As an accounting business, you have specific obligations to your clients that you want to maintain and set out clearly in your Terms & Conditions and Engagement Letter.
Engagement Letters are important to give to your clients before you start your work for them, particularly as there are many risks and liabilities associated with giving tax-related advice.
Having these Terms and Conditions on your Engagement Letter makes sure that your client is aware of the scope of the services they’re receiving, and it is easier to enforce if there are any disputes.
It sets expectations for your clients and gives your accounting firm the appearance of professionalism as you’ve just approached your clients with transparency.
What’s In It?
Provisions that should be in your Accountants Terms of Engagement include:
- Payment: This is so your client is aware of your billing practices (whether they’re on a subscription basis for their business, or if they’re coming to you for one-off consultations for their tax-returns). It will also include terms for late payment.
- Limitations of liability and disclaimers: This is to ensure that your liability is limited if your client incurs any losses as a result of your advice (it is important to note that there are some liabilities you may not be able to contract out of).
- Scope of services: This is so your clients are aware of exactly what services they will be receiving and are entitled to. It will also set out your roles and responsibilities.
- Intellectual property: If you give your clients access to any software or any intellectual property, then the terms and conditions should ensure that your accounting firm still retains ownership of it.
- Confidentiality: This is to reassure your clients that all their information, whether it be personal or business, will be kept confidential.
- Term: This will set out the term of your services and for how long they will be receiving services.
- Professional standards: It may be set out in the engagement letter that accountants will act in accordance with standards and ethical requirements of their Professional Standards Authority.
Having an Accountant’s Terms and Conditions and Engagement Letter is important to make sure both you and your clients are aware of the services being provided.
It is useful in protecting your business’ interests so you’re protected from any liabilities your business may incur.
Sprintlaw has helped many accounting firms start up their businesses. Get in touch with us at [email protected] to find out how we can help you!
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