The Accountant is bound by the APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, and pursuant to the Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR), the Accountant is required to report any non-compliance with laws and regulations or acts of omission or commission, intentional or unintentional by a client or by those charged with governance, by management or by other individuals working for or under the direction of a client which are contrary to the prevailing laws or regulations.
Fees are reasonable estimates and costs may vary from time to time due to unforeseeable problems and delays, the cooperation of third persons and deficiencies in documentation. If costs are likely to be significantly higher than originally estimated, you will be informed in writing of the changes and reasons.
Terms of Payment
A full account of professional fees, costs and disbursements will be provided. Unless otherwise agreed, terms are strictly 7 days from the date of invoice. Should the account be unpaid by the due date, We reserve the right to use a debt collection agency or other legal means to recover outstanding fees.
Disclosure of other fees and commissions
We will disclose to clients any commissions or other fees received as a result of work undertaken and will fully comply with statutory requirements in relation to the disclosure of this information.
Before documentation is lodged on your behalf, drafts will be forwarded for your approval. Documentation will be lodged with the relevant departments by the due dates, provided all information and documentation is received promptly after the Financial Year End or other statutory date. This will allow adequate time for preparation and lodgement.
If you are late in providing information, best efforts will be made to meet deadlines. No responsibility will be accepted for any late lodgement penalties incurred.
Responsibility for Accounting and Internal Control Systems
The responsibility for the maintenance of a business accounting system and internal control systems, including protection against and prevention of fraud, rest with you the client. You will also be responsible for the maintenance of books of account. This includes any work produced by a third party not engaged by this firm that is to be relied upon. If any material weakness in the accounting systems or internal control systems comes to our notice, you will be advised accordingly.
It is important to remember you are personally responsible for the information contained in any statutory return and that you must retain all necessary supporting documentation to substantiate transactions.
As a member of the Institute of Public Accountants, as Principal I am subject to periodic Professional Practice Quality Assurance reviews. Unless otherwise advised, you are consenting to your files being part of such a quality review. This review is of our client records and not of you as a client and you have full assurances that complete confidentiality will be maintained throughout.
You will be provided the highest standard of professional service.
Furthermore, as a member of the Institute of Public Accountants in Professional Practice, I am subject to the ethical and professional requirements of the Institute of Public Accountants and its Investigations and Disciplinary processes. These requirements cover issues such as a Code of Ethics, adherence to Accounting and Auditing Standards, requirements to undertake Continued Professional Education and to hold trust money in a Trust Account. Should there be an issue regarding my ethical or business practices, such matters may be referred to the Institute of Public Accountants for investigation. As a member of the Institute of Public Accountants I am also obliged to hold current Professional Indemnity insurance, and I warrant to you that my insurance cover is in accordance with the Institute of Public Accountants requirements.
Accounting and Record Keeping
In undertaking this engagement, it is understood that you will ensure that:
- a) The bookkeeping for all business entities are maintained on a regular basis. It is recommended that all bookkeeping and record-keeping tasks be attended to weekly.
- b) Reconciliations of bank accounts, debtors and creditors are performed at the end of each month for each of the business entities.
- c) A stock take will be performed during the last weekend in June for each entity holding trading stock.
It is expected that the trial balance of each of the business entities will be completed no later than 15 October.
In respect of the personal Tax Returns for you and your family, it is expected that all relevant information will be collated and forwarded to our office by 30 November.
Ownership of Documents
The final documents to be prepared under this engagement, together with any other original documents, shall remain your property. Documents prepared under this engagement, including general journals, working papers, the general ledger, and draft financial statements, remain the firms property at all times. However, the firm will always provide you with copies of any documents you require.
Lien over Documents
In the event of the termination of our services, you are advised that a lien may be invoked over certain documents held until outstanding fee have been paid or other satisfactory arrangements made. A lien is a right to hold certain documents or property until the debt incurred in respect of that property/document has been satisfied. The lien however may not be held over property that belongs to another, including if held jointly, and does not cover statutory documents
(e.g. a Tax Return, BAS or refund cheque). Should a lien be invoked, you will be provided with a copy of all documents subject to a claim of lien.
