Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy at AR Accounting Services

Privacy Policy


We take the privacy of your information seriously and we ask that you read this Privacy Notice carefully as it contains important information on:

  • the personal information we collect about you
  • what we do with your information, and
  • who your information might be shared with.

We won’t disclose your information to anyone without your consent and prior knowledge, other than as set out in this Privacy Notice and any applicable terms and conditions.

In its everyday business operations AR Accountants makes use of a variety of data about identifiable individuals, including data about:

  • Current, pand prospective employees
  • Customers
  • Users of its websites
  • Subscribers
  • Other stakeholders

In collecting and using this data, AR Accountants is subject to a variety of legislation controlling how such activities may be carried out and the safeguards that must be put in place to protect it. The purpose of this policy is to set out the relevant legislation and to describe the steps AR Accountants is taking to ensure that it complies with it.

These controls apply to all systems, people and processes that constitute the organisation’s information systems, including board members, directors, employees, suppliers and other third parties who have access to AR Accountants systems.

The following policies and procedures are relevant to this document:

  • Risk Assessment Process (DPIA)
  • Data Mapping Procedure
  • Legitimate Interest Assessment Procedure
  • IT Incident Response Procedure
  • GDPR Roles and Responsibilities
  • Records Retention and Protection Policy

Privacy and Personal Data Protection Policy

1.1 The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the way that AR Accountants carries out its information processing activities. Significant fines are applicable if a breach is deemed to have occurred under the GDPR, which is designed to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Union. It is AR Accountants’s policy to ensure that our compliance with the GDPR and other relevant legislation is clear and demonstrable at all times.

1.2 Definitions

There is a total of 26 definitions listed within the GDPR and it is not appropriate to reproduce them all here. However, the most fundamental definitions with respect to this policy are as follows:

‘Personal data’ is defined as:
any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

‘processing’ means:
any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure by transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

‘controller’ means:
the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law;

1.3 Principles Relating to Processing of Personal Data

There are a number of fundamental principles upon which the GDPR is based. These are as follows:

  1. Personal data shall be:(a) processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);
    (b) collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose limitation’);
    (c) adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);
    (d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
    (e) kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational
    measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);
    (f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’).
  1. The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph 1 (‘accountability’).
    AR Accountants will ensure that it complies with all of these principles both in the processing it currently carries out and as part of the introduction of new methods of processing such as new IT systems.

1.4 Rights of the Individual

The data subject also has rights under the GDPR. These consist of:

  1. The right to be informed
  2. The right of access
  3. The right to rectification
  4. The right to erasure
  5. The right to restrict processing
  6. The right to data portability
  7. The right to object
  8. Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Each of these rights are supported by appropriate procedures within AR Accountants allow the required action to be taken within the timescales stated in the GDPR.

These timescales are shown in Table 1.

Data Subject Request Timescale
The right to be informed
The right of access
The right to rectification
The right to erasure
The right to restrict processing
The right to data portability
The right to object
Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling.

Table 1 – Timescales for data subject requests

1.5 Lawfulness of Processing

There are six alternative ways in which the lawfulness of a specific case of processing of personal data may be established under the GDPR. It is AR Accountants’s policy to identify the appropriate basis for processing and to document it, in accordance with the Regulation. The options are described in brief in the following sections.

1.5.1 Consent

Unless it is necessary for a reason allowable in the GDPR, AR Accountants will always obtain explicit consent from a data subject to collect and process their data. In case of children below the age of 16 (a lower age may be allowable in specific EU member states) parental consent will be obtained. Transparent information about our usage of their personal data will be provided to data subjects at the time that consent is obtained and their rights with regard to their data explained, such as the right to withdraw consent. This information will be provided in an accessible form, written in clear language and free of charge.

If the personal data are not obtained directly from the data subject, then this information will be provided to the data subject within a reasonable period after the data are obtained and definitely within one month.

1.5.2 Performance of a Contract

Where the personal data collected and processed are required to fulfil a contract with the data subject, explicit consent is not required. This will often be the case where the contract cannot be completed without the personal data in question e.g. a delivery cannot be made without an address to deliver to.

1.5.3 Legal Obligation

If the personal data is required to be collected and processed in order to comply with the law, then explicit consent is not required. This may be the case for some data related to employment and taxation for example, and for many areas addressed by the public sector.

1.5.4 Vital Interests of the Data Subject

In a case where the personal data are required to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person, then this may be used as the lawful basis of the processing. AR Accountants will retain reasonable, documented evidence that this is the case, whenever this reason is used as the lawful basis of the processing of personal data. As an example, this may be used in aspects of social care, particularly in the public sector.

1.5.5 Task Carried Out in the Public Interest

Where AR Accountants needs to perform a task that it believes is in the public interest or as part of an official duty then the data subject’s consent will not be requested. The assessment of the public interest or official duty will be documented and made available as evidence where required.

1.5.6 Legitimate Interests

If the processing of specific personal data is in the legitimate interests of AR Accountants and is judged not to affect the rights and freedoms of the data subject in a significant way, then this may be defined as the lawful reason for the processing. Again, the reasoning behind this view will be documented.

Here is a list of all the ways that we may use your personal information, and which of the reasons we rely on to do so. This is also where we tell you what our legitimate interests are.

