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Terms & Conditions

We will accept instructions to act for you only upon the following terms and conditions: –

COSTS

Our fees can be paid using cash, cheque, credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Bankcard only to a limit of $500. Credit card payments in excess of $500 will attract a fee of 1.00% of the total payment), and eftpos.

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:http://www.professionalstandardscouncil.gov.au.

OFFICE EXPENSES

We do not normally charge for office expenses. However, where office expenses are above normal (e.g. excessive photocopying, long distance telephone calls, travel outside Perth metro area, etc) we may charge an additional fee to cover costs.

DISBURSEMENTS

If we pay any disbursement on your behalf we will charge you the full amount we have incurred plus GST.

GOODS AND SERVICES TAX

All fees and expenses are subject to the Goods and Services Tax which must be paid by you to us in addition to the fees, expenses and disbursements mentioned above.

BILLING

In consideration of our agreeing to accept your instructions, you agree that: –

  • Unless otherwise agreed you will pay any account which we send to you on or within 7 days from the date you receive the account. If at any time we, in our absolute discretion, agree to accept payment of any account by instalments you irrevocably agree that if for any reason our instructions are terminated that agreement will end and you must immediately pay to us all of our unpaid costs, GST, office costs and disbursements. We reserve the right to exercise a lien over your file until such time as all monies due to us have been paid;
  • Where payment is not made within our payment terms we reserve the right to charge interest at the rate of 12% p.a. and/or an administration fee of $20 plus GST;
  • We reserve the right to cease acting for you upon giving you not less than 7 days notice if you have not paid any account which we have sent to you within 7 days of its receipt by you. Our right to give this 7-day notice arises even if you have requested itemisation of the account in question;
  • Where our instructions were the preparation of an income tax return, we will not lodge the tax
    return(s) until payment is made in full.

INSTRUCTIONS

It is a condition of our acting for you that:

  • you keep us advised of any change of your address or telephone number;
  • you reply to our correspondence promptly;
  • you provide us with truthful, adequate instructions as required from time to time.

Should you at any time fail to comply with these conditions then we reserve the right to cease acting for you.

In addition to any other rights you might have, you can terminate this engagement at any time by telling us in writing.  We also reserve the right to do so by providing you with 14 days’ written notice.

SHARED RESPONSIBILITY

We will take reasonable care in providing accounting services to you. If you suffer injury, loss or damage partly as a result of our negligence in providing those services and partly as a result of your own negligence, any claim you make against us for breach of contract will be reduced, as if the claim were based on negligence, to the extent that it is just and equitable having regard to your share in the responsibility for the injury, loss or damage.

STORAGE OF FILES AND DOCUMENTS

It is not our practice to retain your files or documents. It is your responsibility to retain all necessary documents as required by the relevant authorities including the Australian Taxation Office. Further, it is your responsibility to retain copies of all electronic records, including those that have been produced by us, as required by the relevant authorities including the Australian Taxation Office. At the completion of each assignment, we will return to you all your documents that we may have in our possession.

ACCOUNTING AND RECORD-KEEPING

In undertaking this 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 week.
  • Reconciliations for the bank accounts, debtors and creditors are performed at the end of each month for each of the business entities.
  • A stock take will be performed during the last weekend in June for each entity that deals in trading stock (unless you are a small business and elect not to do it).

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 when forwarding the details required for your business accounts. We shall detail more specific requirements in respect of the individual tax returns later in this document.

NO STATUTORY FINANCIAL AUDITS ARE CONDUCTED

You and your employees are responsible for the maintenance of the accounting systems and internal controls for all the business entities. That includes the keeping and maintenance of all required books of account.
Our firm is not being engaged to conduct a statutory audit of the financial records of any of your business entities and we will not express an auditor’s opinion as to the truth and fairness of the financial statements.

DOCUMENTATION

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, we will do our best to meet the time limits, but we will not be responsible for any late lodgement penalties or interest charges you may incur.

OWNERSHIP OF DOCUMENTS

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 (by either party), we shall be entitled to retain all documents owned by you until payment 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 photocopying at our normal rates.

PRIVACY

We may collect Personal Information about 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.

BAS RETURNS

As the BAS returns are (generally) prepared quarterly and lodged during the financial year, it is not possible for this firm to review the correctness of the underlying financial information as part of the preparation of the quarterly BAS return, where we do not also provide bookkeeping services to you. This is because we are engaged to prepare the annual accounts and these are prepared after the conclusion of the financial year. Therefore, for the quarterly BAS returns, we will rely on and process the financial information provided to us without any review of the primary source documents. In doing that, we will make the following specific assumptions:

  • The financial information provided to us is accurate.
  • The financial information correctly states the GST position. For example, all input tax credits and GST payable amounts have been correctly recorded in the general ledger. If you are unsure of the correct position or require advice regarding this, we are able to provide this as work which is outside the scope of our engagement and charged as additional services.
  • You have the necessary supporting documentation to satisfy the Australian Taxation Office for GST purposes. Again, if you are unsure of the Australian Taxation Office requirements or require advice regarding these documents, we are able to provide this as work which is outside the scope of our engagement and charged as additional services.
  • You hold valid tax invoices and adjustment notes for all expenditure incurred by you in respect of which an input tax credit is being claimed. Substantial penalties apply for an incorrectly prepared BAS. If you have any queries in respect to this, please contact our office for assistance.

