These terms and conditions set out the general terms under which we undertake our business. The specific conditions relating to particular assignments will be covered in separate letters of engagement.
1.0 Applicable law These terms and conditions, our engagement letters, and the schedule of services are all governed by, and should be construed in accordance with English law.
1.1 Professional obligations Chipperfield Accounting Ltd is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and in our conduct are subject to its Code of Ethics, which can be found at www.icaew.com/membershandbook section 3. We are also a member of the Chartered Institute of Tax.
1.2 We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws and regulations of the ICAEW together with their ethical code referred to above. We accept instructions to act for you on this basis. In particular, you give us authority to correct errors made by HM Revenue and Customs where we become aware of them. We will not be liable for any loss, damage or cost arising from our compliance with statutory or regulatory obligations.
1.3 Professional indemnity insurance In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is Bluefin Insurance Services Ltd, Castlemead, Lower Castle Street, Bristol, BS1 3AG.
2.0 Fees 2.1 Our fees may depend not only upon the time spent on your affairs but also on the level of skill and responsibility and the importance and value of the advice that we provide, as well as the level of risk.
2.2 It is our normal practice to request that clients make arrangements to pay fees monthly by standing order or by direct debit. Direct debit payments will be collected through Go Cardless unless otherwise agreed and are due on receipt of the invoice.
2.3 It is not our practice to identify fixed fees for more than a year ahead, as such fee quotes will be reviewed on an annual basis
2.4 If we provide you with an estimate of our fees for any specific work, then the estimate will not be contractually binding unless we explicitly state that that will be the case.
2.5 All fixed fees are quoted based on you or your bookkeeper accurately recording all transactions in a spreadsheet or on a recognised bookkeeping system. If your bookkeeping is not complete and accurate, the bank has not been fully reconciled or if your bookkeeping does not give a trial balance for us to work from, it will be necessary for us to carry out some bookkeeping prior to preparing VAT returns and year-end accounts. Bookkeeping will be charged at our prevailing rates per hour.
2.7 Our fees are exclusive of VAT which will be added where it is chargeable from 1 April 2017. Any disbursements we incur on your behalf and expenses incurred in the course of carrying out our work for you will be added to our invoices.
2.8 Our terms relating to payment of amounts invoiced (other than monthly fees which are payable on receipt) are strictly 30 days. Prompt payment will be appreciated. Invoices must be paid in full before any accounts or tax returns are submitted to Companies House or HMRC respectively. We reserve the right to charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 3% above bank base rates under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. We also reserve the right to suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice if payment of any fees is unduly delayed. We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so.
2.9 If a client company, trust or other entity is unable or unwilling to settle our fees we reserve the right to seek payment from the individual giving us instructions on behalf of the client and any Directors of that company where applicable and we shall be entitled to enforce any sums due against the individual nominated to act for you or any Directors of that company where applicable.
3.0 Client Identification In common with all accountancy and legal practices the firm is required by legal statute to: Maintain identification procedures for all new clients; Maintain records of identification evidence obtained; and Report, in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations. We have a duty to report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) if we know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that you, or anyone connected with your business, are or have been involved in money laundering or the proceeds of crime. Failure on our part to make a report where we have knowledge or reasonable grounds for suspicion would constitute a criminal offence. 4.0 Confidentiality 4.1 We confirm that when we hold 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 requirements applicable to our engagement.
4.2 We reserve the right, for the purpose of promotional activity, training or for other business purpose, to mention that you are client. As stated above, we will not disclose any confidential information.
5.0 Conflicts of interest and independence 5.1 We reserve the right during our engagement with you to deliver services to other clients whose interests might compete with yours. We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting you.
6.0 Data Protection Act 1998 6.1 To enable us to discharge the services agreed under our engagement, 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, we may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you, your business, company, its officers and employees. We confirm when processing data on your behalf that we will comply with the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. We cannot be held responsible for any loss of data, breach of confidentiality or errors in the software owned by third party and any recourse should be addressed with the software supplier.
7.0 Retention of and access to records 7.1 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 6 years from the 31 January following the end of the tax year to which they relate. You should retain them for longer if HM Revenue and Customs enquire into your tax return.
7.2 Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, unless you tell us not to, 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.
8.0 Communication 8.1 Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means. The recipient is responsible for virus checking emails and any attachments. We may retain client information on systems such as Dropbox whose data storage is held outside of the UK.
9.0 Quality control 9.1 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.
10.0 Period of engagement and termination 10.1 Unless otherwise agreed in the engagement covering letter our work will begin when we receive your implicit or explicit acceptance of that letter. Except as stated in that letter we will not be responsible for periods before that date.
10.2 Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 30 days notice in writing to the other party except where you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or HMRC with misleading information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will be without prejudice to any rights that may have accrued to either of us prior to termination.
10.3 In the event of termination of this contract, we will endeavour to agree with you the arrangements for the completion of work in progress at that time, unless we are required for legal or regulatory reasons to cease work immediately. In that event, we shall not be required to carry out further work and shall not be responsible or liable for any consequences arising from termination.
10.4 In the event of termination by you, we reserve the right to charge an administration fee of £125. Fees for any work carried out to date will be invoiced where applicable and a refund of any fees paid in advance may be refunded after taking into account work already started or completed.
11.0 Quality of service 11.1 We aim to provide a high quality of service at all times. If you would like to discuss with us how our service could be improved or if you are dissatisfied with the service that you are receiving, please let us know by contacting any director of the company.
11.2 We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and to do all we can to explain the position to you. If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction you may take up the matter with the ICAEW whose details are: The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, PO Box 433, Chartered Accountants Hall, Moorgate Place, London EC2P 2BJ.