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Collins & Co ("C&C") Privacy Policy
Management of Personal Information  

Background

At C&C, we recognise the importance of your privacy and understand your concerns about the security of the personal information you provide to us.  As an accounting firm, we place high priority on the security of information held by our firm.  We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles (“APPs”) as contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).  The APPs detail how personal information may be collected, used, disclosed, stored and destroyed, and how an individual may gain access to or make complaints about the personal information held about them. 

 

“Personal information” is information or an opinion about an identified individual, or about an individual who is reasonably identifiable.

 

“Sensitive Information”, a sub-set of personal information, is information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, political association membership, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, professional or trade association membership, trade union membership, sexual orientation or practices or criminal record, and includes health information and genetic information.

 

“Health Information” includes information or an opinion about an individual’s health or disability, the health services provided or to be provided to them, and their expressed wishes for the provision of future health services.

 

This policy details how C&C manages personal information about you (including sensitive information and health information), to maintain its integrity and security.

 

In this policy, C&C includes the entities of:  Collins & Co, Western Suburbs Computing Services Pty Ltd, Collins Financial Planning Pty Ltd, Western Suburbs Computing Services Inc and Collins Wealth Pty Ltd.

 

In the course of doing business, we predominantly collect business and commercial information.  However, the ancillary collection of personal information is often necessary or unavoidable.  Also, when we provide services that relate to your personal affairs we will also collect personal information (eg. personal tax returns and advice, financial planning, self-managed superannuation returns or advice). 

 

What personal information we collect and hold

The kinds of personal information we collect from you or about you depend on the transaction you have entered into with us, the services you or your organisation have contracted us to provide, and the services you or your organisation are interested in. 

 

The kinds of personal information that we commonly collect and hold from you or about you include:  your name, address, phone, fax and mobile numbers and email address.

 

In the course of our advisory, financial planning, audit, accounting and taxation functions, we also commonly collect and hold personal information regarding:  your family composition, your and your family members’ date/s of birth, gender/s, occupation/s and employment details, income details, expenses details, asset listings, tax file number/s, taxation records, bank account details, insurance policies, medical history, financial risk appetite and wealth goals etc.  

 

When you browse our website or contact us electronically, we may record:  geographical tagging, cookies and statistical data.

 

How we collect and hold personal information

We aim to collect personal information only directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impracticable for us to do so.  For example, we collect personal information from you or about you from correspondence that you submit to us, meetings and interviews with us, telephone calls with us, and from your activity on our website and client portal.

 

However, in some instances we may receive personal information about you from third parties, such as associated businesses and referrers (including financial planners and insurers).  We may also receive personal information about you from your bank and from your family members.

 

You can be anonymous or use a pseudonym when dealing with us, unless:

  • the use of your true identity is a legal requirement; or
  • it is impracticable for us to deal with you on such basis.
 

Why we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information

We collect, hold, use and disclose personal information from you or about you where it is reasonably necessary for us to carry out our firm’s functions and activities.  For example, we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information as necessary to provide our advisory, audit, financial planning, accounting and taxation services to you or your organisation. 

 

Our firm works closely with related entities within our corporate group.  We routinely disclose your personal information to these related entities to enable them to provide related service offerings that you have requested.

 

Our firm also works closely with other, external businesses, such as lawyers, banks, investment advisers and brokers, other financial planners, insurers, auditors and bookkeepers.  We routinely disclose your personal information to these third parties for them to assist us in carrying out our primary business functions and activities, or to enable them to provide related service offerings that you have requested. 

 

We may collect sensitive information from you or about you where there is a legal requirement to do so, or where we are otherwise permitted by law.  In all other situations, we will specifically seek your consent.  

 

If we do not collect, hold, use or disclose your personal information, or if you do not consent, then we may not be able to answer your enquiry, complete the transaction you have entered into, or perform the services that you or your organisation have engaged us to provide.

 

We also collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for related purposes that you would reasonably expect, such as our administrative and accounting functions, fraud checks, our professional quality assurance and accreditation audits, client audits and trust account audits, data back-ups and statistical collation. 

 

We will also use your personal information to provide you with ongoing newsletter communications, details about educational briefings and seminars, and other events that we conduct or host.   Some of our marketing and communications programs are conducted by organisations external to Collins & Co.  Your personal information included in our marketing database is shared with our external marketing agencies for this purpose.  Where we use your personal information for marketing, promotional, newsletter and briefing communications, you can opt out at any time by notifying us.  Opt out procedures are also included in our communications.   

 

Where we wish to use or disclose your personal information for other purposes, we will obtain your consent.

 

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties (including government departments and enforcement bodies) where required or permitted by law.  Commonly, we will disclose your personal information as required under taxation, superannuation and personal assistance laws, to third parties including the ATO, APRA and Centrelink.

 

How we hold and store personal information

Your personal information is held and stored on paper, by electronic means or both.  We have physical, electronic and procedural safeguards in place for personal information and take reasonable steps to ensure that your personal information is protected from misuse, interference and loss, and from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure. 

  • Data held and stored on paper is stored in lockable filing cabinets within secure premises. 
  • Data held and stored electronically (including “in the Cloud”) is protected by designated password access to systems and internal and external firewalls.  We also require our IT contractors and other third parties to implement privacy safeguards.
  • Data stored or archived off-site is contained within secure facilities.  We also require our storage contractors to implement privacy safeguards.
  • Where we disclose personal information to third parties (including contractors and affiliated businesses located locally and overseas), our contractual arrangements with them include specific privacy requirements.
  • Our staff receive regular training on privacy procedures.

 

Destruction and De-identification

We will retain your personal information whilst it is required for any of our firm’s functions, or for any other lawful purpose. 

 

We will also retain your personal information for the time periods required by law.

 

We use secure methods to destroy or to permanently de-identify your personal information when it is no longer needed:

  • Paper records are commonly sent for secure destruction.  In some instances, paper records will be returned to you and/or relevant third parties.
  • Electronic records are deleted from all locations, to the best of our ability, or encrypted and/or placed beyond use.
 

Requests for access and correction

We have procedures in place for dealing with and responding to requests for access to, and correction of, the personal information held about you.

 

In most cases, we expect that we will be able to comply with your request.  However, if we do not agree to provide you access or to correct the information as requested, we will give you written reasons why.  For further information, please see our Privacy Access, Correction & Complaints brochure or contact us.

 

To assist us to keep our records up-to-date, please notify us of any changes to your personal information.

Complaints and Concerns

We have procedures in place for dealing complaints and concerns about our practices in relation to the Privacy Act and the APPs.  We will respond to your complaint in accordance with the relevant provisions of the APPs.  For further information, please see our Privacy Access, Correction & Complaints brochure or contact us.

 

Contact

Privacy Officer

Collins & Co

127 Paisley Street
Footscray  VIC  3011

T: 03 9680 1000

F: 03 9689 6605

privacyofficer@collinsco.com.au

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