However, it is possible that, when the financial accounts are prepared, some discrepancies will exist between the information disclosed in the quarterly BAS returns and in the annual financial statements. Should any discrepancies arise, we will discuss the need to correct either the BAS returns and/or financial accounts. Those services will involve work which is outside the scope of our engagement and will be charged as additional services.

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTS

If this firm has been engaged to prepare the annual financial accounts of the business entities in your group, this service includes the preparation of:

  • A profit and loss statement;
  • A balance sheet; and
  • Notes for the above accounts.

This service includes maintenance of the chart of accounts for the general ledgers of your business entities. It also includes telephone support should you require any assistance as to how to record specific transactions in the general ledger. The fee for this service also includes the preparation and lodgement of the standard reports to be furnished to ASIC (if required). This service does not include the preparation of one-off accounts for presentation to your financiers for additional finance and the like.

INCOME TAX RETURNS

If this firm has been engaged to prepare and lodge income tax returns for the business entities in your group and for your family, please ensure that you have all source documentation available to allow this firm to analyse the income tax implications of any transaction, if we request to see it. Whilst we will not as a matter of course be looking at these documents, the Australian Taxation Office will expect you (and you are required) to have them available before any claim is made in your income tax return. We may in some circumstances also request to see source documents if a tax issue is particularly contentious. It is also expected that, in respect of individual income tax returns, each person will have the necessary documents so as to comply with the substantiation provisions of the Income Tax Assessment Act. We will specifically advise as to the requirements of the substantiation provisions relating to your income tax return and of the necessity to obtain acceptable receipts as specifically required by the legislation. We will not, however, be checking that the requirements of the substantiation provisions have been satisfied.

This specifically means that we will not be reviewing your log book or any calculations or information you provide us, for example a rental property schedule either prepared by you on spreadsheet or by a property manager. If you require assistance in completing a log book or preparing any calculations or you would like us to review such work, please discuss this with us. This will entail work which is outside the scope of our engagement and will be charged as additional services.

From time to time, this firm prepares templates and schedules to assist with the collation of information to complete income tax returns. These will be provided free of charge.
The fee for this service does not cover any inquiries made to us or investigations involving us conducted by the Australian Taxation Office. Substantial penalties apply for an incorrectly prepared income tax return. If you have any queries in respect to this, please contact our office for assistance.

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, or the Commissioner fails to issue such a 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.

FRINGE BENEFITS TAX RETURN

If this firm has also been engaged to prepare and lodge the FBT returns for your business entities, please note, with the introduction of GST, it is no longer possible to prepare an FBT return from the information contained in the general ledger. It is necessary to revert to the source documentation to allow our firm to analyse the FBT implications of any transaction.
Our fee for this service includes advice on how to collate the information necessary to prepare the annual FBT return. This fee also includes telephone advice on basic FBT issues.
Our fee also includes an annual review of the methods available to reduce the FBT expense on the annual FBT return. This fee also includes the calculation of Reportable Fringe Benefits Tax Amounts that may be required to be included on the annual payment summaries for your employees (including family members employed in your business).

GST – PROFESSIONAL FEES

Our professional fees are inclusive of Goods and Services Tax (‘GST’). If the services we are providing are provided to your business then you may be able to claim a GST input tax credit for the GST 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 this 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 apportion our professional fees between these categories of supply unless you have expressly requested us to do so.
Please note that if you make such a request after the commencement of any particular matter it may not be possible for us to subsequently apportion professional fees that were incurred prior to receiving your request. If you need separate advice on whether you will receive the benefit of a GST input tax credit for the GST paid to us, then please contact us.

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 that 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 this firm and then passed on to you as part of our services. Accordingly for certain disbursements in this category, namely:

  • ASIC fees;
  • New company and trust deed orders; and
  • Other specific disbursements notified from time to time,

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 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 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 professional fees – 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. These invoices will include GST for which you may be entitled to claim an input tax credit.

SUPERANNUATION

If this firm has also been engaged to attend to the income tax compliance work for your superannuation fund, this assignment will involve:

  • Preparation of the superannuation fund’s accounts for the purposes of the Superannuation Industry Supervision Act 1993 (‘the SIS Act’).
  • Preparation and lodgement of the SMSF annual return.

