These standard terms and conditions are to be read in conjunctions with our engagement letter provided to you. They apply to all services that we perform for you. The letter and the terms and conditions are referred to as “this agreement”.
Purpose, scope and output – Compilation services
For compilation services which are required, our procedures use accounting expertise to collect, classify and summarise the financial information, which you provide, into a financial report. Our procedures will not include verification or validation procedures. We understand that neither an audit nor formal review of the financial statements is required and, accordingly no assurance will be expressed. If you would like to extend the terms of our engagement to include an audit or review function, we are happy to discuss the matter with you further.
As mentioned above, 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.
The information will be prepared in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and other mandatory professional reporting obligations where applicable. Any known departures from this financial reporting framework will be disclosed within the financial report, and when considered necessary, will be mentioned in our compilation report.
If for any reason, we are unable to complete the compilation of your special purpose financial report, or we consider the information to be misleading, we may refer to such matters within our compilation report or may determine not to issue a report.
The timely completion of the services requires your cooperation in the provision of information, documents and resources relevant to the Services. Estimates of time for completion of Services are given on the assumption that we receive this cooperation. We may charge additional fees and expenses which result from the delays in providing this cooperation.
We advise and you acknowledge that:
(a) You are responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, and for all particulars and information provided to us
(b) You warrant the ongoing timely disclosure of all material and relevant information to us
(c) Any advice given to you is only an opinion based on the actual knowledge of your circumstances; and
(d) Taxpayers have obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns.
Income tax returns
All income tax returns are subject to examination by the Australian Taxation Office. You may be requested to produce documents, records or other evidence to substantiate items shown on the income tax returns.
The preparation of your income tax return does not constitute a prudential tax audit and cannot be relied upon as such. The onus is on you, the tax payer to self-assess and there are substantial penalties for incorrect returns. You should carefully review the income tax return to ensure that items shown are accurately stated so that any necessary corrections can be made.
Where we attend to payroll services on your behalf, you acknowledge that all staffing matters including pay rates and conditions comply with the Fair Work Act 2009 as well as relevant National Employment Standards and Awards.
Confidentiality & privacy
In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements and the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (as amended).
We collect and store your personal information primarily for the purposes of providing professional services to you and effectively managing our business relationship. Your personal information will not be disclosed by us to other parties without your express consent, except for the purpose of performing services we are engaged to perform by you (see contractors below), as required by law or for market research purposes.
Our files may, however, be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting this agreement 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.
We take security measures to protect the personal information we hold by maintaining physical electronic and procedural safeguards. By signing this letter and accepting these services you acknowledge and agree that your personal information may be stored overseas.
Your information and contractors
Our firm may from time to time use the services of third party contractors to perform some of the services we are engaged to perform for you. You hereby authorise us to disclose information to such third-party contractors as we may choose to engage to perform such work.
Where we use the services of third party contractors, we are nevertheless responsible for the conduct and activities of those contractors and for the delivery of the services we are engaged to perform for you.
From time to time our firm and our third-party contractors may engage external IT service providers (including ‘cloud computing’ services) in the performance of services under this engagement. You hereby authorise us and our third-party contractors to disclose your information to such external IT service providers as we or our third-party contractors may choose to engage.
This agreement, the contract arising from it and all aspects of our engagement, as well as the performance of our work are governed by the law of New South Wales and you agree to be bound by the laws of New South Wales.
Both you and we irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of New South Wales, notwithstanding that your activities or any part of the work we do or your acceptance of these terms of engagement may be or take place outside the State of New South Wales.
Limitation of Liability
Under the Professional Standards Legislation and the Scheme approved under that Act, the liability of the firm, its directors, associates and employees or contractors is limited to a maximum sum of $2 million including without limitation liability for negligence, where the fee for the engagement is up to $100,000 or such higher amount as prescribed.
Accordingly, you agree to the aforementioned and to release and indemnify the firm, its directors, associates and employees or contractors from all claims arising from or connected with the performance or purported performance of any services arising from or connected with our engagement to the extent any such claim or claims made exceed such limit.
A copy of the Act and Scheme are available on from the Professional Standards Council www.psc.gov.au or by directly contacting the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ).
Nothing in our agreement with you excludes the operation of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) or analogous provisions of State and Territory Fair Trading Acts to the extent that they may be applicable.
Nothing produced by this firm, its directors, its employees or contractors is to be made available by you to other than your own employees in any way whatsoever without our written permission and, in any event, we accept no responsibility to any third party. You agree and undertake that you will make the provisions as to limitation of liability known to anyone, including your own employees, to whom you may disclose anything produced by us pursuant to our engagement.
We agree that each of the promises and undertakings given in this agreement are independent from one another and severable.
Our fees, which will be billed as the work progresses, are based on the time required by the individuals assigned to the engagement plus direct out of pocket expenses.
