Is it safe giving my accountant my full bank statement?
April 22, 2015 10:32 AM   Subscribe

I want to file for taxes (Ontario, Canada) and my accountant asked that I can send him my bank statement so that he knows the different payments instead of having me send him all the receipts. Is this safe or advisable?
posted by cyrusw8 to Work & Money (6 answers total)
It's fine. What are they gonna do with it? Know what you spend money on? Your accountant is going to be knowing everything else about your finances anyway.

The only personal info on the statement is included on every check you write (name, address, account number).

If you can't trust your accountant with that, find a new accountant who you do trust.
posted by phunniemee at 10:41 AM on April 22, 2015 [7 favorites]

Do you write checks? There is about as much account information those as there is on your bank statement which really should just be your account number, name, and address. There isn't really anything you can do with transaction information, the account number isn't a really big deal, and he already has your name and address.

On 2nd thought, your accountant probably already has your account info so they direct the deposit from your refund (if you're getting a refund). The bank statement probably doesn't give them any information they don't already have except for the transaction data which, as I said, doesn't really lend it self to use for nefarious purposes.

Also, if it's not safe to give your financial information to your accountant, it's not safe to give to anyone. On the scale of "who it's safe to give personal information to" I'd think an accountant would be anchoring the "safe" end of the scale.

On preview, what phunniemee said.
posted by VTX at 10:43 AM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Accountants use bank statements to check completeness of the other information you provided as well. When I worked in small practice and prepared accounts there was only one instance of a really small operation,that I can recall, where they really had included everything relevant in their other records. So this is for your benefit and yes, your accountant already knows all the account information so they could already do whatever damage you're concerned about.
posted by koahiatamadl at 10:49 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

If it's the security of the "sending" part you're worried about, make sure you use an encrypted/password locked PDF or ZIP file and tell them to call you for the password.
posted by griphus at 11:02 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Send by registered mail or encrypted digital file.

Mine didn't want to deal with payments information and asked me a few years back to pay as much as possible with a credit card or two and send along the year-end summaries.

I also use Google Forms to set up and track my notable expenses that would otherwise be all over the place, such as day care, charitable donations, and medical expenses.
posted by tilde at 11:25 AM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would not hesitate to send along something like this. It's not an unusual request by any stretch, but good on you for asking the question before handing over personal information.
posted by futureisunwritten at 11:35 AM on April 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

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