It is important to note as part of the regulatory framework for SMSFs, an annual audit of the fund must be undertaken and provided to the trustees of the fund before the SMSF annual return is lodged. Therefore, trustees of the fund must ensure that they provide the fund accounting records no later than 31 January 2012 to allow these tasks to be completed.
With respect to the annual audit of the SMSF referred to above, this office will make arrangements for the audit to be undertaken by an external party whereby you will be billed directly and liable for all costs associated with the completion of the audit.
In addition to the basic financial information required to complete these requirements, it is expected that the source documentation will be available to allow this firm to analyse the implications of any superannuation related transaction.
You should also note that the deeds of the fund should be annually reviewed by a superannuation specialist to ensure they continue to comply with the requirements of the SIS Act. Our engagement does not extend to the provision of such legal advice and our fee does not include this service. We are happy to recommend the services of a superannuation specialist for this task.
Our fee does not include financial planning services for the investments of the superannuation fund or for any planning advice for your future retirement planning needs.
This service does not cover any inquiries made by or investigations conducted by the Australian Taxation Office.

Single Touch Payroll (‘STP’) reports

Where required, we will prepare and lodge STP reports with the ATO for the Group, based on the information provided to us by you, your employees or any third party authorised by you, without reviewing or verifying the payroll calculations, any relevant wage rates or the source documents relied upon to process each STP pay event.

We will only provide a lodgment service.  We make no representations about the accuracy of the information submitted, the due date or whether it is received by the ATO.

Our firm is not being engaged to perform, or check the accuracy of, payroll calculations associated with the STP reports.  You and your employees are responsible for correctly preparing and processing each pay event, and for maintaining the necessary supporting documentation.

You and your employees are also responsible for calculating and remitting your PAYG withholding and Superannuation Guarantee liabilities with respect to each employee, for each relevant pay event.

Information relating to your affairs

From time to time we engage external IT service providers (including in relation to “cloud computing” services) in the performance of services under this engagement.

The list of external IT service provider(s) currently used by our firm, to whom client information will or may be disclosed, is as follows:

Business Fitness; Nimbus Portal Solutions; DataSmart Business Solutions; Nowinfinity; Xero, BGL, BOMA, The Gap Portal.

Please be aware that this list may be changed from time to time.

Each client in the Group hereby authorises us and our third party contractors to disclose information relating to those clients’ affairs to such external IT service providers as we may choose to engage.

We may also need to disclose information relating to one client’s affairs to other clients in the Group to assist in performing our work, to persons responsible for the governance of an entity to comply with accounting standards, or to a professional body of which we are a member, in relation to a quality review program undertaken by that body.  Each client in the Group hereby authorises us to do so when we consider it appropriate to further our performance of work for the Group, or when required by that professional body.

Financial Planning/Superannuation advice

We do not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence and are not an authorised representative of such a licence holder.

As a result, we are generally prohibited from providing you with any advice, recommendation or opinion that is intended to influence you in making any decision in relation to superannuation (including whether to establish, contribute to or draw benefits from a superannuation fund, or any investment decision by an superannuation trustee), or that could reasonably be regarded as being intended to have such an influence (Financial Advice).  However, we are able to provide you with superannuation advice that is of a factual nature only (e.g., to explain how superannuation rules would apply to you and what options are available to you).

Where you request us to undertake superannuation-related work (e.g., to arrange for the establishment of a self-managed superannuation fund), we will be obliged to perform that work in accordance with your instructions, even if we believe those instructions may not be in your best interest.

Where you request Financial Advice concerning superannuation, we will endeavour to assist you in obtaining that advice from an appropriately-licenced advisor.  Depending on the circumstances, this may involve us outsourcing the provision of the Financial Advice (in which case we would seek your prior authorisation), or referring you to a licenced provider directly.

Non-compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR)

During the performance of our work under this engagement, we may detect conduct or a transaction that is considered to constitute NOCLAR, which has a material effect on any documents or information that might be required to be provided to a regulatory authority (RA), such as the ATO.

If we detect any NOCLAR, we may have an ethical requirement to make a disclosure to a RA.  We will follow a formal process which will include advising you of our concerns, and if necessary, seeking legal advice.  If we do seek legal advice we reserve the right to ask you to pay or reimburse us for our reasonable costs.

If we are required to make a disclosure to a RA, you agree to forever release us from any claim for costs or losses you incur in responding to or dealing with anything that arises from our disclosure.

Losses from unauthorised cyber-activity

We will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that any electronic data that contains your private information is securely stored and that any email transmissions are protected and are not able to be intercepted by third parties.  However, we cannot be held liable for any loss that you might incur as a consequence of any third party intervention that accesses, procures or copies any data that contains your private information from any medium or device we use to store or transmit such information.

In the event that, despite our firm having taken reasonable precautions to securely store your private information, you suffer any losses arising from unauthorised cyber-activity, you agree to forever release us from any claim for your losses.

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: http://www.professionalstandardscouncil.gov.au.

‘Great oaks from little acorns grow’
 
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