TERMS OF BUSINESS
The following terms of business apply to all engagements accepted by Abaris Accountancy Limited trading as Abaris Chartered Accountants. All work is carried out under these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.
1.0 Professional rules and practice guidelines
1.1 We will observe the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with them. You can see copies of these requirements in our offices. The requirements are also available on the internet at www.icaew.co.uk/membershandbook.
2.0 Commissions or other benefits
2.1 We do not accept commissions for introductions to other professionals or for transactions we or our associates arrange for you.
3.1 Our fees are calculated on the basis of the time spent on your affairs by the principals and staff and on the levels of skill or responsibility involved. Our fees are billed on completion of audit/accountancy engagements and as appropriate for tax engagements and will be due when issued.
3.2 If we need to do work outside the responsibilities outlined in our engagement letter, we will advise you in advance. This will involve additional fees. Accordingly it is in your interest to ensure that your records etc are completed to the agreed stage.
3.3 We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the current Bank of England base rate plus 2%. We also reserve the right to terminate our engagement and cease acting if payment of any fees billed is unduly delayed.
4.0 Clients’ money regulations
4.1 We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. The 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 Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
4.2 If the total sum of money held on your behalf is enough to give rise to a significant amount of interest or is likely to do so, then we will put the money in a designated interest-bearing client bank account and pay the interest to you. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.
5.0 Retention of records
5.1 During our work we will collect information from you and others acting on your behalf and will return any original documents to you following preparation and audit of your financial statements and tax return. You should retain them for 6 years from the end of the accounting year.
5.2 Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, unless you tell us not to, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that are more than seven years old, except documents we think may be of continuing significance. You must tell us if you wish us to keep any document.
6.0 Conflicts of interest and independence
6.1 We reserve the right to act during our engagement with you for other clients whose interests are or may be adverse to yours, subject to 7 below. We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting the company.
7.1 We confirm that 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 statements relevant to our engagement.
7.2 You agree that we will be complying sufficiently with our duty of confidence if we take steps that we in good faith think fit to keep appropriate information confidential during and after our engagement.
8.0 Data Protection Law
8.1 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 company / its officers and employees. We confirm when processing data on your behalf we will comply with the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Law.
9.0 Quality control
9.1 As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files may be periodically reviewed by an independent regulatory or quality controller. Our reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and, of course, are bound by the same rules for confidentiality as our principals and staff.
10.0 Help us give you the best service
10.1 We wish to provide a high quality of service at all times. If at any time you would like to discuss with us how we could improve our service, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving please let us know by contacting Lindsay Bracegirdle or Jo Gavey.
10.2 We will look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you. If we have given you a less than satisfactory service we undertake to do everything reasonable to put it right. If you are still not satisfied you may of course refer the matter to our Institute.
11.0 Applicable law
11.1 Our engagement with you is governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, Jersey law. The Courts of Jersey shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning our engagement letter and terms of business and any matter arising from them. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in those courts, to claim that the action has been brought in an inconvenient forum, or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.
12.0 Limitation of Liability
12.1 In this paragraph, “Loss” shall mean the aggregate of all losses and damages (including interest thereon if any) and costs suffered or incurred, directly or indirectly, by the addressees of the Engagement Letter (together with such other parties whom the firm and such original addressees have agreed may have the benefit of or rely upon our work on the terms hereof) (together “the Addressees”) under or in connection with this Engagement or its subject matter (as the same may be amended or varied) and any other report prepared pursuant to it, including as a result of breach of contract, breach of statutory duty, tort (including negligence), or other act or omission by the firm but excluding any such losses, damage or costs arising from the fraud or dishonesty of the firm or in respect of death or personal injury caused by our negligence or other liabilities which cannot lawfully be limited or excluded.
12.2 Where there is more than one Addressee the limit of liability specified will have to be allocated between Addressees. It is agreed that such allocation will be entirely a matter of the Addressees, who shall be under no obligation to inform the firm of it, provided always that if (for whatever reason) no such allocation is agreed, no Addressee shall dispute the validity, enforceability or operation of the limit of liability on the grounds that no such allocation was agreed.
12.3 It is agreed that for our interest in limiting the personal liability and exposure to litigation of our staff members, you will not bring any claim in respect of any Loss against any of our staff members personally but this will not limit or exclude the liability of the firm for the acts or omissions of its staff members.
12.4 You agree to release, indemnify and hold harmless the firm from any and all claims, liabilities, costs and expenses arising out of or based upon any misstatement or omission in any material, information or representation supplied or approved by you or any other matter related to or arising out of the engagement, except to the extent finally determined to have resulted from our negligence, wilful misconduct or fraudulent behaviour.
12.5 You agree that our liability to you for Loss (not including Loss due to our fraud or wilful default) shall be such amount as is finally determined to have so resulted on a fair and reasonable basis by a judicial or other process but shall not exceed £100,000.
13.0 Limitation of Third Party rights
The advice and information we provide to you as part of our service is for your sole use and not for any third party to whom you may communicate it unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work. We accept no responsibility to third parties, including any group company to whom the engagement letter is not addressed, for any advice, information or material produced as part of our work for you which you make available to them.