Professional Engagement – Terms for Accounting Services
We welcome you as a new client of The Tax Accountant - Online (the Firm) and to confirm your understanding of the terms of our engagement and the nature and extent of the services we will provide. It is intended that these terms will apply to all future assignments unless we enter into an alternative arrangement.
We encourage you to read this letter carefully and if you have any queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact our office at your convenience.
Purpose, Scope & Output of the Engagement
This Firm will provide business advisory, accounting and taxation services to yourself and your associated entities as per the service proposal below, which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB). 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. 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 that come to our attention.
Our advice will cover Income Tax and Goods and Service Tax. It will not cover any other taxes such as stamp duty, land tax or payroll tax unless specifically requested by you.
In preparing the returns and any financial statements, we rely upon account descriptions established in your accounting system and as you are aware, we do not undertake an audit of the transactions comprising such accounts nor verify the appropriateness of allocations made. In the event that we identify errors in recording the transactions, we will make the appropriate adjustments and refer these to you, however, due to the complexities involved in the preparation of accounts and tax returns, we rely on you to provide us with all information relevant to the completion of the assignment.
There is no assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our financial reports by any person or entity other than yourself and those parties indicated in the report. The report shall not be inferred or used for any purpose other than for which is was specifically prepared.
On your behalf, we are responsible for lodging any documentation with the relevant authorities and we will continue to provide such documentation to you for your prior approval. We shall endeavour to ensure that these documents are then lodged by the due date, however, this is subject to the source information being received by us, allowing adequate time for preparation, finalisation and lodgement.
A minimum of eight working weeks prior to the due date for lodgement of returns is when our office should receive all necessary information, however, we encourage you to forward the relevant information when requested.
In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or with your express consent.
Your Responsibility for Internal Control Systems
The responsibility for the maintenance of your accounting system and internal control systems rests with you, including protection against fraud, illegal acts and errors. We also wish to confirm that you are responsible for the maintenance and keeping of all books of account, unless we are specifically requested to perform this function as part of our ordinary accounting services.
Our understanding is that no statutory audit of your financial statements will be required. We will process the financial information as presented to us without any review of your primary source documents, on the specific understanding that you have the necessary supporting documentation to satisfy any relevant authority. Accordingly, we are unable to express an opinion as to the accuracy of any financial statements and as you appreciate, our usual form of disclaimer will accompany such financial statements.
In relation to income tax returns, we will continue to advise you of the requirements under the substantiation provisions of the legislation and we are certain you appreciate the existing legislative requirement to maintain bona fide receipts. Nonetheless, all receipts must carry the following details as a minimum:
The name of the supplier (including ABN)
The nature of the goods purchased
The date of the transaction (and the receipt)
The amount of the expense
Our services outside the quoted fees are provided at our standard hourly rates using the time costing method. The rate differs depending on the level of qualifications of the staff member and we charge at 15-minute intervals. We always assign the staff member with the most appropriate level of skill to each engagement/job you provide us, thus charging at their assigned rates.
Current Charge Rates Per Hour *
Partner $400 + GST
Tax Manager $280 + GST
Senior Accountant $220 + GST
Accountant $120 – $180 + GST
Junior Accountant $110 + GST
Annual company corporate management & software fee for all companies – $200 + GST.
as of 1 July 2019, reviewed annually.
We would be pleased to enter into a billing arrangement with you which will enable us to provide you with interim fees over the course of the year. For example, monthly or quarterly fees based on the total year estimated fee could be issued regularly in order to relieve the cash flow burden that lump sum fees can sometimes create.
We extend a seven (7) day period from the date of invoice within which our clients may settle their fees. Please note that interest may be charged upon unpaid fees and disbursement costs if they remain unpaid for 30 days from the date of the invoice. Such interest will be charged at the rate currently specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the Cash Target Rate, increased by 2 percentage points.
Ownership of Documents
All original documents obtained from the client arising from the engagement shall remain the property of the client, however, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.
Our engagement will result in the production of income tax returns or financial statements and 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.
The Firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute. The firm has also established dispute resolution processes.
You or the Firm may terminate this engagement upon 7 days written notice to the other party.
If this engagement is terminated, or you transfer your engagement to another firm or cease to engage the Firm, the Firm will forward an account for fees for work done to date. You agree to pay the Firm’s fees and any disbursements incurred within 7 days from the invoice date.
Limitation of Liability
Our liability may be limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Further information on schemes is available from the Professional Standards Councils’ website: http://www.psc.gov.au
We maintain a separate trust account for dealing with all money received from you or on your behalf from the ATO, except for amounts received from you in payment of our fees. We may apply these funds in payment of our bill if your bill is outstanding at the time we receive funds on your behalf.
Confirmation of Terms
By ticking that you agree to the terms of the engagement, you agree and confirm your understanding of the terms of the engagement. This letter will be effective for future years unless we advise you of any change.
In the absence of any further discussions or correspondence, we would consider that this reflects the principal terms of our engagement to act as your Accountants. Should you wish to discuss any aspect of these terms, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
We hope you accept our proposal and look forward to working with you in the future.
The Tax Accountant - Online