Has your data been deleted?


If you swap practice management systems you’ll inevitably take your data with you – but what has your old supplier done with your data? It is yours, and as the data controller, someone in your practice is responsible for it.

Your old supplier should be telling you whether the data has been deleted and when the data has been deleted. Your old supplier cannot simply hold on to your data – yes, your data! – just in case you might want to return one day.

Imagine what might happen if your old supplier has a data breach and your client details get lettered across the world wide web? Not a pretty sight and pretty damaging to your reputation.

Of course, if you ever have an inspection from a regulator, you need to be confident that you have all the records relating to your clients’ financial transactions. You must be confident that you have access to that data either through a data conversion or through an electronic print of all relevant ledgers.

You will need access to this data for at least six years after the matter has closed – that’s a long time! What if your outgoing supplier can’t or won’t let you have a full copy of your data on exit?  The alternative is to retain a single licence ‘just in case’. But at £200 per month for at least six years, £14,400 is a lot of money.

So the moral of the story is:

  • Demand a full copy of your data and expect to pay a reasonable fee for the service.
  • Demand that your data is deleted to save you the sweat of worrying about its safety.
  • Don’t bury your head in the digits of your fingers – it’s not worth it!