Terms and Conditions
Terms of Engagement
This Agreement (“Agreement”) is constituted by these Terms and any other later document that we advise you becomes part of or varies this Agreement. These Terms confirm our understanding of the nature and the limitations of the services we will provide.
A. PURPOSE OF THE ENGAGEMENT
A.1 We agree to provide the services listed in the above proposal.
A.2 If you require any services or advice in ADDITION to those listed in the above proposal, we will provide you with an up-front quote for the additional price for these services before we begin our work. (refer to B.2)
B.1. MONTHLY FIXED PRICE AGREEMENT – PAYMENT TERMS
These terms outline below in section B.1 relate specifically to Monthly Fixed Fee Agreements:
B.1.a The price for our monthly fixed fee packages of services is established with you in advance. This way there are no surprises for you.
B.1.b The price for our monthly fixed fee packages services listed in the above proposal are set for the specified period/financial year and broken down into monthly instalment payments from the time of signing the proposal.
B.1.c You can contact us any time for advice on ad hoc matters in relation to the services set out in your fixed fee package, knowing that we won’t charge you an additional amount for that advice. This is subject to the understanding that if an occasion of service exceeds 30 minutes, you will be charged but only after we have consulted with you and only if you feel that you received value from the consultation.
B.1.d To assure that our arrangement remains responsive to your needs, as well as fair to both parties, we will meet throughout the year and, if necessary, revise or adjust the scope of the services to be provided and the prices to be charged in light of mutual experience.
B.1.e It is understood that either party may terminate this Agreement at any time, for any reason, within 30 days of written notice to the other party.
B.1.f A Dishonor Fee of $16.50 ($15 ex GST) will become payable in the event that your cheque payment is dishonored. The dishonor Fee applies to each payment which has been attempted to be made and may be dishonored due to unavailable funds in your account or the account has been cancelled.
B.2. OUTSIDE OF SCOPE SERVICES
B.2.a The scope of this agreed to engagement is limited to the performance of the services listed in the engagement letter.
B.2.b Where these additional services are requested (which are outside the scope of our normal engagement), we will generally provide a brief written confirmation by letter or email of your instructions (“Confirmation Letter”) or by verbal agreement between the parties, before we deliver the advice. Our price will be charged in accordance with the agreement made between you and us.
B.2.c If an unanticipated need arises, we agree to perform this work at a mutually agreed upon price before the service is provided.
C. AMENDMENT TO PRICE TERMS
C.1 Our price estimate is based upon the information you have provided to us about your current financial circumstances. Factors that can increase this price estimate include the following:
C.2 We will notify you immediately if we become aware of any of the above factors that would lead to a price amendment, and we will request that you confirm in writing or e-mail to us that you agree to this amended price increase.
C.3 It is understood that either party may terminate this Agreement at any time, for any reason, within 30 days of written notice to the other party. It is understood that any unpaid services that are outstanding at the date of termination are then payable in full within 14 days.
C.4 A Dishonor Fee of $16.50 ($15 ex GST) will become payable in the event that your cheque payment is dishonored. The dishonor Fee applies to each payment which has been attempted to be made and may be dishonored due to unavailable funds in your account or the account has been cancelled.
D. SCOPE OF OUR SERVICES
D.1 We will provide the above services 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 will be limited exclusively for this purpose. 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.
D.2 Our professional services are conducted, and the financial reports will be prepared for distribution to the relevant specific organisation or party for the purpose specified in the report or as agreed. We disclaim any assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our professional services to any party other than as specified or agreed, and for the purpose which it was prepared. Where appropriate, our report will contain a disclaimer to this effect.
D.3 Our advice may cover income tax and Goods and Services Tax. It will not cover any other taxes such as stamp duty, land tax, or payroll tax, unless otherwise stated. The scope of our engagement will be limited to the performance of the services listed above.
D.4 Please note that this assignment does not include an audit, a review of internal controls, or a review of your accounting system. It may not disclose fraud defalcations or other irregularities that may occur, and we advise that our usual compilation report will be attached to the completed documents. However, we will bring to your attention any items noted in the course of our work.
D.5 In the event of an Australian Tax Office (ATO) audit, this engagement does not cover our services, required to deal with and close the audit. We recommend that you take out audit insurance.
In addition to our pricing, you will be responsible for payment of expenses which we incur on your behalf (together with the GST that we pay in relation to such expenses as set out below).
We will act as your agents in incurring those disbursements. You will therefore technically be primarily liable to pay the account to the supplier. Under this agency relationship, you will receive the benefit of any concessional GST treatment of any part of the disbursement. Where GST is payable on some or all of a supply acquired by us as your agent, we will forward you the tax invoice and you will be entitled to claim the input credits directly if you have an ABN and are entitled to claim input tax credits. For disbursements incurred in this matter we may, in some cases, require that you provide us with separate cheques for the relevant amounts to be paid directly to the relevant government body or supplier. For all other disbursements (couriers, searches, photocopying, etc.) the treatment will be the same as for our pricing – this firm will incur the costs at first instance and invoice them on to you after making allowance for any GST input tax credits received by us on the acquisition.
