Terms of Engagement
Our standard terms of engagement applicable to the services we provide are detailed below.
We are grateful to all our clients who engage us to provide taxation and accounting services to them. This section sets out the terms of the engagement, scope of services, and any limitations that apply to the services that we provide.
If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us; we will be pleased to discuss these with you.
The engagement term commences from when we are appointed to act for our clients. For new engagements we will confirm to you the date that the engagement applies from and will detail the Tax periods that we are responsible for. We will not address period which for earlier years unless we are you expressly requested to do so.
We will set out the scope of our services in correspondence provided to our clients in undertaking the assignments. These Terms of Engagement cover the work specified in the scope of services. If there is a change in the terms or scope of the engagement, a change to your management, ownership or structure, a change in the size and nature or your business, or to the laws and regulations applicable to the scope of works, then correspondence may be required to confirm the changes to the scope of services.
The terms of this engagement agreement will apply to all past, present and future engagements unless otherwise agreed.
Scope of services
The services provided will be conducted in accordance with the professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board, the Tax Practitioners Board, and the applicable taxation laws.
Generally, we will provide the following services to our clients. This list is not exhaustive and, where other services are provided, we will set this out in our correspondence related to the relevant assignment.
Scope of services
- Preparation and lodgement of the unaudited special purpose financial statements for the relevant Financial Year.
- Preparation and lodgement of the company income tax return for the relevant Financial Year.
- Preparation and lodgement of the consolidated income tax return for the relevant Financial Year where required.
- Preparation and lodgement of the Business Activity Statements as required.
- Preparation and lodgement of the PAYG annual report as required.
- Preparation and lodgement of the FBT return as required.
- Preparation and lodgement of the taxable payments annual report as required.
- Attendance to Corporate Secretarial Matters as required.
- Provision of general business advice.
- Provision of Taxation advice.
- Provision of Bookkeeping and Accounting services as required and agreed.
The work prepared for the engagement will be prepared for distribution to the signatories and the nominated personnel and for lodgement with the statutory bodies. We take no responsibility for the reliance on the materials produced by any other person or entity.
We will not undertake an independent audit of the financial statements or income tax returns prepared. Our role will be limited to assistance in the compilation of the financial statements and preparation of the relevant taxation returns based on the information and records provided by you. The financial statements prepared will contain an appropriate disclaimer that identifies the extent and limitation of our role. We are entitled to rely on the records provided by you as being both accurate and complete.
While our engagement does not include the audit of your financial statements or income tax returns, we are required by the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 to satisfy ourselves as to the reasonableness of the information and claims being made. The legislation provides the basis for this and may require us to make further enquiries of you from time to time. Where possible, we will endeavour to identify the information required in advance.
Our work cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities, including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may occur.
For any audit engagements, a separate engagement will be issued specific to that entity.
This engagement is limited to the scope of work. From time to time, you may require additional work to be completed other than what is covered by this engagement and request us to complete this for you. Typical areas of additional assistance include tax advice such as advice and assistance with structuring or restructuring your business. This will represent a separate engagement for which a separate correspondence will be provided setting out the scope of services.
Any advice provided is only an opinion based on our knowledge of you and your particular circumstances.
Limitation of liability
The liability of our firm is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. You can find more information on the scheme through the Professional Standards Councils: http://www.psc.gov.au/
Lodgement dates and timeframes
To ensure the efficient completion of your work, it is agreed that all information that is reasonably required will be made available to us in order for us to complete the various engagements agreed.
Some of the agreed work is subject to specific lodgement dates. Our objective is to ensure that all work is completed in time to meet these lodgement dates. Our capacity to complete the work required relies on us receiving the required information within a reasonable time period prior to those due dates (our recommendation is not less than 30 days) and receiving timely answers to any queries raised.
We will agree a work program with you including the dates for both the receipt of work and our completion date.
Rights & obligations
The Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requires us to advise you of your rights and obligations where we are acting for you on taxation matters. In relation to the taxation services provided:
- You are responsible for making all relevant information available to us in a complete and timely manner.
- Australia’s income tax and indirect tax system is based on a self-assessment. The Commissioner is entitled to rely on any statements made. Where those statements are later found to be incorrect, the Commissioner may amend your assessments and, in addition to any tax assessed, you may also be liable for penalties and interest charges. The period of review is up to four years. Where the Commissioner forms an opinion of fraud or evasion, there is no limit for amending assessments.
- You are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information required to comply with the various taxation laws. We will use this information supplied in the preparation of your returns.
- You have an obligation to keep proper records that will substantiate the taxation returns prepared and satisfy the substantiation requirements of the various tax laws for at least 5 years. Failure to keep such records could result in claims being disallowed, additional tax being imposed, and the imposition of penalty or general interest charges.
- Your rights as a taxpayer include:
- The right to seek a private ruling;
- The right to object to an assessment by the Commissioner;
- The right to appeal against an adverse decision by the Commissioner.
Certain time limitations may exist for you to exercise these rights. Should you wish to exercise these rights at any time you should contact us so that we can provide you with the relevant time frames and to discuss any additional requirements that may exist.
We are bound by the Tax Agents Services Act Code of Professional Conduct which includes a duty to act lawfully and in the best interests of our clients, ensure the services we provide are provided competently, maintain our knowledge and skills, take reasonable care in ascertaining the state of your affairs where it is relevant to the work we are completing, and take reasonable care to ensure the tax laws are applied correctly.
