Terms & Conditions
1. Period of Engagement
This engagement will start upon acceptance of the terms of engagement and will include any specified financial periods set out in the Services, if applicable. We will not deal with earlier or other periods unless you specifically ask us to do so and we agree. This engagement letter will be effective for future engagements unless we advise you in writing of any change. This engagement letter constitutes a services agreement (Agreement) which sets out the terms and conditions upon which we will provide our Services for you and any associated entity, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
You will be deemed to have accepted this Agreement by continuing to instruct us to provide the Services after receipt of this Agreement.
3. Invoicing and Payment
The Service Fees will be invoiced on a monthly basis unless otherwise agreed to between the parties. Payment Terms are 14 days.
4. Authorised Representative
If an authorised contact has been named in this Agreement, you authorise that contact to instruct us with respect to provision of the Services including providing us with information which we will rely on to complete the Services. Unless confirmed in writing by you, we cannot accept instructions from anyone else in the organisation.
5. Audit of Engagement Letter and Representation Letter
Your Self-Managed Superannuation Fund’s audit will be conducted by Sternberg SMSF Audits (if applicable). As the auditor requires signed Engagement and Representation Letters before commencing the audit, please sign the engagement acceptance and return to our office at your earliest convenience.
6. Professional Standards
Our Services will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB). The extent of our engagement will be limited exclusively to provision of the Services. As a result, no audit or review will be
- performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed. Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud or other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters that come to our attention.
Our Services will be conducted and the financial accounts will be prepared for distribution and reliance by you only, or as otherwise agreed. We disclaim any assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our professional services to any party other than as specified or agreed, and for the purpose which it was prepared. Where appropriate, our report will contain a disclaimer to this effect.
8. Personal Joint and Several Liability and Warranties
- Where the Client is a corporation or a body corporate, the person signing the Agreement on behalf of the Client (the Signatory) agrees that they sign the Agreement on their own behalf and for and on behalf of that corporation or body corporate and that they will remain jointly and severally liable for payments as principal debtor of all of the Client’s fees and legal costs in this matter. The Signatory further warrants that they have the requisite authority to enter into the Agreement on behalf of the Client and that both the Client and the Signatory agree to be bound by the terms and the conditions of the Agreement.
- If you are part of a corporate group, and we are instructed to act for a Related Party, Related Entity or Associated Entity (as those terms are defined in the Corporations Act 2001) or other related party or entity (“Additional Parties”), the term “Client” in this engagement letter will include those Additional Parties, unless we indicate otherwise and the Signatory agrees that they sign this Agreement on their own behalf and for and on behalf of the Additional Parties.
9. Funds Held on Trust
From time to time, we may receive money on your behalf. These funds will be held in our practice trust account, which is audited on an annual basis. You authorise us to receive money on your behalf from the Australian Taxation Office. You also authorise us to deduct any of our outstanding service fees from any tax refund we receive on your behalf if you sign an authority to do so.
10. Our Service Levels
Wilson Pateras takes pride in offering the following service levels:
- we will endeavour to respond to your calls, emails and requests for information within 24 hours. We will always act in your best interests in providing accounting services to you;
- we will endeavour to complete your work within 6 weeks of receipt of all requested information;
- we will promptly notify you regarding correspondence received from the Australia Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission or other regulatory or government bodies;
- we will promptly notify you of the reason for any delay with completing any of the Services; and
- where appropriate, we may recommend certain aspects of your personal and business affairs to be handled by one of our affiliated organisations which specialise in the area of wills, insurance, finance, superannuation and investment advice. In some cases, Wilson Pateras may receive a referral fee from third-party advisers.
11. Our Information Handling Practices
- Like most major businesses, we use cloud storage and accounting programs such as Box and Xero to store and process your accounting affairs and Personal Information. By signing this letter and accepting these services you acknowledge and agree that your personal information may be stored using these cloud programs including overseas. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
12. We are not Lawyers
Wilson Pateras cannot provide legal advice in respect of matters relating to the Services or our engagement with you. Any matter which is legal in nature should be referred to a lawyer.
13. Employment Matters
In respect of employment matters, Wilson Pateras cannot:
- advise you on the correct Award rate or entitlements applicable to your employees under the Fair Work Act; and
- represent you or advise you with respect to matters involving the Fair Work Ombudsman.
We strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice in respect to employment law matters. Wilson Pateras disclaims all liability with respect to any employment matter.
14. Private Rulings
- 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.
