The privacy legislation has been completely rewritten and new rules will apply from 12 March 2014. There are two major aspects of the reforms that will impact on accounting and other professional services firms. A failure to comply with the new rules may result in penalties of up to $1.7 million for corporations and $340,000 for individuals.

Advisers now caught by new ‘credit provider’ rules

Amendments to the Privacy Act extend the concept of ‘credit providers’ to include businesses that allow clients at least seven days to pay invoices. This means virtually every accounting and professional service firm will now be caught as a credit provider.

You need to take steps now to comply with the new rules, including having a separate policy on how you manage credit information.

Click here for more information on the credit reporting reforms

Update your privacy policy

To comply with the new rules, most practices that have an annual turnover over $3 million will need to update their privacy policy and provide privacy statements.

Click here for more information on privacy obligations