On Data Ownership
Just who “owns” your business’ data?
This is a question that not very many (if any) business owners consider in the selection and implementation of the “back-end” of their business. More often than, not, the choice is effectively left to the accountant and/or bookkeeper. This then creates a legacy system that the business has to deal with for many years to come.
This question was raised recently by one of the participants in my Tax Discussion Group who detailed an example where a customer of theirs was wanting to bring their bookkeeping from an external provider to an in-house resource. Their system is on the Xero platform and the soon-to-be-no-longer-required bookkeeper wasn’t keen to assist them in transitioning the data for the new resource to use. Suffice to say, the Xero Terms & Conditions seem to support the “losing” bookkeeper and effectively leave the customer (whose data it actually is) up that famous creek.
When you are considering a software package through which you wish to operate your business, you need to carefully consider who actually has the ownership of the data and what happens where you choose to change service providers. Will they given you a guarantee that your data will move with you or will they “hold you to ransom”?
We guarantee that your data stays in your ownership. If any of our customers want to move away from us or from the package that we manage for them, we will not stand in their way – it’s your data after all.
Does your current advisor give this guarantee?
Might just be worth asking the question – and get their response in writing!