1. Purpose of the policy
HMK Accounting Services (HMK) (ABN 48 653 985 746) is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information obtained through its operations. HMK is bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act), including the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), and any relevant privacy code registered under the Privacy Act.
The purpose of this policy is to inform:
- how and when we collect personal information and personal data;
- how we use and disclose personal information and personal data;
- how we keep personal information and personal data secure, accurate and up-to-date;
- how an individual can access and correct their personal information and personal data; and
- how we will facilitate or resolve a privacy complaint.
2. Policy Statement
The 13 Australian Privacy Principles apply to personal information, that is, information or an opinion (whether true or not) relating to an identified individual or which can be used to reasonably identify that individual. Please note that information about companies is not personal information. However, the principles will apply to an individual who is carrying on a business as a sole trader. HMK Accounting Services seeks to ensure compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles.
3. The kinds of personal information we collect and hold
HMK Accounting Services collects personal information for the following purposes: Enquiries from clients; provision of services, marketing, and/or human resourcing. The specific types of personal information HMK Accounting Services may collect and hold includes the following:
- company name;
- date of birth;
- country of residence;
- job title and employer;
- Tax File Number;
- Employee record information;
- CV, resume or application related behaviour;
- contact details such as address, email address;
- business/mailing address;
- nature of business;
- bank account and credit or debit card details;
- advice received from the client or prospective client that may contain additional personal information, such as family relationships and other business-related connections;
- qualifications, memberships and other accreditations;
- financial records;
- racial or ethnic background, political or religious beliefs; and
- online interactions with our website, publications, alerts and social media activity.
As set out below, HMK Accounting Services also collects certain information that is not directly and specifically provided by third parties, such as an IP address, browsing pattern on the site, click stream, and the status of cookies placed on a computer. HMK Accounting Services does not collect any personal information other than information reasonably necessary for, or directly relating to, the primary purpose for which HMK Accounting Services has been engaged or may be engaged, or its other functions and activities.
4. How we collect personal information
As much as possible, HMK Accounting Services only collects personal information that has been directly provided to us by our clients or prospective clients, associates of clients, our suppliers or potential suppliers, our employees or potential employees, or is otherwise available in the public domain where this information will assist us with the provision of services to our current and prospective clients. Information may have been provided verbally or in writing (including by email or through web forms).
We also log IP addresses, or the location of computers on the internet to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer the site. If the user prefers not to accept a cookie, they can set their web browser to warn them before accepting any cookies. Alternatively, they can refuse all cookies by turning them off in their web browser.
5. How we use your personal information
HMK may at times use and disclose personal information about an individual for the “primary purpose” of collection. That “primary purpose” includes facilitating our internal business processes, communicating with clients, providing ongoing marketing information about our products and services, complying with our legal obligations and dealing with enquiries and complaints.
In certain circumstances, the law may permit or require us to use or disclose personal information for other purposes (for instance where a client would reasonably expect us to and the purpose is related to the purpose of collection).
For tax clients, tax file numbers:
- can be collected by tax agents and accountants;
- can be used only to conduct client’s affairs; and
- can be disclosed only to client and the Australian Tax Office.
Sensitive information is a subset of personal information. It means information or opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political organisation, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation or practices, criminal record, health information about an individual, genetic information, biometric information that is to be used for the purpose of automated biometric verification or biometric identification or biometric templates.
Our policy is that we attempt not to collect sensitive information about our clients or prospective clients, however that may not always be possible. If any of our clients or prospective clients elects to provide us with any sensitive personal information, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the sensitive information is securely protected.
In the event we propose to use such personal information other than for the reasons set out in this policy, we will first notify you or seek your consent prior to such use.
6. Disclosure of Personal Information
HMK Accounting Services will ordinarily make the following disclosures of your personal information where it is necessary to support the delivery of services or other related activities:
- Tax File Number Declaration to the Australian Taxation Office;
- where HMK Accounting Services is required by law to provide personal information so that HMK Accounting Services complies with court orders, subpoenas or other legislation that requires us to provide personal information (for example, a garnishee order).
- your superannuation company; and
- the Australian Taxation Office.
We may also provide a client’s personal information to credit reporting bodies and other credit providers if and when required.
We may also use or disclose your personal information and in doing so we are not required to seek your additional consent:
- when it is disclosed or used for a purpose related to the primary purposes of collection detailed above and you would reasonably expect your personal information to be used or disclosed for such a purpose;
- if we reasonably believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious or imminent threat to an individual’s life, health or safety or to lessen or prevent a threat to public health or safety;
- if we have reason to suspect that unlawful activity has been, or is being, engaged in; or
- if it is required or authorised by law.
Should it be necessary for HMK Accounting Services to forward personal information to third parties outside the firm, we will make every effort to ensure that the confidentiality of the information is protected.
In the event we propose to disclose such personal information other than for the reasons set out in this policy, we will first notify you or seek your consent prior to such disclosure.
If you have received communications from us and you no longer wish to receive those sorts of communications, you should contact us and we will ensure the relevant communications cease.
We may use overseas IT services (including software, platforms and infrastructure), such as data storage facilities or other IT infrastructure. In such cases, we may not own or control such overseas infrastructure.
