Principle #1: The firm is accountable for personal information in its possession or control.
The firm is accountable for all personal information in its possession or control. This includes any personal information that the firm received directly from clients who are individuals, or indirectly, through clients that are organizations (e.g., corporations, government entities, not-for-profit organizations).
The firm has:
established and put into effect policies and procedures aimed at property protecting personal information;
appointed its Chief Privacy Officer to oversee privacy issues at the firm.
If you have any questions about the firm’s privacy policies and practices, the firm’s Privacy Officer can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org , by phone at (613) 722-8832 ext. 222 and by letter Paterson & Company Professional Corporation, 413 Churchill Avenue North, Ottawa, ON K1Z 5C7 Attention: M. Potts.
Principle #2: The firm identifies the purposes for which it collects personal information from clients before it is collected.
The firm collects personal information from clients and uses and discloses such information, only to provide the professional services that the client has requested. The types of information that may be collected for this engagement, and the purposes for which it is collected, are set out in under Principles 3 and 4 of this privacy statement.
Principle #3: The firm obtains a client’s consent before collecting personal information from that client.
The engagement letter to which this privacy statement is attached sets out your responsibility to obtain any consents required under applicable privacy legislation, for collection, use and disclosure to us of personal information. By signing the engagement letter, you are formally acknowledging this responsibility.
Such personal information could include:
home telephone numbers
personal identification numbers (e.g., social insurance numbers, credit card numbers)
financial information (credit ratings, payroll information, personal indebtedness)
Principle #4: The firm collects only that personal information required to perform its professional services and operate its business, and such information is collected by fair and lawful means.
The partners and staff involved in this engagement need access to some or all of the types of personal information, noted under principle 3 above, to obtain evidence to support the firm’s opinion on the company’s financial statements. Such personal information will be a significant component of various transactions and events affecting the financial statements that will be subjected to enquiry, analyses and such other procedures as the firm considers necessary to perform a Review Engagement in accordance with Canadian generally accepted standards.
Principle #5: The firm uses or discloses personal information only for purposes for which it has consent, or as required by law. The firm retains personal information only as long as necessary to fulfill those purposes.
As required by professional standards, rules of professional conduct and regulation, the firm documents the work it performs in records, commonly called working paper files. Such files may include personal information obtained from a client.
Working paper files and other files containing, for example, copies of personal tax returns are retained for the time period required by law and regulation (or for a specified time period)
The personal information collected from a client during the course of a professional service engagement may be:
shared with the firm’s personnel participating in such engagement;
disclosed to partners and employees within the firm to the extent required to asses compliance with applicable professional standards and rules of professional conduct, and the firm’s policies, including providing quality control review of work performed;
provided to members of the organization’s audit committee and board of directors, and others in the company that might not otherwise have access to the information, in the course of communicating aspects of the results of our audit; and
provided to external professional practice inspectors (e.g., representatives of the Canadian Public Accountability Board, or a provincial institute of chartered professional accountants), who by law, professional regulation, or contract have the right of access to the firm’s files for inspection purposes.
The firm regularly and systematically destroys, erases, or makes anonymous personal information no longer required to fulfill the identified collection purposes, and no longer required by laws and regulation.
Principle #6: The firm endeavors to keep accurate, complete, and up-to-date, personal information in its possession or control, to the extent required to meet the purposes for which it was collected.
Individual clients are encouraged to contact the firm’s engagement partner in charge of providing service to them to update their personal information.
Principle #7: The firm protects the privacy of personal information in its possession or control by using security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.
Physical security (e.g., restricted access, locked rooms and filing cabinets) is maintained over personal information stored in hard copy form. Partners and employees are authorized to access personal information based on client assignment and quality control responsibilities.
Authentication is used to prevent unauthorized access to personal information stored electronically. Encryption is used to prevent unauthorized access to personal information received or sent over the Internet.
For files and other materials containing personal information entrusted to a third party service provider (e.g., a provider of paper based or electronic file storage), the firm obtains appropriate assurance to affirm that the level of protection of personal information by the third party is equivalent to that of the firm.
Principle #9: The firm responds on a timely basis to requests from clients about their personal information, which the firm possesses or controls.
Individual clients of the firm have the right to contact the engagement partner in charge of providing service to them and obtain access to their personal information. Similarly, authorized officers or employees of organizations that are clients of the firm have the right to contact the engagement partner in charge of providing service to them and obtain access to personal information provided by that client. In certain situations, however, the firm may not be able to give clients access to all their personal information. The firm will explain the reasons why access must be denied and any recourse the client may have, except where prohibited by law.
The firm has policies and procedures to receive, investigate, and respond to clients’ complaints and questions relating to privacy.