The agreed fee relates to the preparation and lodgement of the accounting statements and taxation matters detailed above. This fee includes the checking and forwarding of original assessments and original payment notices received from the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Please note that any additional services or advice requested are not included in this fee. These services will be charged on the basis of the time and skill required to complete the tasks, including any out of pocket expenses. Please note, any correspondence from the Australian Taxation Office or ASIC that does not relate to initial assessments or original payment notices, will be treated as additional services.
Specific services to be provided are as follows:
BAS returns are prepared monthly or quarterly and lodged during the financial year. It is not possible to review the correctness of the underlying financial information as part of the preparation of the quarterly BAS return.
This engagement is for the preparation of the annual accounts at the end of the financial year. Accordingly the quarterly BAS returns will be based upon the financial information provided without review of primary source documents.
In doing so, it is assumed that the financial information provided by you is accurate, that the financial information correctly states the GST position; for example that all input tax credits and GST payable amounts have been correctly recorded; that you have supporting documentation to satisfy the Australian Taxation Office for GST audit purposes; and that you hold valid tax invoices and adjustment notes for all expenditure incurred and for which an input tax credit is being claimed.
It is possible that, when the financial accounts are prepared, discrepancies are noted between the information disclosed in quarterly BAS returns and the annual financial statements. Any corrections and related fees will be documented at this time.
Preparation of the annual accounts of the business entities in the group. This service includes the preparation of:
- a profit and loss statement;
- a balance sheet; and
- notes to the above accounts.
This service includes maintenance of the charts of accounts for the general ledgers of your business entities. It also includes telephone support in relation to the recording of specific transactions in the general ledger.
This service does not include the preparation of one-off accounts for presentation to your financiers, for which a separate fee shall apply.
Income Tax Returns
Preparation of income Tax Returns for the business entities and individuals.
In addition to the basic financial information required to complete these Tax Returns, it is a requirement that taxpayers are able to substantiate their claims and it is expected that all source documentation will be available to allow analysis of the income tax implications of any transaction.
The fee for this service does not cover inquiries or investigations conducted by the Australian Taxation Office.
Client’s disclosure and record keeping obligations
You are required by law to keep full and accurate records relating of your tax affairs. It is your obligation to provide us with all information that would be reasonably expected will be necessary to allow us to perform work contemplated under the engagement within a timely manner or as requested. This includes providing accurate and complete responses to questions asked of client by the practitioner. Inaccurate, incomplete or late information could have a material effect on services and/or conclusions.
We need not verify the underlying accuracy or completeness of information from you if it appears reasonable. However, if we believe information is missing, incorrect or misleading, we will need to seek further assurance from you.
The Taxation Administration Act 1953 now contains specific provisions that may provide you with “safe harbour” from administrative penalties for incorrect or late lodgement of returns. These safe harbour provisions will only be available to you if, amongst other things, you provide “all relevant taxation information” to us in a timely manner (the safe harbour provisions apply from 1 March 2010). 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 harbour” provisions and will be taken into account in determining the extent to which tax practitioners have discharged their obligations to clients. It is your responsibility to show that you have brought all matters to our attention if you want to take advantage of the safe harbours created under new regime.
Client’s rights and obligations under the taxation laws
Taxpayers 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. Taxpayers also have certain obligations under Australian taxation laws, such as the obligation to keep proper records and the obligation to lodge returns by the due date. We must keep you informed of any specific rights and obligations that may arise under Australian taxation laws.
Tax Practitioners obligation to comply with the law
We have a duty to act in our client’s best interests. However, the duty to act in our client’s 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 directions. For example, we could not lodge an income tax return that we believe to be false in a material respect.
It is noted that we are not engaged to review the accuracy of previous returns lodged by your organisation including that of the Principals, Partners, Trustees, Directors, Shareholders or Beneficiaries. You have warranted that reliance can be placed on the balance sheet(s) and other financial records presented by you for this purpose.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation