STANDARD TERMS OF BUSINESS
The following standard terms of business apply to all engagements accepted by Lister & Co. All work carried out is subject to these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.
1. Professional obligations
1.1 We will observe the Byelaws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with those guidelines. Copies of these requirements are available for inspection in our offices.
1.2 Where you give us confidential information we shall at all times keep it confidential, except as required by law or as provided for in regulatory, ethical or other professional pronouncements applicable to this engagement.
1.3 We reserve the right to act during this engagement for other clients whose interests may be adverse to yours. We will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest to which we are subject in relation to you.
2 Client monies
2.1 We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firm’s funds. The account will be operated, and all funds dealt with, in accordance with the Clients’ Money Regulations of The Association of Chartered Certified Accounts.
2.2 In order to avoid an excessive amount of administration, interest will only be paid to you where the amount of interest that would be earned on the balances held on your behalf in any calendar year exceeds £25. Any such interest would be calculated using the prevailing rate applied by Lloyds TSB plc for small deposits subject to the minimum period of notice for withdrawals. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.
2.3 If the total sum of money held on your behalf exceeds £10,000 for a period of more than 30 days, or such sum is likely to be held for more than 30 days, then the money will be placed in a separate interest-bearing client bank account designated to you. All interest earned on such money will be paid to you. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.
3.1 Our fees are computed on the basis of time spent on your affairs by the principals and our staff, and on the levels of skill and responsibility involved. Disbursements represent travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in dealing with your affairs.
3.2 If it is necessary to carry out work outside the responsibilities outlined in this letter it will involve additional fees. Accordingly we would like to point out that it is in your interests to ensure that your records etc. are completed to the agreed stage.
3.3 Our terms relating to payment of amounts invoiced (fees and disbursements), are strictly 30 days net.
4 Retention of and access to records
4.1 During the course of our work we will collect information from you and others acting on your behalf and will return any original documents to you following the preparation of your financial statements and returns. You should retain these records for at least seven years from the end of the accounting year to which they relate.
4.2 Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that we store which are more than seven years old, other than documents which we consider to be of continuing significance. If you require retention of any document you must notify us of that fact in writing.
5 Quality control
5.1 As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically subject to an independent regulatory or quality review. Our reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and are, of course, bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as our principals and staff.
6 Help us to give you the right service
6.1 If any time you would like to discuss with us how our service to you could be improved, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving, please let us know, by telephoning Annette Panton or Stuart Green.
6.2 We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and to do all we can to explain the position to you. If you feel that we have given you a less than satisfactory service, we undertake to do everything reasonable to address your concerns. If you are still not satisfied, you may of course take up matters with The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
6.3 In order for us to provide you with a high quality service on an ongoing basis it is essential that you provide us with relevant records and information when requested, reply to correspondence in a timely manner and otherwise follow the terms of the agreement between us set out in this Standard Terms of Business and associated Engagement letters. We therefore reserve the right to cancel the engagement between us with immediate effect in the event of:
- Your insolvency, bankruptcy or other arrangement being reached with creditors;
- Failure to pay our fees by the due dates;
- Either party being in breach of their obligations where this is not corrected within 30 days of being asked to do so.
6.4 In addition this agreement may be terminated for any reason if 90 days notice is given.
7 Data Protection Act 1998
7.1 We may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you in order that we may discharge the services agreed under this engagement letter, and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance. You have a right of access, under data protection legislation, to the personal data that we hold about you. We confirm that when processing data on your behalf we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Controller in relation to personal data supplied about you is Stuart Green.
8 Money laundering
8.1 In common with all accountancy and legal practices the firm is required by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 to:
- Establish and maintain due diligence procedures for all clients;
- Maintain records of identification evidence; and
- Report, in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations to the Serious Organised Crime Agency.
8.2 The provision of accountancy and related services are a business in the regulated sector under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and, as such, partners and staff in accountancy firms have to comply with this legislation which includes provisions that may require us to make a money laundering disclosure in relation to information we obtain as part of our normal work relating to accountancy and other services. It is not our practice to inform you when such a disclosure is made or the reasons for it because of the restrictions imposed by the “tipping off” provisions of the legislation.
8.3 The offence of money laundering is defined by s.340(11) of the Proceeds of Crime Act and includes concealing, converting, using or possessing the benefits of any activity that constitutes a criminal offence in the UK. It also includes involvement in any arrangement that facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of such a benefit.
This definition is very wide and would include such crimes as:
- Deliberate tax evasion;
- Deliberate failure to inform the tax authorities of known underpayments or excessive repayments;
- Fraudulent claiming of benefits or grants; or
- Obtaining a contract through bribery.
Clearly this list is by no means exhaustive.
8.4 As with other professional service firms, we are required to carry out client due diligence procedures for the purpose of the UK anti-money laundering legislation. We are likely to request from you, and retain, some information and documentation for these purposes. If we are not able to obtain satisfactory evidence of your identity within reasonable time, there maybe circumstances in which we are not able to proceed with the appointment.