F. YOUR DISCLOSURE & RECORD KEEPING OBLIGATIONS
F.1 You are required by law to keep full and accurate records relating to your tax affairs.
F.2 It is your obligation to provide us with all information that you reasonably expect will be necessary to allow us to perform work specified 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 10 working days. Inaccurate, incomplete, or late information could have a material effect on our services and/or our conclusions and may result in additional fees.
F.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.
F.4 By accepting the terms in this Agreement, 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.
F.5 The Taxation Administration Act 1953 contains specific provisions that may provide you with “safe harbors” 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. 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 harbor” provisions and will be taken into account in determining the extent to which we have discharged our obligations to you.
F.6 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. Some examples of events which could give rise to a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest during this engagement are changes to your business circumstances, events affecting your family (e.g. death and/or marriage breakdown) or a legal action commencing against you.
F.7 We will endeavor to ensure that the returns are lodged by the due dates. If you are late in providing information, we will do our best to meet the time limits, but we will not be responsible for any late lodgement penalties and interest charges you may incur.
G. YOUR RIGHTS & OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE TAXATION LAWS
G.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 while we provide our service to you. 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.
H. OUR OBLIGATION TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW
H.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. For example, we cannot lodge a Business Activity Statement for you that we know to be false in a material respect.
H.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 operation of these arrangements depends, in part, on you complying with your obligation to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to us (see section D above).
H.3 Our advice and/or services will be based on Australian taxation laws 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.
I.1 We will not disclose any information relating to your affairs to any third party without your consent, unless required by law. We may disclose this information related entities and associated entities within the Ascend Accounting and Advisory. You may provide us with permission to disclose your confidential information in certain circumstances, or place conditions on the disclosure of certain confidential information.
J. OWNERSHIP OF DOCUMENTS
J.1 All original documents obtained from you arising from this engagement will remain your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.
J.2 Our engagement may result in the production of Business Activity statement and Instalment Activity Statements, including electronic documents or files which will be supplied to you. Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain our property, subject to any statutory obligations.
J.3 You must not provide a report or advice document provided by us, or copies of it, to any third party without first obtaining our written consent. Such consent will only be granted on the terms we deem appropriate which will include that we accept no duty or responsibility to any other party who may seek to rely on our report. In some cases, appropriate releases from third parties may be required.
J.4 We will exercise a legal right of lien over any of your documents in our possession in the event of a dispute between us. We also have established dispute resolution processes, details of which are available on request.
M. DIRECTOR’S INDEMNITY
M.1 In the event that the entity invoiced by us for our services is unable to discharge its liabilities to us, then the entity’s Directors or Trustees agree to personally indemnify us and hold us harmless for any such liability.
N. YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS
N.1 At any time prior to the acceptance of the Terms of Engagement, you may provide us with your comments regarding the terms and raise any concerns that you may have with us. We will give full consideration to your comments and will negotiate with you to formulate acceptable amendments where possible. If you agree with these terms, please sign below.
N.2. You acknowledge that you:
Collection of Personal Information
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.
Reliance on information provided to us
Our work will be based solely on the information provided, the circumstances made known to us and the assumptions set out in our correspondence. We rely on you bringing to our attention as soon as possible any changes in the information as originally presented as it may impact on our advice.
Disclosure to our group entities
In the course of providing the services we may, at our discretion, use the resources, knowledge and information of our related entities and associated entities within the Ascend Accounting and Advisory or third-party service providers. Information, which may include personal information, may be required to be transferred to such parties. You consent to such transfer.
Indemnity against third-party liability
You shall indemnify us and hold us harmless, including our directors, employees, associates and contractors, from and against any loss, expense, damage or liabilities (or actions that may be asserted by any third party) that may result from any third party claims arising out of or in relation to the provision of the services or any use by you of any deliverable item under this engagement and you will reimburse us for all costs and expenses (including legal fees on a solicitor client basis) incurred by us in connection with any such action or claim.
This letter and any accompanying proposal or engagement document forms the entire agreement between us relating to the services. It replaces and supersedes any previous proposals, correspondence, understandings, or other communications whether written or oral.
Should circumstances change and we are no longer permitted to provide a service to you because of auditor independence rules or legislation, we reserve the right to vary our engagement letter with your agreement so that we and you would not be in breach of such rules or legislation or to terminate the relevant services. Where an engagement is terminated for these reasons, you will pay for all services provided up to the date of termination.
Notices to produce documents
If we receive any legally enforceable notice or demand issued by a third party, including the Australian Securities & Investment Commission, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Stock Exchange, any government statutory body or instrumentality, or any court or tribunal in relation to or in connection with the services you agree to pay our reasonable professional costs and expenses (including solicitor client expenses) in complying with or challenging any such notice or demand to the extent that our costs and expenses are not recovered or recoverable from the party issuing the notice or demand.
Neither of us will be liable to the other for any delay or failure to fulfil their obligations under this Agreement to the extent that any such delay or failure arises from causes beyond our respective control, including but not limited to fire, floods, acts of God, acts of regulations of any governmental or supranational authority, war, riot, terrorist activities, strikes, lockouts and industrial disputes.