IRIS has joined forces with the Data Support Agency to launch GDPR Advisor – a service to help accountancy practices maintain compliance and deal with evolving data protection regulations plus cyber security.
Anecdotal evidence from the IRIS GDPR Conference held earlier this year, found many accountancy professionals view data protection as peripheral to their core role and lack the in-house skills to remain compliant, placing them at legal risk.
The lack of resources means there is little time to review procedures and establish new ones.
Research found that about half IRIS customers manage their own IT infrastructure, which highlights the diversity of responsibilities partners and owners need to manage.
The Data Support Agency acts as an outsourced data support officer to provide guidance, tools, templates and support, housed in a secure IRIS portal.
Sion Lewis, CEO of IRIS Accountancy Solutions, says: “There are a continual number of business issues industry professionals need to manage; from changes in legislation, to succession planning and considering the best way to restructure a practice to evolve beyond compliance services.
Manage ongoing compliance
“Amid these challenges, managing data protection is easily pushed down priority list; we want to help remove this burden by offering a service to manage ongoing compliance.
“In the same way as businesses outsource HR, bookkeeping or IT support, the partnership with the Data Support Agency enables accountancy professionals to easily access legal data compliance requirements.
“We are delighted to work with such talented experts and hope this alleviates another crucial issue to help accountants thrive in the digital economy.”
Experience in this area
Nicola Hartland, CEO and co-founder of the Data Support Agency, says: “We appreciate that few accountancy practices have the time, expertise or resource to dedicate to this legislation and it can be hard to know where to start. Our experience in this area, combined with IRIS’s 40-year heritage in the industry enables accountancy professionals to access a service designed and dedicated for their needs.”
IRIS provides a guided process to attain compliance that acknowledges all practices are unique and will travel their compliance journey at different speeds.
It maintains a comprehensive audit trail to demonstrate activities in the case of an investigation and provides an option to investigate compliance implications before new services are developed and delivered.
The forefront of IRIS GDPR Advisor is a portal which houses:
- A readiness dashboard displaying the current status and actions required to attain and/or maintain compliance
- A resource library fully maintained by The Data Support Agency which includes tools, document templates, processes, planning, support and FAQ’s
- Secure storage: an audit trail and central hub for all GDPR & Data Protection compliance documents
In addition, customers can access a dedicated customer support helpdesk staffed by certified GDPR specialists, whether communicating by phone, email, or online chat.
Lewis concludes, “GDPR compliance is just the start of the journey and should not be viewed as a one-off activity. Protecting personal data is central to every client relationship and needs to be frequently monitored. By continuing training and process checks, practices not only ensure they are compliant but also build client loyalty and trust.”