15. Our Client Expectations
In providing you with our Services, we expect you to meet the following client responsibilities:
- you are responsible for providing us with all accurate and complete information, records and documents necessary for completing the accounting Services that you have engaged us to undertake. Our team members will not be able to begin any work until you have provided us with such information, records and documents;
- we expect you to provide us with any additional information, records or documents that we request in a timely manner;
- you must advise us, on a timely basis, of any change to your circumstances that results in any information, records or documents that you have provided to us being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;
- you must notify us of any issues, discrepancies or grievances you may have as soon as they arise so that we have the opportunity to address them immediately;
- you are responsible for paying our fees and any disbursements within or before our payment terms;
- we expect you to provide us with the source records and documents needed to enable us to meet the deadlines of the Australian Taxation Office and other regulatory and government bodies in an efficient, stress free and timely manner (we reserve the right to apply additional fees for work considered urgent or out of scope);
- you are required by law to keep full and accurate records relating to your tax affairs. It is your responsibility to keep those records depending on the relevant legislation for anywhere between five (5) and seven (7) years. However, there are also extended retention requirements depending on different scenarios. Please contact us for further information;
- where relevant, we expect you to sign data feed authority requests in order to obtain your superfund data in electronic format; and
- under the tax legislation self-assessment provisions, the onus is on you to have adequate records to support your income tax returns, including in respect of transactions and deductions claimed. You should be aware that your accounts and tax returns may be subject to tax audit and that penalties may apply for incorrect returns. You should check your tax return carefully before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.
16. Involvement of Others
Depending on the scope of services for our engagement, you may, for example, instruct us to establish a trust, super fund or a company or take action on your behalf (3rd Party Services). To do this, we may need to engage a third-party document provider on your behalf who will be responsible for drafting the relevant documents, including trust deeds, constitutions, minutes, resolutions or binding death benefit nominations (Documents). Whilst we take care to engage reputable document providers, you acknowledge and accept that Wilson Pateras, its employees and its advisors do not accept liability for any loss or damage of any kind that arises from the engagement of the third-party document provider, the 3rd Party Services or Documents.
Wilson Pateras has professional indemnity insurance in relation to the Services provided under this Agreement.
18. Ownership of Documents
- All original documents obtained from you arising from the engagement shall remain your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.
- Our engagement and Services will result in the production of documents and statements provided to you. Ownership of these documents and statements will vest in you. All other documents produced by us in respect of this Agreement will remain the property of the firm, subject to any statutory obligations.
19. Your Grant of Authority to us
By engaging us to act on your behalf, you authorise us to send, receive and obtain correspondence and information to and from the Australian Taxation Office and other regulatory and government bodies and to obtain information, records and documents from your financial planner, risk insurer, share registry, broker, bankers, solicitors, investments and finance companies and other relevant bodies where necessary to provide the Services.
20. If you are an Individual
- where appropriate, we will advise you about your rights, obligations and options available under the Taxation Law and the ability to lodge objections and appeals against any adverse positions adopted by the Revenue Authorities;
- in the context of Taxation Services requested, we shall 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 responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided by you rests with you;
- any advice given by us is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances;
- you have obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns; and
- taxpayers’ rights and obligations are outlined in the Taxpayers Charter located at: https://www.ato.gov.au/About-ATO/Commitments-and-reporting/Taxpayers–charter/
21. Financial Controller, Bookkeeping and/or Payment Services
a) If we perform outsourced financial controller/bookkeeping/payment services on your behalf, you confirm you:
- have authorised Wilson Pateras to use the relevant Token/Bank Account/Cheque Book to complete the Services;
- if applicable, have authorised Wilson Pateras to view the relevant bank account;
- will ensure the Wilson Pateras nomination remains effective during the course of this engagement;
- will personally call Wilson Pateras to confirm any written instruction to change an existing process or procedure;
- will approve transactions in a timely manner so that we can process payments in accordance with our engagement;
- must have enough available money or credit in the business bank account to enable us to process payments;
- acknowledge we will use our reasonable efforts to complete a payment or transfer on time and in the correct amount according to our engagement, however you acknowledge we are not liable in the following circumstances:
- if you do not have enough available money in the account from which a payment or transfer is made, if the account has been closed or is not in good standing or if we reverse a payment or transfer because of insufficient funds;
- if any payment or transfer would go over the credit limit of any account;
- if you have not given us complete, correct or current account numbers or other identifying information so that we can properly complete the transaction;
- if you do not properly follow our instructions or if you provide us with incorrect or inaccurate information or fail to correct or inform us of any inaccuracy of which you are aware;
- if circumstances or persons beyond our control prevent, delay, intercept or alter the transaction, despite reasonable precautions that we have taken; and
- acknowledge from time to time that if the nominated Wilson Pateras employee is unavailable to perform the Services by reason of leave or otherwise, you will work with us to appoint an alternative employee in a timely manner as an interim replacement;
b) As part of our commitment to protecting your sensitive information, unless otherwise agreed, the following procedures apply with respect to payments:
- for an existing supplier/payee, you must send an invoice together with an email authorising Wilson Pateras to pay supplier/payee (Wilson Pateras will then upload invoice to Xero and then upload payment to the bank account and either you or Wilson Pateras will authorise and release payment subject to the type of Services);
- for a new employee/supplier/payee or change to an employee/supplier/payee bank account, you must confirm your written instructions via email. This will be followed by a phone call verification from Wilson Pateras and email confirmation;
- we will always send a confirmation email in response to any payment request by you; and
- we will confirm via email once a once-off or bulk payment has been uploaded/authorised or released subject to the Services; and
c) Please also be mindful of hackers and email scams. If you believe you have received an abnormal email or link relating to the Services, please call us so we can investigate.
