The WISP template is required for tax professionals by the IRS and helps to ensure that important records are accurate and available, allowing the person filing their taxes the best knowledge and information needed. This guide will give you an overview of what a WISP template should include and how it can help you provide better service to your clients.
What is the WISP Template?
The WISP template is a standardized recordkeeping system created by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to guide tax professionals in effectively and accurately providing tax services. This document outlines what must be tracked and kept on file, as well as how to best organize it, so that any discrepancies or errors can be quickly identified and resolved.
The IRS WISP (Written Information Security Program) template is a comprehensive guide developed by the Internal Revenue Service to help small businesses safeguard sensitive information. Our template is designed to assist businesses in creating a written security program that addresses the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information. It includes guidance on risk assessments, physical and logical access controls, data encryption, incident response, and employee training. The IRS WISP template is a valuable tool for businesses looking to comply with federal regulations and protect themselves from cyber threats. By implementing the recommendations outlined in the template, businesses can help ensure the security and privacy of their sensitive information.
Who Is Required to Complete The Template?
All tax practitioners and professionals such as Certified Public Accounts (CPAs), Enrolled Agents, Tax Attorneys, and Tax Consultants are required to complete the WISP template. It is important that these professionals keep themselves up-to-date with the latest rules and regulations regarding the information they must track in order to properly serve their clients. Completing the WISP template is just one way to ensure that every detail of a transaction is properly recorded for use when preparing or reviewing taxes.
The requirements basically come down to answering the question, “Do you have a PTIN?” If the answer is yes, then you are legally required to have one, even if you are a solo practitioner.
How to Complete Your WISP Template
Creating and using a WISP template is a simple but important process for IRS mandated tax professionals. First, create a document in an excel sheet or Google sheets detailing the different types of transactions that need to be tracked. Label each line item clearly, including a description, total amount, date, category (if applicable), and any other relevant information for tracking purposes. Once complete, save the template as an editable format that can be shared easily with clients or other team members.
Download the free WISP template from tech4accountants.net.
Customize the template to your business’s specific needs. The template includes instructions and prompts to help you identify and address the risks and vulnerabilities in your organization.
Conduct a risk assessment to identify potential threats to your business’s sensitive information. Use the template’s risk assessment worksheet to document your findings.
Develop policies and procedures to mitigate the identified risks. The template provides guidance on how to develop policies and procedures for data encryption, access controls, incident response, and employee training.
Review and update your WISP on a regular basis to ensure it remains relevant and effective in protecting your business’s sensitive information.
By following these steps, you can create a comprehensive WISP that meets regulatory requirements and protects your business’s sensitive information.
Important Things To Remember When Using The WISP Template
When using the WISP template, it’s important to clearly label each line item for accurate tracking. Additionally, ensure that all of the relevant information is included in each entry including date, amount, and category. Keep in mind that all entries must be entered correctly and consistently to avoid mistakes or confusion down the line. Finally, make sure to save the template in a format that can be easily edited and shared with clients or other teams members.
Customize the template to your business: The WISP template is a framework that needs to be tailored to your business’s specific needs. Ensure that you review and update the template to reflect your organization’s policies and procedures.
Conduct a thorough risk assessment: A risk assessment is a critical component of the WISP. Be sure to identify and evaluate potential risks to your business’s sensitive information.
Regularly review and update the WISP: Threats and vulnerabilities to your business’s sensitive information can change over time. It’s important to review and update the WISP regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective.
Ensure employee awareness and training: The WISP is only effective if employees are aware of it and trained on the policies and procedures. Ensure that all employees understand the WISP and their responsibilities in maintaining the security of sensitive information.
Implement controls and procedures: The WISP should include policies and procedures for physical and logical access controls, data encryption, incident response, and employee training. Ensure that these controls and procedures are implemented and regularly tested.
Benefits of Completing the WISP Template for Tax Professionals and Businesses
Completion of the WISP template provides tax professionals and businesses with a number of benefits. It allows you to stay organized, on top of all your payments and deductions, and ultimately save time during tax season. Additionally, when using the WISP template, it can minimize errors in bookkeeping and send an image of responsibility to potential clients. Lastly, utilizing the IRS mandated WISP Template shows potential clients that they can rely on you to properly handle their taxes year after year.
Regulatory compliance: The WISP template helps tax professionals and businesses comply with federal regulations such as GLBA, FTC, and IRS, which require the establishment of safeguards to protect sensitive information.
Mitigate risks and vulnerabilities: The WISP template guides businesses through a comprehensive risk assessment process, allowing them to identify and mitigate risks and vulnerabilities to their sensitive information.
Enhance customer trust: Completing the WISP template demonstrates to customers that businesses take the protection of their sensitive information seriously, which can enhance trust and confidence in the organization.
Reduce the likelihood of data breaches: The WISP template provides guidance on implementing physical and logical access controls, data encryption, incident response, and employee training, reducing the likelihood of a data breach.
By completing the WISP template, tax professionals and businesses can improve their overall security posture and better protect their sensitive information from potential threats.
Is There An Easy Way to Do The WISP?
You can use the template that we designed that has everything you need to follow the IRS guidelines and be compliant when renewing your PTIN. The free WISP template can be downloaded below.