By submitting your personal information to HMK Accounting Services, you expressly agree and consent to the disclosure, transfer, storing or processing of your personal information outside of Australia. In providing this consent, you understand and acknowledge that countries outside Australia do not always have the same privacy protection obligations as Australia in relation to personal information.
If you do not agree to the disclosure of your personal information outside Australia by HMK Accounting Services, you should (after being informed of the cross border disclosure) tell HMK Accounting Services that you do not consent. To do this, either elect not to submit the personal information to HMK Accounting Services after being reasonably informed in a collection notification, or please contact us.
7. Direct marketing
You give your express and informed consent to us using your personal information set out in Section 3 where that information relates to the provision of services to you or marketing activities to provide you with information and to tell you about our products, services or events or any other direct marketing activity (including third party products, services, and events) which we consider may be of interest to you, whether by post, email, SMS, messaging applications and telephone (Direct Marketing Communications).
If you have provided inferred or implied consent (e.g. not opting out where an opt-out opportunity has been provided to you) or if it is within your reasonable expectation that we send you Direct Marketing Communications given the transaction or communication you have had with us, then we may also use your personal information for the purpose of sending you Direct Marketing Communications which we consider may be of interest to you.
If at any time you do not wish to receive any further Direct Marketing Communication, you may ask us not to send those to you or disclose your information to other organisations for that purpose by using the “unsubscribe” facility in the Direct Marketing Communications.
8. How we store your personal information
Once we collect your personal information, we will either hold it securely and store it on infrastructure owned or controlled by us or with a third party service provider who have taken reasonable steps to ensure they comply with the Privacy Act.
HMK Accounting Services will take all reasonable steps to protect against the loss, misuse and/or alteration of the information under its control, and that the information it holds is accurate, complete and up to date including through appropriate physical and electronic security strategies.
Only authorised HMK Accounting Services personnel are provided access to personal information, and are required to treat this information as confidential. We may need to maintain records for a significant period of time. However, when we consider information is no longer needed, we will destroy or permanently de-identify these records.
Our policy is that all electronic records are only stored within Australia whenever this is commercially feasible. However, on occasion, a limited number of specialist software applications may involve the storage of personal data at an overseas location where a suitable alternative is not available.
9. Accuracy of personal information
HMK Accounting Services will take all reasonable steps to make sure that any personal information collected, used or disclosed is accurate, complete and up to date. As the accuracy of personal information largely depends on the information that you provide to us, we request that you advise us of any errors in or updates require to your personal information. If you believe that the information we hold about you is inaccurate or out of date, they may contact us and we will update the relevant information accordingly.
10. Access to personal information
Under the Australian Privacy Principles, you have the right to request access to any personal information that we may hold about you and to advise us if the information should be corrected. The Australian Privacy Principles set out the circumstances when we can refuse those requests. If we do refuse your request, we will provide you with a written notice that sets out the reasons (unless it would be unreasonable to provide them to you).
Subject to our right to refuse access, HMK Accounting Services will provide you with a report that lists any personal information that we may hold about you.
Our policy is to provide written acknowledgement of our receipt of any request for access to personal information or a request for correction of personal information within 7 days of the request being received. We will then provide a written response within 30 days of our receipt of the request.
If you would prefer to submit a privacy request using a pseudonym or otherwise keep your identity secret, HMK Accounting Services will do its best to support that request if it is feasible to do so under the circumstances.
We will ensure that all complaints and enquiries are dealt with in a reasonably appropriate timeframe so that any decision (if any decision is required to be made) is made expeditiously and in a manner that does not compromise the integrity or quality of any such decision (in respect of a complaint).
If you wish to make an enquiry about your personal information at HMK Accounting Services, or make a complaint because you believe that we may have breached the Australian Privacy Principles or a privacy code that applies to us, please contact us.
In order to resolve a complaint, we:
- will liaise with you to identify and define the nature and cause of the complaint;
- may request that you provide the details of the complaint in writing;
- will keep you informed of the likely time within which we will respond to your complaint; and
- will inform you of the legislative basis (if any) of our decision in resolving such complaint.
We will respond to each request within a reasonable time. We will also maintain a record of your complaint.
If a party has lodged a complaint with HMK Accounting Services and is not satisfied with our response, they may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
12. Consent, modifications and updates
This policy is a compliance document prescribed by law rather than a legal contract between two or more persons. However, certain contracts may incorporate all, or part, of this policy into the terms of that contract. In such instances, HMK Accounting Services may incorporate the terms of this policy such that:
- certain sections or paragraphs in this policy are incorporated into that contract, but in such a way that they do not give rise to contractual obligations onto HMK Accounting Services, but do create contractual obligations on the other party to the contract; and
- the consents provided in this policy become contractual terms provided by the other party to the contract.
By using our website, engaging us to provide you with services, where you have been provided with a copy of our policy or had a copy of our policy reasonably available to you, you acknowledge and agree that you:
- give the consents given by you in this policy; and
- have been informed of all of the matters in this policy.
We reserve the right to modify our policy as our business needs require. We will take reasonable steps to notify you of such changes (whether by direct communication or by posting a notice on our website). If you do not agree to our continued use of your personal information due to the changes in our policy, please cease providing us with your personal information and contact us.