Standard Terms of Business
(Last Revised 15 February 2013)
All engagements that we accept are subject to the following standard terms of business until superseded or changes are expressly agreed in writing.
We will endeavour to reply to your requests within 72 hours unless prior notice has been given that we will be unavailable. In addition, we will prioritise urgent queries.
Goddard Accounting and Tax Solutions is a member of ICAS, and in her conduct, Dawn Goddard (Director) is subject to its Code of Ethics which can be found at www.icas.org.uk/Ethics.aspx.
Professional indemnity insurance
In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is AON UK Limited of Gibraltar House, Gibraltar Walk, High Street, Wickford, Essex, SS12 9AX.
- Our fees are calculated on the basis of time spent on your affairs by Dawn Goddard and her staff (including any sub-contractors or consultants that we may employ) and on the levels of skill and responsibility involved. In addition we may charge disbursements of travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in dealing with your affairs.
- If it is necessary for us to carry out work that is outside the scope of the engagement currently in place with you, we will advise you of this. Any additional work will result in additional fees being charged.
- Where we have agreed that you will pay on an invoice rendered basis, invoices are payable in full (including disbursements) in accordance with the terms set out on the invoice.
- Where we have agreed that you will pay us on a standing order basis, the scheduled monthly payment should be made on date due.
- We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the current rate under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. We also reserve the right to terminate our engagement and cease acting if payment of any fees billed is unduly delayed.
- In the event that we cease to act for you then you agree to meet all reasonable costs of providing information to your new advisers.
Help us to give you the right service
- If at 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.
- We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you. If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction you may of course take up the matter with ICAS.
- In order for us to continue to provide you with a high quality service 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 these terms of business.
- We 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.
Retention of and access to records
- 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 accounts 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 & Customs enquire into your tax return.
- 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 7 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.
Conflicts of interest and independence
- We reserve the right during our engagement with you to deliver services to other clients whose interests might compete with yours or are, or may be, adverse to yours. We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting you.
- If a conflict of interest should arise, either between two or more of our clients, or in the provision of multiple services to a single client, we will take such steps as are necessary to deal with the conflict. In resolving the conflict, we would be guided by the ICAS Code of Ethics which can be viewed at www.icas.org.uk/Ethics.aspx.
- 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. We may on occasions subcontract work on your affairs to consultants or subcontractors who are, of course, bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as Dawn Goddard and her staff.
- As part of our on-going commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically subject to an independent regulatory or quality review by ICAS. ICAS reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and are, of course, bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as Dawn Goddard and her staff.
- Our engagement letters are governed by, and construed in accordance with, Scots law. The Courts of Scotland will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement letter and any matter arising from it. 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 inappropriate forum, or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.
- If any provision in these terms of business or any associated engagement letter, or its application, are found to be invalid, illegal or otherwise unenforceable in any respect, the validity, legality or enforceability of any other provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired.
- We do not accept responsibility for any errors or problems that may arise through the use of internet communication and all risks connected with sending personal or commercially sensitive information relating to your business are borne by you. If you do not agree to accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication.
Data Protection Act 1998
- 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/partnership/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.
Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
- The advice we give you is for your sole use and is confidential to you and will not constitute advice for any third party to whom you may communicate it. We will accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
General limitation of liability
- We will provide services as outlined in this letter with reasonable care and skill. However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we will not be responsible for any losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities where you or others supply incorrect or incomplete information, or fail to supply any appropriate information or where you fail to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from me or the tax authorities.
- You will not hold Dawn Goddard and any staff employed by her, responsible, to the fullest extent permitted by law, for any loss suffered by you arising from any misrepresentation (intentional or unintentional) supplied to us orally or in writing in connection with this agreement. You have agreed that you will not bring any claim in connection with services we provide to you against any of the principals or employees personally.
- Our work is not, unless there is a legal or regulatory requirement, to be made available to third parties without our written permission and we will accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
Use of our name in statements or documents issued by you
- You are not permitted to use our business or personal name in any statement or document that you may issue unless my prior written consent has been obtained. The only exception to this restriction would be statements or documents that in accordance with applicable law are to be made public.
Draft/interim work or oral advice
- In the course of our providing services to you we may provide advice or reports or other work products in draft or interim form, or orally. However, final written work products will always prevail over any draft, interim or oral statements. Where you request it, we will provide you with written confirmation of matters stated orally.
Intellectual property rights
- We will retain all copyright in any document prepared by us during the course of carrying out the engagement save where the law specifically provides otherwise.
- Since we are not authorised by the Financial Services Authority then we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised if you need advice on investments. However, as we are licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, we may be able to provide certain investment services that are complementary to, or arise out of, the professional services we are providing to you.