To effectively combat cybercriminal activity, the IRS has worked with state tax agencies and the industry to formulate a series of guidelines, known as publication 4557. These requirements are evolving and changing as the understanding around effective cyber crime prevention continues to grow. Many accountants find themselves unprotected and non compliant. This presents a significant risk not just for data breaches but also IRS penalties.

Be 4557 compliant

Based on the the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) safeguards rule and 4557 guidelines, tax preparers must implement security plans to protect client data. This references the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which covers the safeguarding of sensitive data.

Practice Protect ensures that you meet and exceed the IRS 4557 guidelines. See why over 13,000 accountants worldwide trust Practice Protect for single sign on data security and password management.

About the 4557 IRS standard

The IRS states that “Protecting taxpayer data is good business.” Now however, it’s also a regulatory mandate. The 4557 guidelines covers:

  • Basic security practices
  • Security software
  • Wireless networks
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Guarding against phishing scams
  • Internet use
  • Password sharing
  • Breach remediation strategies
  • Employee management and training
  • Detecting system failures
  • Reporting data loss

Practice Protect has you covered

It’s a lot to take in – the guide is both informative and clear on the new regulatory environment it expects accounting firms to operate within. Practice Protect has been built from the ground up for accountants alone and helps firms like yours cover off many of the standards and requirements. It’s not a set and forget solution but with proper training, ongoing support and advisory always on call (at no additional cost), Practice Protect is a clear choice for every accounting firm in the USA (and world for that matter).

The importance of an Information Security Plan.

The updated W-12 form reinforces the IRS stance on data security and cyber security in Question 11 where tax preparers are asked to confirm the existence of an information security policy. In fact, all accounting firms are required by the FTC Safeguards rule and IRS 4557 guidelines to have in place an information security plan which outlines the protocols and processes which protect customer information and guard against data breaches.

The question every accounting firm needs to ask themselves is this: “Can I tick the Q11 box on my W-12 form to confirm that I have adequate data protection procedures in place at my firm?”. If the answer is no, then by their own admission, they are not compliant with the IRS requirement. All firms regardless of size need to think ahead and start preparing to exceed compliance standards with the assumption they’ll only become more rigorous over time.

Secure, compliant, and in control - 4557 compliance at your fingertips

Retail password managers don’t get the job done. You need a data security platform built for the pace of a modern accounting firm. From application security to email-layer protection (G-Suite and Office 365 ready), boost cybersecurity standards and remain completely industry compliant, with Practice Protect.

4557 compliant

Built with cyber and data security requirements in mind
Enterprise Grade

Password cloaking

Passwords are used but never seen with the power of cloaking.
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Compliance docs and policies

Control where and when your team access your data, down to the laptop.
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Remote & offshore team policy controls

Offshore and remote specific settings, to give you control and safety.
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One-Click User Lockout

Revoke access instantly for offboarding or staff centered threat response.
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On call support

Chat, email and phone support on system security whenever you need
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Access to training (PPU)

The Practice Protect University (PPU) is available as an ongoing security training resource for all your team members
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GSuite & Microsoft friendly

Practice Protect integrates seamlessly with GSuite & M365 for maximum email security
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