Terms & Conditions of Engagement
This document outlines our standard terms and conditions which set out the basis upon which we will act for you.
1 Scope and objectives of the Engagement
1.1 The scope of our engagement is set out in the Engagement Letter that accompanied these terms and conditions.
1.2 We consider that we have the necessary expertise to perform the services covered by our engagement. However, any changes to the scope of our engagement may require us to reconsider the terms of our engagement and/or make new arrangements with you.
1.3 The extent of our procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only. As a result, no audit or review will be performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed.
1.4 If the scope does not meet your requirements or you would like to discuss the scope with us further, please contact our office on 02 4365 6789.
2 Nature and Limitations
2.1 We will rely on you for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us and you are solely responsible to users of special purpose financial reports compiled by us. This includes responsibility for the maintenance of adequate accounting records and adequate internal control structure.
2.2 Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters which may come to our attention.
2.3 The special purpose financial report will be prepared exclusively for your benefit and for the purpose specified to us by you. We will not accept responsibility to any other person for the contents of the financial report.
2.4 Nothing in this letter excludes the operation of the Trade Practices Act 1974 or analogous provisions of State and Territory Fair Trading Acts to the extent that they may be applicable.
3 Your disclosure and record keeping obligations
3.1 You are required by law to keep full and accurate records relating to your tax affairs.
3.2 It is your obligation to provide us with all information that you reasonably expect will be necessary to allow us to perform work contemplated under this engagement within a timely manner or as requested. This includes providing accurate and complete responses to questions asked of you by us within a reasonable timeframe. Inaccurate, incomplete or late information could have a material effect on our services and/or our conclusions and may result in additional fees, late lodgement penalties and general interest charges. We will not verify the underlying accuracy or completeness of information you provide to us.
3.3 You are also required to advise us on a timely basis if there are any changes to your circumstances that may be relevant to the performance of our services. Specifically, if any subsequent event results in the information you provided to us being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, then you are obliged to advise us as soon as possible. We take no responsibility to the extent that our advice is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading because it is based on inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information being provided to us.
3.4 By accepting the terms of this letter, you will be taken to have agreed that the performance of our services is dependent on the performance of your obligations relating to disclosure and record keeping.
3.5 You are responsible for ensuring that the business activities of your company, trust, partnership or sole trader are conducted in accordance with laws and regulations. You are also responsible for identifying and addressing any non-compliance by your company, trust, partnership or sole trader, by an individual charged with governance of the entity, by a member of management, or by other individuals working for or under the direction of the entity.
3.6 The Taxation Administration Act 1953 contains specific provisions that may provide you with “safe harbours” from administrative penalties for incorrect or late lodgement of returns if, amongst other things, you give us “all relevant taxation information” in a timely manner (the safe harbor provisions apply from 1 March 2010). Accordingly, it is to your advantage that all relevant information is disclosed to us as any failure by you to provide this information may affect your ability to rely on the “safe harbour” provisions and will be taken into account in determining the extent to which we have discharged our obligations to you.
3.7 You are also required to advise us if you become aware of any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest. Generally, a conflict of interest is any event which may result in us becoming unable to remain objective in the performance of our services to you.
4 Your rights and obligations under the taxation laws
4.1 You have certain rights under the taxation laws, including the right to seek a private ruling from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or to appeal or object against a decision made by the Commissioner. As relevant, we will provide further information to you concerning your rights under the Australian taxation laws during the conduct of the engagement contemplated by this letter.
4.2 You also have certain obligations under the Australian taxation laws, such as the obligation to keep proper records and the obligation to lodge returns by the due date.
4.3 A taxpayer is responsible under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to four (4) years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.
5 Our obligation to comply with the law
5.1 We have a duty to act in your best interests. However, the duty to act in your best interests is subject to an overriding obligation to comply with the law even if that may require us to act in a manner that may be contrary to your interests.
5.2 We also have an obligation to ensure that we manage conflicts of interest as they arise. In this regard, we have arrangements in place to ensure that we manage potential or actual conflicts of interest. The effective operations of these arrangements depend, in part, on you complying with your obligation to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to us.
5.3 Unless otherwise stated, this opinion is based on the Australian tax law in force and the practice of the Australian Taxation Office (the ATO) applicable as at the date of this letter.