Conflicts of interest
Where we become aware of a conflict of interest in our role, we will alert you to this conflict and discuss with you the appropriate action to be taken to resolve this conflict.
Where the conflict cannot be managed, we will advise you that we will not be able to continue to act until the conflict is resolved.
Non-compliance with laws or regulations
Where we suspect there may be non-compliance with laws or regulations, we are required under APES 110 issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board to consider this matter. This may involve making further enquiries, considering the position, and taking what we consider to be appropriate actions, with the objective being to rectify, remediate or mitigate the consequences of the non-compliance. This extends to a public interest duty as defined by APES 110.
Privacy & confidentiality
Our obligation to you
From time to time, we may be asked to provide copies of the financial statements, income tax returns or other information produced in the course of this engagement.
If we are requested to provide this information (including to a third party such as a financial institution), any one person subject to the engagement can provide this authorisation. For example, if one person subject to the engagement requests information regarding the company or individuals involved then we have authority to provide this information to them without seeking further authorisation. We will consider the privacy of other parties in providing this information and, where we consider appropriate, we will obtain the authority of the other affected party before releasing the relevant information.
During the course of this engagement we may collect personal information from you. We will treat as confidential and maintain the confidentiality of all information and records that you provide or disclose to us, and those produced in the course of completing the engagement. This information will only be disclosed to a third party where specific authority has been granted for us to provide this information, or where we are subject to a legal duty or professional obligations under APES 110 to disclose the information.
From time to time our files are subject to review by Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and CPA Australia, which monitors quality control and compliance. By agreeing to the terms of this engagement you agree that files relating to this engagement may be made available under this program if required.
The engagement work will be managed by Glenn Bainbridge and Peter Neville operating under the Tax Agent Number 26178228.
By appointing us to act on your behalf, you confirm that we are authorised to be appointed as Tax Agent for the entities covered by the engagement.
From time to time during the completion of your work, we may engage various staff and/or contract personnel who we consider appropriate for the completion of your work. These personnel will have access to your accounting and taxation records only for the purpose of completing the accounting and taxation engagements agreed. In all cases, these personnel will be subject to our supervision and control.
We utilise third party cloud computing software systems as part of our service delivery to you. We have assessed these service providers and have taken all reasonable measures to protect your privacy.
Where necessary, we may obtain authorisation from you to access your accounting system (for example Xero/MYOB) account with permission levels set by you. This access will be limited to agreed staff members to enable use to fulfill this engagement. Passwords and access will not be shared.
Our firm may utilise software as a service providers and IT Network Support Providers. Where this occurs, we will assess the service providers and their impact on the service provided to you and will take all reasonable measures to protect the integrity of the service provided to you and your privacy.
Our firm may utilise the services of outsourcing services which may be based in Australia or Overseas. We will utilise this service for the basic compilation of data and/or income tax returns. All work is monitored, reviewed, and completed by us. Signing this engagement is an acceptance of the use of our outsourcing service for this engagement.
Treatment of tax refunds
Any tax refunds owing will be directed to the applicable nominated bank account of that entity or individual unless we have been otherwise instructed. The ATO will be advised of the nominated account for the payment of refunds.
Our fees are usually based on hourly rates for staff employed, based on levels of experience required.
Where a fixed fee is arranged and agreed prior to the commencement of the assignment, the fixed fee will apply.
From time to time, there may be work which is outside the scope of the fixed fees. In such instances, this work will be subject to a charge based on our hourly rates. Where possible, we will advise you of any work which is required to be undertaken which may be outside the fixed fee arrangement and will endeavour to provide a quotation prior to the commencement of this work.
Tax Invoices will be issued progressively as work segments are completed under this engagement. Invoices are payable within 14 days.
Our fees assume that the source material provided to us is reliable and useable to complete the engagement. Where there is uncertainty regarding the source material, or the tax or accounting treatments used, then we will raise these issues with you. Rectification of these issues is not included in our fee estimates and will be invoiced in addition to our fee estimates. Where possible, we will provide you with an estimate of the fee involved prior to undertaking this work.
Where you require additional work to be completed beyond the initial engagement then this will represent a separate engagement. We will agree the nature and, where possible, the fee for this work with you prior to commencement.
Where it is necessary for our firm to incur of pocket expenses in relation to the assignment, you agree to reimburse us for these expenses. Where such a reimbursement is required, we will advise you as soon as possible after we become aware of this.
We reserve the right to suspend work where our invoices remain unpaid.
In the event that the fees for this engagement and any other additional work requested remain unpaid, we reserve the right to explore a lien over any documents that we have prepared.
In the event of a dispute, we will seek to resolve this with you. If a resolution cannot be achieved, the parties agree to appoint an independent mediator within 5 days of either party serving a notice of dispute in writing.
Records & working papers
In the course of our engagement, we will prepare various working papers and notes consistent with our internal quality control system. These working papers remain the property of our firm and will be retained by us to support any future queries on work completed. Original source records provided by you to us to assist in the completion of your work will be returned to you at the completion of each engagement. Where appropriate, we may take copies to retain for our client files.
We look forward to working with you. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us by appointing us as your accountants and advisers. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial working relationship.