We are often asked about our fees and fee structure in discussion with new Clients. Hence we have set this out for all to see and hope this may provide some clarity for you.
So you will have no surprises, we normally quote our fees to you at the outset of each Engagement of your work, as we understand it.
By accepting our engagement, an agreed term of this arrangement allows you some choice in the manner of payment. This is set out in the Engagement Acceptance form attached to your personalized letter. We can also provide proposals for your particular needs, say monthly or annually. You should also be aware that the Firm's policy for some time has been that any Returns and other matters are not lodged until full payment has been received.
From time to time clients may ask us to assist with additional matters whilst we are in the process of our work. We will then issue separate invoices for the work on these matters which are then due and payable. Additionally, we are sure you will understand we are unable to complete work for a current assignment when fees are still outstanding for earlier work.
This fee as quoted does not include any outgoings or disbursements made on your behalf. Should this be the case, these will be reimbursed to us at the end of each month or as our claims are presented. On the other hand unlike some, we do not charge you for incidental outgoings including postage, photocopying, computer time etcetera, unless previously discussed with you (which is unusual).
Should we not receive payment as agreed, we have the right to hold documents, withhold lodgement and do no further work until payment is made.
Our engagement is to assist you with your financial needs for your business entities and for your family. Which particular needs you wish our assistance with are discussed and agreed with you prior to each Engagement.
Accounting & Record Keeping
In undertaking an engagement, it is understood that you will generally ensure that:
- The bookkeeping for all business entities is maintained on a regular basis. In fact, we recommend the bookkeeping and record-keeping tasks be attended to each day or week. We can assist with the bookkeeping too if you need
- Reconciliations for wages each payroll, the bank accounts, debtors and creditors are performed at the end of each month for each of the business entities.
- A stocktake should be performed during the last weekend in June for each entity that deals in trading stock.
In respect to the personal tax returns for you and your family, it is expected that all relevant information will be collated and forwarded to our office. We shall detail more specific requirements in respect to the individual tax returns as needed at the time.
No Financial Audits are Conducted, unless it is a specific Audit Engagement
You and your employees are responsible for the maintenance of the accounting systems, regular balancing of all books, and maintenance of internal controls for all the business entities. That includes all required books of account. You also acknowledge that it is your responsibility for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of all the accounting records, material and relevant information that you have disclosed to us.
Our Firm, if not being engaged to conduct a statutory audit of the financial records of any of your business entities will not express an auditor's opinion as to the truth and fairness of the financial statements.
Our involvement in this type of engagement will not necessarily disclose fraud, defalcations or other irregularities which may occur. However, any material weaknesses in the accounting or internal control systems which come to our notice will be drawn to your attention.
Please be aware that:
- You are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided in relation to taxation services
and this responsibility rests with you;
- Any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances; and
- A taxpayer has obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of
Any information acquired by us in the course of our engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. Information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or professional standards, 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 CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. By signing our Engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will advise you. The same strict confidentiality requirements apply under this program as apply to us.
Before we lodge any returns on your behalf, we will forward the documents to you for approval. We will endeavour to ensure that the returns are lodged by the due dates. If you are late in providing information, you will be liable for any late lodgement penalties or interest charges you may incur. As noted, you should be aware that any returns and other matters will not be lodged on your behalf until payment of our fees have been received.
The financial statements, tax returns and any other documents, which we are specifically engaged to prepare, together with any original documents given to us by you, shall be your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us, including general working papers, the general ledger and draft documents will remain our property at all times.
If our services are terminated, we shall be entitled to retain all documents owned by you until payment is received in full of all outstanding fees. Where copies of any documents released to you are required for our records, you will be charged for the cost of copying at our normal rates.
Tax Obligations and Law
We will endeavour to maintain open, frank and effective communications with you:
- where appropriate having regard to the agreed scope of work, we shall advise you of your rights, obligations and options available under the Taxation Law. We shall also advise you of your rights or options available under Taxation Law with respect to the seeking of a private ruling, the lodging of objections and appeals against adverse positions adopted by the Revenue Authorities.