We may incur disbursements and expenses on your behalf which we may ask you to pay in advance including government fees and charges, overseas telephone calls, postage and courier charges, application, filing and registration fees and he fees, disbursements & expenses of experts and other service providers.
We will obtain your approval before incurring any extraordinary expenses other than in cases of urgency.
The terms of the payment of all bills rendered by this firm are 7 days from invoice. Alternatively, we can establish monthly payment terms of an amount that will be agreed with you, directly by way of electronic transfer. Please contact this office should this be your preference.
We may require you from time to time to pay us money in advance towards our estimated costs and/or disbursements.
All rates, charges, expenses etc in this document are GST exclusive unless otherwise state. Where the service provided is subject to GST, GST at the prescribed rate will be added and charged to you, and you agree to payment of same.
Interest on unpaid costs
If our costs are not paid with thirty (30) days of receipt by you of our bill of costs, we may charge you interest at the Reserve Bank of Australia published Cash Target Rate increased by 2 percentage points. You acknowledge that this is reasonable.
Termination of the agreement
We will use our discretion to discontinue the work in the following circumstances:
- If you fail to pay our bills;
- If you fail to provide us with adequate instructions within a reasonable time;
- If you give instructions that are deliberately false or intentionally misleading;
- If we, on reasonable grounds, believe that we may have a conflict of interest, or if you indicate to us that we have lost your confidence;
- If you fail to provide money on account in the amount requested by us within the time stipulated for payment, which shall not be less than fourteen (14) days after the request is made of you (unless special alternative arrangements are made with us prior to the due date);
- For other just cause.
We will provide notice of our intention to terminate our agreement, and of the grounds on which the notice is based. You may terminate this agreement at any time.
If the agreement is terminated either by you or us, you will be required to pay our professional fees and charges for work done, and for expenses and disbursements incurred, up to the date of termination. For lump sum fee matters, you must pay the part of our lump sum fee that we reasonably estimate has been incurred in respect of the services provided to you up to the date of termination, plus charges, expenses and disbursements, subject to your right to a costs assessment.
On termination, we are entitled to retain possession of your papers and documents while there is money owing to us for our charges and expenses, unless and until satisfactory security is provided for our costs.
Avoiding conflicts of interest
We may act for clients who may compete with or, more rarely, may even be involved in business with you. Naturally, we will continue to represent those clients or new clients in matters that are not substantially related to work we are engaged to perform for you.
We will not disclose or use any confidential information you may disclose to us in the course of our working for you except where required in the course of our acting for you.
While we will take care in performing services under our retainer, if any loss or damage is suffered partly as a result of our fault and partly as a result of your own fault, any claim for damages for breach of contract will be reduced, as if the claim was in negligence, to the extent that is just and equitable, having regard to your share of responsibility for the loss or damage in question.
We may communicate with you via E-mail for the transmission of all correspondence, documents and advices, where appropriate, unless we are specifically requested by you not to do so. Because E-mail is not secure and may be read, copied or interfered with in transit or impaired, you agree to assume the risks associated with transmission and to release us from any claim you may have arising from transmission defects.
We own the copyright and all other intellectual property rights in everything we create in connection with your matter. Unless we agree otherwise, what we create may be used by you only for the matter for which we create it.
If you provide anything to us (for example, a document for amendment or use as a precedent) you warrant that our use of it for your matter will not infringe any other person’s intellectual property rights.
Involvement of others
Where are part of our engagement, the services of an external consultant or expert are required, as estimated cost and timeframe and involvement will be provided to you for your approval.
Retention of your documents
Your files will be archived and kept in storage for no more than seven (7) years after the date of our final account rendered by us in respect to the particular matter, after which date you acknowledge that we are authorised to destroy the files (unless you instruct us to the contrary). Archived files are stored off-site in leased premises operated and maintained by a reputable security company. You will not be charged the costs of storage, however, should you require to have your file retrieved a standard fee may be payable by you and should you wish to take possession of the file at any time prior to expiration of the storage period, the reasonable photocopying costs of duplicating your file may be payable by you in addition to the standard retrieval fee. Important original documents will be retained in safe custody or returned as you may direct. Documents are stored at your risk, and you are strongly encouraged to make your own insurance arrangements to cover the perceived value of the relevant documents.
More than one client
If there is more than one person or entity covered by an engagement letter, all such persons and entities agree that each is authorised to instruct us and that each is jointly and severally liable for our costs and disbursements.
You also acknowledge the disclosure of information across the aforementioned persons and entities to assist in performance of our work.
These Standard Terms and Conditions, together with the engagement letter, will be effective for services provided in future years, unless we both agree in writing upon any change to the arrangement.
You acknowledge that you have had the opportunity to obtain any necessary independent advice to ensure that you fully understand this agreement.