How Is Your Accounting Firm Protecting Its Intellectual Property?
by Jeff Davidson on
A version of this post originally appears at Breathing Space.
Have you ever stopped to think that you have valuable property right on your hard drive? Whether self-employed, or independent of any the proprietary materials you have prepared for your accounting firm, undoubtedly, you have a variety of notes that you have taken over the years arranged in various categories. You have written untold paragraphs. You have outlines, notes, and perhaps transcripts.
On top of all these items, it is likely that you have boilerplate material for contracts and agreements. You might have carefully crafted letters that you’ve adapted based on the particular situation at hand, and other templates, rosters, and check lists that represent value, the likes of which you might not have recently, or ever, contemplated.
What about your personal database? If you have 1,000 or 10,000 names, these represent intellectual property of sorts –- marketing intelligence, in this case. Elsewhere on your hard drive, you might have proprietary photographs, as well as formulas or processes. You may have data, notes, or material on specific industries, trend data, quotes, or collections.
- Given the high probability that your hard drive examined in this new light contains a wealth of intellectual properties, how are you protecting your property?
- Do you have a well-developed and often-practiced back-up routine to save and store your valuable files?
- Do you have security measures in place so that unauthorized individuals are not privy to them?
- If you run your own firm, do you have a confidentiality policy and trade secret policy prepared, which mandates that any staff you might employee are required to sign a written notice acknowledging that they have read and understood such policies?
- Also, if you manage your own business, do you execute work-for-hire agreements so that it is clear to all participating parties that work you authorize and pay for shall become and remain solely your property?
The more valuable your intellectual property, be it on your hard drive, or any place in your office, the more important it is to safeguard your belongings.
You may like these other stories...
IRS must take oath on Lerner emails: judgeMackenzie Weinger of Politico reported on Thursday that a federal judge ordered the IRS to explain under oath how it lost emails connected to Lois Lerner, the ex-IRS official at the...
From May 20-23, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) held its annual conference. Frequent contributor Sally Glick picked up some ideas that she will be sharing with us in the coming days, as she has done in...
Credit Suisse says pension assets at risk unless court delays sentencingJohn Letzing of the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Credit Suisse Group AG says its management of billions of dollars in assets for...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
Hand off work to others with finesse and success. Kristen Rampe, CPA will share how to ensure delegated work is properly handled from start to finish in this content-rich one hour webinar.
FRF for SMEs Series--Statement of Cash Flows, Subsequent Events, Related Party Issues, Accounting for Investments including Consolidations, Part 4A
This webcast will cover the preparation of the statement of cash flows and focus on accounting and disclosure policies for other important issues described below.
We can’t deny a great divide exists between the expectations and workplace needs of Baby Boomers and Millennials. To create thriving organizational performance, we need to shift the way in which we groom future leaders.
In this presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA revisits the Excel feature you should be using, but probably aren't. The Table feature offers the ability to both boost the integrity of your spreadsheets, but reduce maintenance as well.