22. Professional Fees, Charges and Disbursements
You agree to pay our professional fees for providing the Services.
- Authorisation of disbursements
You authorise us to incur, either as principal or as your agent, any disbursements which we consider necessary for the purpose of providing the Services for you, provided that we notify you prior to incurring any significant or irregular disbursement.
You agree to pay to us the amount of any disbursements that we incur either as Principal or as your agent on your behalf.
- Reimbursement of credit card payment costs
You agree to reimburse us for any costs that we incur as a result of any credit card payment which you have authorised being declined or disputed.
You authorise us to retain and apply any overpayments whether by direct-debit or otherwise as a credit to future professional fees.
You agree to pay our accounts for the Services that we have provided for you in accordance with your selected payment option, unless we agree otherwise in writing.
If you fail to pay an account, then we may do any one or more of the following:
- (interest charges) charge interest at the percentage specified by the Reserve Bank of Australia as the Cash Rate Target plus two per cent (2%) from the date thirty (30) days after you receive our account until the date of payment;
- (temporarily cease) temporarily cease acting for you by suspending this Agreement until you have paid in full all of your accounts including any applicable interest charges. Such suspension may include ceasing to lodge any tax return or other statutory compliance document;
- (permanently cease) permanently cease acting for you by terminating this Agreement; and
- (records retention) retain custody of your records, documents and files until you have paid in full all of your accounts including any applicable interest charges.
- Our legal costs
You agree to indemnify us on demand for all our reasonable costs, expenses and losses including legal costs on a full indemnity basis suffered or incurred by us in connection with the enforcement of this Agreement.
- Taxes, duties and government charges
Our professional fees, charges and disbursement are exclusive of all taxes (including goods and services tax (GST)), duties and government charges unless otherwise expressly stated.
If GST is payable in connection with a taxable
supply made by us under or in connection with this Agreement, then you agree to pay to us an additional amount equal to the GST payable on the taxable supply determined in accordance with the prevailing GST rate.
- Collection of personal information
You acknowledge and agree that:
- we may collect your personal information (as defined within the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)) from you and your authorised representatives (including your financial planner, share registry, broker, risk insurer, bankers, solicitors, investments and finance companies) for the purpose of providing the Services for you; and
- in some circumstances we may also be required to collect your personal information for identification purposes under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth).
- Use of personal information
You acknowledge and agree that:
- (publications) we may use your personal information to send you publications, newsletters, event invitations and product information alerts that may be of interest to you; and
- (opt out) if you do not wish to receive such communications from us, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org requesting to be removed from our distribution list or click on the unsubscribe link provided in our publications.
- Disclosure of personal information
You acknowledge and agree that we may disclose your personal information to one or more of the following third parties:
- (authorised representatives) your authorised representatives (including your financial planner, share registry, broker, risk insurer, bankers, solicitors, investments and finance companies) and other professional advisors such as accountants, auditors, lawyers and financial planners in connection with providing accounting services for you;
- (service providers) our service providers that assist us to carry out our accounting, financial or lending functions and activities including information technology providers, marketing providers and debt collection agencies;
- (contractors) contractors who assist us to process client work;
- (insurers) insurance companies;
- (financial bodies) financial institutions including for the purpose of procuring finance for your investments where you have requested us to do so;
- (product and service offerors) organisations offering products and services that you wish to invest in or obtain; and
- (regulatory and government bodies) regulatory and government bodies in connection with carrying out our accounting, financial or lending functions and activities.
- Overseas recipients of personal information
You acknowledge and agree that we may disclose your personal information to:
- (other third parties) other third parties located overseas via cloud software’s including Box https://www.box.com/home and Xero www.xero.com.au, without Australian Privacy Principle 8.1 contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) applying to the disclosure of the information, and that we notify you from time to time.
- Third party personal information
- (information handling) our practices for handling personal information;
- (access and correction) how you may access and seek correction of any of your personal information which we hold;
- (complaints) how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or the Health Privacy Principles contained in the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) in respect of our handling of your personal information or health information, respectively; and
- (complaint handling) how we will deal with any such complaint.
All original documents which you provide to us in connection with this engagement will remain your property.
You authorise us to make a reasonable number of copies of such original documents for our records.