What we use your personal information for Our reasons Our legitimate interests
1. Serving you as a customer
• To manage our relationship with you or your business;
• To develop and carry out marketing activities;
• To study how our customers use products and services from us;
• To communicate with you about our products and services;
• To develop and manage our brands, products and services.
• Your consent
• Fulfilling contracts
• Our legitimate interests
• Our legal duty
• Keeping our records up to date, working out which of our products and services may interest you and telling you about them;
• Developing products and services, and what we charge for them;
• Defining types of customers for new products or services;
• Seeking your consent when we need it to contact you;
• Being efficient about how we fulfil our legal and contractual duties.
2. Business Improvement
• To test new products & services;
• To manage how we work with other companies that provide services to us and our customers;
• To develop new ways to meet our customer’s needs and to grow our business.
• Fulfilling contracts
• Our legitimate interests
• Our legal duty
• Developing products and services, and what we charge for them;
• Defining types of customers for new products or services;
• Being efficient about how we fulfil our legal and contractual duties.
3. Managing our Operations
• To deliver of our products and services;
• To make and manage customer payments;
• To manage fees, charges and interest due on customer accounts;
• To collect and recover money that is owed to us.
• Fulfilling contracts
• Our legitimate interests
• Our legal duty
• Remaining competent about how we fulfil our legal and contractual duties
• Complying with rules and guidance from regulators
4. Managing security, risk and crime prevention
• To manage risk for us and our customers;
• To obey laws and regulations that apply to us;
• To respond to complaints and seek to resolve them;
• To detect, investigate, report, and seek to prevent financial crime
• Fulfilling contracts
• Our legitimate interests
• Our legal duty
• Review risk factors as well as doing our legal duties in this respect
• Complying with rules and guidance from regulators
• Remaining competent about how we fulfil our legal and contractual duties
5. Business management
•  To run our business in an efficient and proper way.

This includes:
• Managing our financial position,
• Managing our business capability,
• Adding and testing systems and processes,
• Managing communications,
• Managing corporate governance,
• Regular auditing.

• Our legitimate interests
• Our legal duty
• Complying with rules and guidance from regulators
• Being efficient about how we fulfil our legal and contractual duties
• To exercise our rights set out in agreements or contracts • Fulfilling Contracts
For processing special categories of personal data
Substantial Public Interest • Conduction Police and DBS checks to help prevent, detect, and prosecute unlawful acts and fraudulent behaviour.
• Using health information as needed to provide facilities under which our staff can comfortably and safely work.
• Responding to Regulatory Requirements • Showing whether we have assessed your request in the right way.
• Legal Claims • Using any special categories of data as needed to establish, exercise or defend legal claims
• Consent • Telling you that we need your consent to process special categories of personal data, when that is what we rely on for doing so.

1.6 Privacy by Design

AR Accountants has adopted the principle of privacy by design and will ensure that the definition and planning of all new or significantly changed systems that collect, or process personal data will be subject to due consideration of privacy issues, including the completion of one or more data protection impact assessments.

The data protection impact assessment will include:

  • Consideration of how personal data will be processed and for what purposes
  • Assessment of whether the proposed processing of personal data is both necessary and proportionate to the purpose(s)
  • Assessment of the risks to individuals in processing the personal data
  • What controls are necessary to address the identified risks and demonstrate compliance with legislation

Use of techniques such as data minimisation and pseudonymisation will be considered where applicable and appropriate.

1.7 Contracts Involving the Processing of Personal Data

AR Accountants will ensure that all relationships it enters into that involve the processing of personal data are subject to a documented contract that includes the specific information and terms required by the GDPR. For more information, see the GDPR Controller-Processor Agreement Policy.

1.8 International Transfers of Personal Data

Transfers of personal data outside the European Union will be carefully reviewed prior to the transfer taking place to ensure that they fall within the limits imposed by the GDPR. This depends partly on the European Commission’s judgement as to the adequacy of the safeguards for personal data applicable in the receiving country and this may change over time.
Intra-group international data transfers will be subject to legally binding agreements referred to as Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) which provide enforceable rights for data subjects.

1.9 Data Protection Officer

A defined role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is required under the GDPR if an organisation is a public authority, if it performs large scale monitoring or if it processes particularly sensitive types of data on a large scale. The DPO is required to have an appropriate level of knowledge and can either be an in-house resource or outsourced to an appropriate service provider.
Based on these criteria, AR Accountants does not require a Data Protection Officer to be appointed.

1.10 Breach Notification

It is AR Accountants’s policy to be fair and proportionate when considering the actions to be taken to inform affected parties regarding breaches of personal data. In line with the GDPR, where a breach is known to have occurred which is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the relevant supervisory authority will be informed within 72 hours. This will be managed in accordance with our Information Security Incident Response Procedure which sets out the overall process of handling information security incidents.
Under the GDPR the ICO has the authority to impose a range of fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover or twenty million Euros, whichever is the higher, for infringements of the regulations.

1.11 Addressing Compliance to the GDPR

The following actions are undertaken to ensure that AR Accountants complies at all times with the accountability principle of the GDPR:

  • The legal basis for processing personal data is clear and unambiguous
  • A Data Protection Officer is appointed with specific responsibility for data protection in the organisation (if required)
  • All staff involved in handling personal data understand their responsibilities for following good data protection practice
  • Training in data protection has been provided to all staff
  • Rules regarding consent are followed
  • Routes are available to data subjects wishing to exercise their rights regarding personal data and such enquiries are handled effectively
  • Regular reviews of procedures involving personal data are carried out
  • Privacy by design is adopted for all new or changed systems and processes
  • The following documentation of processing activities is recorded:
    • Organisation name and relevant details
    • Purposes of the personal data processing
    • Categories of individuals and personal data processed
    • Categories of personal data recipients
    • Agreements and mechanisms for transfers of personal data to non-EU countries including details of controls in place
    • Personal data retention schedules
    • Relevant technical and organisational controls in place

These actions are reviewed on a regular basis as part of the management process concerned with data protection.