- in the context of Taxation Services requested we shall also advise you on the application of the Taxation Law, including any possible penalties and other legal tax consequence, so as to allow you to make an informed decision of the course of action to be taken.
The scope of our engagement is the preparation and lodgement of the accounting and taxation matters detailed above. Our agreed fee applies only to services and advice provided within the scope of this engagement. This fee includes the checking and forwarding of original assessments and original payment notices that are received from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
However, any additional services or advice that you request outside the scope of this engagement are not included in this agreed fee. These services will be charged on the basis of the time and degree of skill and acumen required to complete the task undertaken by us, including any direct out of pocket expenses. Please note that any correspondence from the ATO or ASIC that does not relate to initial assessments nor original payment notices, will be treated as additional services.
So you will have no surprises, we have quoted our fees for your work, as we understand it. By accepting our engagement, an agreed term of this arrangement allows you some choice in the manner of payment. This is set out in the attached Engagement Acceptance form. You should also be aware that the Firm's policy for some time has been that any Returns and other matters are not lodged until full payment has been received. From time to time, some clients may ask us to assist with additional matters in the course of our work. We will then issue separate invoices for our work on these matters which are then due and payable. Additionally, we are sure you will understand we are unable to complete work for a current assignment when fees are still outstanding for earlier work.
If however we encounter unexpected and unforeseen problems or other issues, these will be discussed with you and the effect of these issues will be determined on the value of this engagement. By way of example, our fees may escalate where we are repeatedly delayed by and required to chase you for details, records, documents or other supporting information.
This fee as quoted does not include any outgoings or disbursements made on your behalf. Should this be the case, these will be reimbursed to us at the end of each month or as our claims are presented.
Should we not receive payment as agreed we have the right to hold documents, withhold lodgement and do no further work until payment is made
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: www.professionalstandardscouncil.gov.au
GST – Professional Fees
Our professional fees are subject to the Goods and Services Tax (GST). If the services provided are for your business then you may be able to claim the GST included in the amount you pay us. However, this will not be the case if the services we provide are used by you in creating an input taxed supply. In that situation you cannot claim the GST associated with our professional fees as an input tax credit.
If your matter involves a mixture of taxable, GST free and input taxed supplies we will not normally apportion our professional fees between these categories of supply unless you have expressly requested us to do so.
GST – Disbursements
In addition to our professional fees, you will be responsible for payment of expenses which we incur on your behalf (together with the GST we pay in relation to such expenses as set out below).
Certain government charges and fees included in some matters undertaken in the scope of our engagement are effectively "GST Free" to the applicant, but will attract the 10% GST if paid by the Firm and then passed on to you as part of our services. Accordingly for certain disbursements in this category 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 for 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 tax credits directly if you have an ABN and are entitled to claim input tax credits.
For disbursements incurred in this manner, we may in some cases require you provide us with separate cheques for relevant amounts to be paid directly to the relevant government body or supplier.
For all other disbursements (couriers, searches, photocopying, faxes, etc.) the treatment will be the same as for professional fees – this Firm will incur the costs at the first instance and invoice them to you after making allowances for any GST input tax credits received by us on acquisition. These invoices will include GST for which you may be entitled to claim an input tax credit.
Ross Wadeson Accountants Pty Ltd respect client privacy. You authorise us, our related entities and parties to hold, use and transfer in the legitimate process of our business and this assignment, all information gathered for the Company, the Client, members and employees. This information is otherwise held confidentially and will not be released to third parties without your prior consent, unless we are required to do so by law. Upon reasonable request and where provided by law, we will disclose to Proprietors, Director(s), members or employees, information relevant to their particular circumstances, by way of confirmation of the accuracy of the information held on records.
We guarantee if you are not genuinely satisfied with our work in accordance with our engagement, we will rectify any agreed problem.
Should you wish to vary these arrangements at any time or should you have any queries in respect to any of these matters, please contact us at your earliest convenience.