TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
Boutique Accounting House (“BAH”) wish to thank you for our appointment as accountants and tax agents.
This letter is effective for services performed for the current annual reporting period and each subsequent reporting period unless otherwise agreed in writing. Throughout preliminary work for the entity if additional services or lodgements are required prior to the current year ended we will contact you.
This letter sets out our terms of engagement and the scope of the work to be performed by us within that engagement. Once you have had an opportunity to review our engagement terms, and assuming our terms are consistent with your expectations, please have the relevant signatories’ sign electronically. Once received, it will be held on your client file. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact us and we will be pleased to discuss these with you. Please refer above for services of this engagement.
In providing these services, it is agreed that we will not be undertaking any 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 to us. 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 as being both accurate and complete. We will provide these services, which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB).
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 in the income tax returns. The legislation provides the basis for this and may require us to make further enquiries of you or other nominated representatives of the company from time to time in relation to your taxation returns. Where possible, we will endeavour to identify the information that will be required in advance.
Each business entity and adult family member listed in the Schedule engages us on the terms set out in this letter and is bound by those terms. The business entities and adult family members listed are all jointly and severally liable to pay our accounts, regardless of which of the listed individuals or entities those accounts are addressed to and regardless of which the listed individuals or entities received the benefit of the work performed.
To ensure the efficient completion of your work, it is agreed that all information that is reasonably required will be made available 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 is reliant on us receiving the work 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.
From time to time, you may require additional work to be completed other than what is described in this engagement letter and request us to complete this for you. In this instance these additional services will not be covered under the fee proposal outlined below and we will contact you to assess the work required and the fee attached.
Your Obligations & Rights
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 subject to the self-assessment system in relation to any of your income tax returns. The Commissioner is entitled to rely on any statements made in your income tax returns. Where those statements are later found to be incorrect, the Commissioner may amend your income tax assessments and, in addition to any tax assessed, you may also be liable for penalties and interest charges.
- You have an obligation to keep proper records that will substantiate the taxation returns prepared and which will satisfy the substantiation requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act. Failure to keep such records could result in claims being disallowed, additional tax being imposed, and the imposition of penalty or general interest charges.
- 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.
- 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 which may exist.
We will treat as confidential and maintain the confidentiality of all information and records that you provide to us. 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 to disclose the information.
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.
Please do not hesitate to contact us on (07) 5613 1070 if you have any queries or require further assistance.
Telephone Calls / Email Responses
You can expect a return telephone phone call and a response to an email within 24 hours, if not the same day, of contacting our office. If you have an urgent query, please call (07) 5613 1070 and leave a detailed message as well as an email to as both these forms of communication will be checked consistently.
The expected turnaround time on work undertaken on your file will be governed primarily by lodgement due dates as set by the Australian Taxation Office. For year-end compliance and taxation preparation a maximum of eight weeks turnaround time is the benchmark set for completion of files on receipt of full and complete information required finalising the file, however this may change depending on work / client priorities. Any change to this or any other advised completion date will be communicated to you in advance.
Acceptance of instructions by email
It is our general policy that instructions will not be accepted by way of email correspondence. We say this as accepting instructions by email, particularly in respect of litigious matters, brings to the forefront issues such as identification of the author of the written instructions and the authenticity of those instructions, not to mention the practical features which flow from such communication including your ability to confirm that such instructions have been received by us. That being said, we will of course accept written instructions from you which are communicated to us by way of a PDF document signed on your behalf and sent as an attachment to an email. Whilst we are so willing to act, any risk associated with non-delivery of such email instructions lies with you. Obviously, instructions may be provided to us by way of telephone or if need be, by way of conference, letter or facsimile transmission.
In the event that a dispute arises in respect of services provided, invoices or any other matter, it is requested that all complaints be made in writing so that the partner can review the matter in full and decide on the appropriate course of action. A response will be provided within 14 days of receipt of the written complaint.
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 *identify the output documents of the engagement including, if applicable, electronic documents or files, which will be supplied to the client, such as income tax returns or 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.
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.
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 CPA Australia & Chartered Accountants Australia & 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.
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.
You are responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, particulars and information provided and disclosure of all material and relevant information. You 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. Any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances. You or your staff are responsible for the maintenance of an adequate accounting and internal control system. You have obligations under self assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns. It is your responsibility to keep those records for five (5) years.
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 Councils’ website: psc.gov.au.
Storage of Personal Information
By signing this letter and accepting these services you acknowledge and agree that your personal information may be stored overseas. Please note that we have extremely high level of security in place to ensure your personal information is stored securely.
Australian Taxation Office Communication
By signing this agreement I give express written authority to Boutique Accounting House Pty Ltd to designate their preferred address(es) for service for ATO communications for all my associated businesses, family members & associates. I understand and have received explanation that some ATO communications may be sent or retrieved digitally and others will be sent by post.
Our commitment to being responsible data custodians
We are committed to being responsible data custodians, protecting your privacy and ensuring that your personal information does not get misused. We take our obligations to you seriously and understand how important it is that your personal information is kept secure and not disclosed to any unauthorised entities or used for any unauthorised purposes. We also understand and respect that, in the event of a notifiable data breach, you are entitled to be made aware of this breach so you can take appropriate actions to protect yourself.
The measures we can put in place to protect your personal information and data include (but are not limited to):
The ability to apply two step (2SA) authentication to access across all sensitive applications (not on an application by application basis)
Restriction of remote access to specific locations and/or block overseas access to our systems
Track and monitors attempted access to our systems and identify suspicious activity
Log usage in an audit trail and retrospectively determine the suspected source of a breach to report to authorities. With this tool we can see what applications were accessed, when they were accessed and from where.
Terminate user access to all sensitive cloud applications by disabling a single user account
Remotely wipe mobile devices in the event they’re breached, lost or the user associated with the device is terminated We can restrict access to reasonable times such as business hours
We are able to share access to applications using a single user ID without having to divulge cloud app passwords to staff
Our staff only need to remember one single password to all sensitive applications decreasing the risk associated with ‘password sprawl’
The ability to federate our identity systems so that access to desktops, servers and browser-based cloud applications are accessed via one single identity.
We have policies and documentation in place that:
Educates and sets expectations on best practice password and access management to staff in the form of an IT and Internet usage policy.
Third party access agreements that govern and limit liability in the event a third party such as an IT contractor or outsourced provider should breach our data security policies
A data breach response plan that lays out the steps we take in the event of a breach and communicates our obligations under the Notifiable Breach Legislation
A specialist data security legal service contracted to support us in the event of a breach to ensure the appropriate remediation and notification steps are taken.
A retainer-based engagement with a specialist cyber-security firm that provides guidance and best practice systems to protect our clients’ privacy
This cloud best practice certification that validates our firm as a responsible data custodian
We thank you for the opportunity to provide accounting and taxation services to you and your business and we look forward to developing a close accounting relationship with you for many years to come.
"Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation”