As with all Chartered Professional Accountants, I have an ethical and professional responsibility to adhere to a strict CPA Code of Professional Conduct, part of which deals with confidential client information. In essence, the Code prohibits a CPA from disclosing any confidential information concerning the affairs of any client, former client, employer or former employer except under very limited circumstances (e.g. the information is required to be disclosed by order of lawful authority) and not use confidential information of any client, former client, employer or former employer, as the case may be, obtained in the course of professional work for such client or employer without the consent of the client, former client, employer or former employer.
In addition to the requirements set out by the CPA Code of Professional Conduct, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (Canada) sets out requirements relating to the collection and use of personally identified information. The following sets out my policy as it relates to your personal information to facilitate my compliance with the legislation.
What is personal information?
“Personal information” is personally identified information such as your name, residential address and email address and includes information about any services or products you may supply for engagements with me, credit card information and billing records. Personal information is collected when you use my services and knowingly choose to provide it to me.
Publicly available information, such as directory listing your name, address, telephone number and electronic address is not considered personal information.
Why do I need to collect your personal information?
If you are a client, I will be collecting some basic personal information about you. I will only use that personal information for the following purposes:
- Preparation of personal tax returns;
- Preparation of trust returns;
- To perform bookkeeping, accounting and payroll functions;
- To complete specific compilations engagements of financial statements and prepare the corporate tax return;
- To provide the products or services that you requested and maintain commercial relations with you;
- To understand your needs and recommend products and services accordingly;
- To provide the information needed to enable me to satisfy filing requirements on time; and
- To meet legal and regulatory requirements;
- Other related services that would be in my professional judgment beneficial for you including tax and estate planning.
When do I disclose personal information?
There are a variety of circumstances where I may need to disclose some personal information about my clients in order to perform the services for which you have engaged me. Some examples include:
- Canada Revenue Agency;
- Respective provincial tax authorities;
- Personal/commercial bank managers/officers;
- Legal counsel;
- Insurance agent;
- Other professional(s) or third party processors as required by the nature of the engagement;
- To meet certain compliance requirements under the CPA Code of Professional Conduct.
How do I protect personal information?
In order to protect your personal information, my commitment to you is that I:
- Will not collect, use or disclose your personal information for any other purpose other than those identified above, except with your personal consent;
- Will protect your personal information with appropriate security safeguards, including locked filing cabinets, security systems, use of passwords and encryption methods as appropriate;
- Will protect the confidentiality of your personal information when dealing with other organizations;
- Will strive to keep your personal information as accurate and up to date as is necessary for the purposes identified above; and,
- Will honour any request you may make for access to your personal information.
What are your choices?
I am requesting your consent to continue to collect, use and disclose your personal information for the purposes identified above. However, you do have choices and can refuse or withdraw your consent as follows:
- You may refuse to provide your personal information to us;
- You may also withdraw your consent at any time, subject to legal or contractual restrictions and reasonable notice.
However, in either case, this may limit our ability to serve you.
If you have any question or concerns about the CPA Code of Professional Conduct or my management of your personal information, please contact Michel McAllister, CPA, at 905-396-6001 or via email through the contact page, otherwise, I will assume that I have consent to collect, use and disclose your personal information for the purposes identified above and in a manner consistent with the this sole proprietors Privacy Code