. AccountingWEB member TopCat said he thought it was “extremely foolish” if calls weren’t recorded at all!

According to Ofcom, the legality of recording telephone conversations is raised in several pieces of UK legislation, including the following

  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA
  • Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice)(Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 (LBP Regulations)
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999
  • Human Rights Act 1998

Avoiding the complicated legalese, the bottom line is this: Users of phone recording equipment do not have to tell people their call is being recorded for personal use. However, if the content of the call is to be shared with a third-party, then the caller should be made aware that a recording is being made and permission should be soughtt that.

Please Login or Register to read the full article

The full article is available to registered AccountingWEB.co.uk members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register. Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.


Please login or register to join the discussion.

23rd Aug 2011 11:06

Very useful and interesting

Thanks Jon. Extremely good timing for us, as we are shortly replacing our phone system.

This has given me enough information to decide that call recording could be very useful to us. Even if we cannot disclose the recording to a third party, it would enable a transcript of the call to be made.

We use Skype for outgoing calls (unless they are free 0800). Is there an add-on that anyone has experience of, and can recommend?

Thanks (0)
By chatman
23rd Aug 2011 11:25

@ShirleyM: Pamela Call Recorder for Skype

Pamela Call Recorder for Skype is what I use. It is quite unreliable and their support is useless, but I have not found anything else.

Thanks (0)
25th Aug 2011 11:05

Call recording

Take a look at http://www.natterbox.com

Financial firms require FSA compliant recording from 14th November 2011. There's a white paper on the Natterbox website www.natterbox.com http://www.natterbox.com/pdf/NB_ComplianceFSA%20_1.0.pdf


Thanks (0)
By ccowan
25th Aug 2011 14:47

Call Recording Guide

Hi there, great discussion.  If you want to look more at call recording at a practice level (rather than just the individual) then this guide on CallCentreHelper might be of interest  - Call Recording and Speech Analytics Guide  Hope its of use.  Charlie

Thanks (0)
25th Aug 2011 11:28


I would like to take issue with the comment that VOIP requires an internet connection.

VOIP and Swyx in particular does not need to have an internet connection. The VOIP bit can, if you wish, be purely run on the internal network with ISDN-2E or ISDN-30 wired connections for the actual phone call ensuring that calls are as high a quality as possible.

One of the main benefits with Swyx systems is that they also have a mobile (Blackberry, Windows Mobile & Symbian) application which can also be used in conjunction with the office system making recording of mobile phone calls possible. This can be very important if you often give business advice to clients while using your mobile phone. I am not aware of any other telephone system that has this feature.

I would be interested in talking to anyone who is looking for such a solution.


Roger Neale
Perkeo Computer Systems Ltd
07714 670789

Thanks (0)
By waltere
25th Aug 2011 14:19

In most cases, surely a warning IS required


Jon, you write that "Users of phone recording equipment do not have to tell people their call is being recorded for personal use."  but I think this may give people a misleading impression.  The Ofcom website actually says that you don't have to let people know you intend to record their telephone conversation "provided you are not intending to make the contents of the communication available to a third party." A sole prac making a recording purely to help them remember the details of a phone call would be fine, but what about for other purposes, and what if one of your staff made the recording?  In the event of a dispute with the client, it's inevitable that the staff member would have to make that recording "available" to you, perhaps to a professional body, even potentially to HMRC.  Surely it's disingenuous to pretend that s/he is making the recording purely for their own personal use and, consequently, shouldn’t callers always be advised that they may be recorded, or explicitly advised when they are being recorded, if this is what you want to do?

Thanks (0)
25th Aug 2011 14:30

Telephone Call Recording

As a business 'call recording' is becoming an essential part of your day to day applications, it should be viewed in a similar way to anti-spam software or your cctv system. What I mean by this is it should always be running in the background so that when the need arises you can call on it to help with things like staff training and feedback, customer disputes or maybe just to record minutes for conference calls or customer support lines!

You can run call recording solutions as part of your new or existing phone systems, or alternatively you can use an external call recording solution such as  Number4Life.

Which ever way you proceed, make sure your recordings are secure and backed up off site.

If you would like to have a play here is a demo site set up Number4Life

Use the following login details

Client ID = 112959

Username = admin

Password = password

Click on 'number search' / click on 'search' / click on '08448589169' / place your landline number that you would like to receive the call into the 'Route calls to' box / place your email address that you would like to receive the .wav recording in 'Email recordings to' box / click on 'Update'

Please NOTE we have restricted international and mobile destinations for this demo!

we can on further demos show you how to record and retreive recordings via online servers

Now call yourself on 0844 858 9169 or get someone else to call you and have a brief conversation, once you end the call our systems will convert and send your conversation to you via email.

I would always recommend notifying callers that calls are being recorded, this covers both legal and moral concerns!

I hope this allows you to understand a little of what is acheivable, if you prefer can call me as a demo on 01249 47 00 90 and I will send you a copy of the conversation.



Christopher Benson

Key Accounts Manager

Club Talk Ltd





Thanks (0)
By chatman
25th Aug 2011 14:42

You can record your own conversations as far as I am aware

I was under the impression that there was no restriction on recording your own conversations, so as long as you are a participant in the conversation, there is no problem.

In any case, I think even a transcript can be very useful if the recording is not allowed in court. Quoting sections of a call word for word sounds much more authoritative than the other side saying " we talked about x and y but I cannot remember exactly the words that were used".

Thanks (0)
26th Aug 2011 16:40

Call Recording setup in just 15 minutes for any business system!

If you have tried the call recording demo above and would like it set up for your business we can set it up in just 15 minutes once we know your destination number and email address (no set up fee).

Email [email protected]

Call recording can be set up for any business, anywhere and with any telephone system.

If you would like to discuss this further please give me a call on 08448 80 60 90 or send me a message and I will reply asap.


Christopher Benson.

Thanks (0)