5.4 Our advice and/or services will be based on Australian taxation law in force at the date of the provision of the advice and/or services. It is your responsibility to seek updated advice if you intend to rely on our advice at a later stage. We note that Australian taxation laws are often subject to frequent change and our advice will not be updated unless specifically requested by you at the time of the change in law or announced change in law.
6 Confidentiality & Responsibilities
6.1 We will not disclose any information relating to your affairs to any third party without your consent, unless required or allowed for by law or regulations, or we determine that disclosure of the non-compliance or suspected noncompliance to an appropriate authority is an appropriate course of action in the circumstances. You may provide us with permission to disclose your confidential information in certain circumstances, or place conditions on the disclosure of certain confidential information. If you do so, we will have permission to disclose the relevant information accordingly, in the performance of our services, unless you instruct us otherwise in writing.
6.2 We wish to draw your attention to our firm’s system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting our engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will advise you.
6.3 Clients are required to arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant individuals and documents, and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us.
6.4 We may collect Personal Information about you, your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you. If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet the obligations that we each may have under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended) (Privacy Act). The obligations may include notifying the relevant person to whom the personal information relates who we are and how we propose to use their personal information. Where you have collected personal information, you confirm that you have collected the personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act, that you are entitled to provide this personal information to us and that we may use and disclose the personal information for the purpose/s we provide our services to you. We will handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
7 Storage of Information
7.1 By signing this letter and accepting these services you acknowledge and agree that your personal information may be stored overseas.
7.2 You acknowledge that we utilise cloud computing services provided by Microsoft, DropBox, Xero, Intuit, Reckon Hosted, MYOB and BGL Corp. These providers use data centres located in Australia, United States, Netherlands, Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong.
8.1 During our performance of the Services we may wish to send messages and/or documents to each other by email. As e-mail carries with it the possibility of inadvertent misdirection, or non-delivery of confidential material, unless you notify us otherwise you consent to the use of e-mail in accordance with this clause.
8.2 Where messages are sent by e-mail, we will adopt the following procedures and require you to do likewise:
1. If sending a confidential e-mail message, the sender will indicate if a response is not wanted in an electronic form. All risks connected with sending by e-mail commercially sensitive information relating to your business are borne by you and are not our responsibility. If you do not accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication.
2. Both parties will carry out procedures to protect integrity of data, in particular, it is the recipient’s responsibility to carry out a virus check on any attachments before launching any documents, whether received on disk or otherwise.
9 Ownership of Documents
9.1 All original documents obtained from you arising from the engagement shall remain your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.
9.2 Our engagement will result in the production of income tax returns and financial statements. Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of the firm, subject to any statutory obligations.
10.1 Our fees, which may be billed as work progresses are based on the time required by the individuals assigned to the engagement plus direct out of pocket expenses. The hourly rates charged by us vary per hour depending upon the level of staff assigned to complete the work. These rates may change from time to time.
10.2 Our standard terms of trade are payment prior to lodgement of your documents. However, we may offer clients 14 day payment terms for particular services. Please refer to our engagement letter / invoice for further information.
10.3 If any fee account rendered by us remains unpaid, you agree that we have the right to a lien over any of your books and records that we may be holding and further agree that we retain the right to such lien, until the fee account has been paid or settled to our satisfaction.
10.4 Any invoices and statements that are addressed in the entity’s name are the responsibility of the office bearers to which each director gives their personal guarantee to pay these accounts. The office bearers provide a personal guarantee to Kennedy Barnden Chartered Accountants or associated entities, in which the business trades to pay any outstanding account that is derived in either their personal name or the name of any company, partnership, trust, self-managed super fund, or non-profit organisation that they are either a director, member, trustee or partner. Any office bearer will be equally and severally liable to pay the accounts of company, trust, self-managed super fund, partnership, or non-profit organisation to which they are involved partial or in full.
10.5 Furthermore, the partner, director, trustee, member/trustee will be equally and severally liable to pay the accounts of company, trust, self-managed super fund, partnership, or non-profit organisation including any and all legal cost in pursuing the matter through either a debt recovery agency or solicitor. The amount recoverable will be the full amount of the account less any discounts provided plus the total account of solicitor or debt recovery costs including all court costs. In simple terms, the full account of our service will be claimable plus any legal recovery cost incurred in pursuant of our debt and interest may be charged at the Firm’s discretion (up to 1% per month).
11 Limitation of Liability Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Further information on the scheme is available from the Professional Standards Council www.psc.gov.au