27. Limitation of Liability
Our Liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation, other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees. For more information please visit: https://www.charteredaccountantsanz.com/member-services/being-in-public-practice/insurance-and-liability/liability-capping-scheme.
- Termination by either party
Either Wilson Pateras or you may terminate this Agreement at any time subject to any applicable law.
Any provision of this Agreement which is capable of having effect after its termination will survive and remain in full force and effect after its termination.
- Payment obligations on termination
On the termination of this Agreement you agree to immediately pay to us:
- (fees and charges) our professional fees to date including work in progress, and charges for all accounting services provided for you or any associated entity;
- (disbursements) the amount of any disbursements that we have incurred either as Principal or as your agent on your behalf, professional fees, charges and disbursements properly incurred before or after termination; and
- (collectively “Final Payment”) if you have entered into a direct-debit agreement with a third-party provider to pay our professional fees, you agree that your Final Payment will be paid via that direct-debit agreement.
- Effect of termination
On the termination of this Agreement for any reason:
- (licences) any licence which you have been expressly or impliedly granted to use, any physical or electronic documents, files or other materials in which the intellectual property rights are owned or licensed by us (including, without limitation, any copyright in such materials) will be deemed to be null and void, having no force or effect; and
- (materials) you must, at our option, either return to us or destroy copies of all such materials in your possession or control immediately upon our request, except where you have paid all of our accounts for the matter and all related matters in full on or before termination of this Agreement.
- File retention
On the termination of this Agreement we are entitled to retain custody of your papers, documents and files until you have paid all of our accounts in full and for the purposes of complying with our statutory obligations.
You authorise us to destroy any of your papers, documents or files relating to a matter which you have not retrieved within seven (7) years after the completion of the matter.
29. Dispute or Complaint
Wilson Pateras values your custom. If you have a dispute or complaint, please contact your relationship Principal as a first step to understanding and resolving this matter. Wilson Pateras has an established dispute resolution process. You must contact us within seven (7) days from the date of your invoice if you wish to dispute any invoice.
30. General Provisions
We may from time to time notify you of changes to this Agreement (including, without limitation, changes to our professional fees and charges) which you will be deemed to have accepted by requesting us to continue to provide accounting services for you after receipt of such notice.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties in connection with its subject matter and supersedes all prior statements, representations, warranties, understandings and agreements, whether verbal or in writing.
Any provision, or any part of a provision, of this Agreement which is void or unenforceable will be severed and the remainder of this Agreement will continue in full force and effect.
A party will only be deemed to have waived a right or remedy under this Agreement to the extent that the waiver is signed by the party.
- Governing law and jurisdiction
This Agreement will be governed by the laws of the State of Victoria and each party irrevocably and unconditionally submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts having jurisdiction in the State of Victoria.
31. Further Assurances
Each party to this Agreement shall do all things and sign, execute and deliver all agreements and other documents as may be legally necessary or reasonably required of it by notice from another party to carry out and give effect to the terms and intentions of this Agreement and to perfect, protect and preserve the rights of the other parties to this Agreement.
32. Liability of Parties
If the client or you consists of more than one party, an obligation of those parties is a joint obligation of all of them and a several obligation of each of them.
33. Trustee Provisions
- If you have entered into this Agreement in your capacity as trustee of a trust:
- You represent and warrant:
- no action has been taken or proposed to be removed as trustee of the trust;
- you have power under the relevant trust Agreement to enter into and comply with your obligations under this Agreement; and there are in full force and effect, the authorisations necessary to enter into this
- Agreement, and any documents contemplated by this Agreement and comply with its obligations under those documents.
34. Benefit, Reliance and Changes to Law
Any advice we prepare:
- will be prepared for you based on the information provided to us by you;
- relies on the information supplied being complete, accurate and up to date. To the extent that the information supplied is incomplete, inaccurate and not up to date, our advice may be incorrect. We assume no liability for and make no representations with respect to, the accuracy or completeness of the information on which this advice is based on; and
- is based on Australian tax law as at the date of this letter. Wilson Pateras does not express any opinion as to the laws of any other jurisdiction.
Except with our prior written consent, any advice we prepare must not be:
- disclosed to any third party for any purpose and neither Wilson Pateras, nor any Principal or employee of Wilson Pateras are liable in any way to for any third party relying on this advice;
- quoted or referred to in any public document or filed with any government agency or other third party; or
- used or relied upon by any other person for any purpose.
- Changes to law and challenges.
- Australian tax law can change from time to time and can operate both prospectively and retrospectively. If a relevant tax law changes after the date of any written advice or work we prepare for you, then this could affect our advice and recommendations. To that end, we will not update any advice we prepare for you unless you expressly request; and
- we also cannot guarantee that if your matter is challenged by the Commissioner of Taxation, another tax authority or a tribunal or court, our views or our application of the tax law in our advice will be ultimately upheld.