These terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with our engagement letter and provide some general information to supplement the tailored information in the engagement letter.
In the course of conducting our engagements, any information acquired by us, including any information relating to your affairs whether it belongs to you or not or is provided by you or not, 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.
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 the Institute of Public Accountants 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.
This practice uses Microsoft One Drive to store client records and other practice information. This provides a constant backup of data and access to data in the event of local computer failure. It also enables us to share information with you in a private, password-protected folder rather than sending it via an unsecure email. At the time of writing (August 2019), Microsoft OneDrive data storage for Australian clients was located within Australia. If you require more information on Microsoft’s data storage policies, it can be found at their website.
In addition to OneDrive, we also use BGL SF360 and BGL CAS360 to look after our self-managed superannuation funds and company ASIC compliance respectively. BGL is an Australian company that uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host its applications. More information on BGL’s data storage and security can be found in their subscription agreement.
Our electronic signature software is Adobe Sign. Electronic signatures are accepted by the ATO and for signing most ASIC documents. Using this allows us to email documents to you for fast approval and signing and saves you unnecessary trips to drop off paperwork. Adobe’s privacy and security policies can be found here.
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 maintaining and regularly balancing all books of accounts, and 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.
A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to four (4) years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.
Where the application of a taxation law to your particular circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way a taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all of the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what you actually do the private ruling is ineffective.
If you rely on a private ruling you have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where you disagree with the decision in the private ruling you can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Your time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether you are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.
If we have an ethical concern about any action you ask us to take, we will advise you of our concern and reserve the right to refuse to continue with your work. In that case, we will return all your original documentation to you and bill you for the work undertaken to that point.
Involvement of Others
Where we hire external consultants to assist with your work, we will advise you of this and an estimated cost and timeframe and involvement will be provided to you for your approval.
Our fee arrangement is based on the expected amount of time and the level of expertise required to complete the agreed services. These fees will be as outlined in your engagement letter, however the fee arrangement may be subject to change if the work is substantially different to what was expected. If this occurs, we will contact you immediately to discuss the issue. We may also increase fees yearly by no more than 5% providing the work remains substantially the same.
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 Council.
Ownership of Documents
All original documents obtained from you arising from the engagement shall remain your property. 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 certain documents as outlined in the letter of engagement. Ownership of these documents will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of the engagement will remain the property of the firm, subject to any statutory obligations.
These terms and conditions may change from time to time. When that happens you will be notified by email or in person prior to our next engagement. The latest version will always be available on our website.