Rather than turn our engagement letters into mini-reports, we like to keep them simple so you understand the 3 main points that are important to you:
- What services we will provide you;
- Our fee to provide those services;
- How long it will take to provide those services.
When completing our engagements, however, there are still a number of points to keep in mind which you can read about below.
Purpose, Scope and Output of the Engagement
In respect to the above, this firm will provide such services, which 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 procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only.
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, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters that come to our attention.
Our financial statements and any other reports will be prepared for distribution to the directors/trustees for the agreed purpose. There is no assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our report by any person or entity other than yourselves and those parties indicated in the report. The report shall not be inferred or used for any purpose other than for which it was specifically prepared. Accordingly, our report will include a disclaimer to this effect. We will also notify you of any material departures from the applicable financial reporting framework.
In conducting this engagement, you are responsible for the accuracy, reliability and completeness of the details and information you provide to our office, as well as disclosure of all material and relevant information.
You are also required to advise our office on a timely basis if there are any changes to your circumstances that may be relevant to the performance of our services. Specifically, if any subsequent event results in the information you provided to our office being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading, then you are obliged to advise our office as soon as possible. We take no responsibility to the extent that our advice is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading because it is based on inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information being provided to our office.
Please note that where we are to prepare income tax returns, we will prepare such returns based on the information provided by you. Where information seems to be inconsistent with a previous pattern of claims or statements, we will take reasonable care in verifying the accuracy of the information, insofar that it is required to be verified subject to the agreed scope of the engagement.
We will also take reasonable care in ascertaining the state of the entity’s affairs and in applying the correct interpretation of taxation laws consistent with the circumstances provided by you in accordance with the code of professional conduct as contained in the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.
The information acquired by us in the course of the engagement is also subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law, or with your express consent.
We wish to draw your attention to our firm’s system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (“CAANZ”) which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by accepting our engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will advise you.
Clients are required to arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant individuals and documents, and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us.
Other Service Providers
Where you have engaged other service providers to prepare records and documents (e.g. bookkeepers preparing Business Activity Statements), these service providers are responsible for the accuracy, reliability and completeness of such information.
Third party responsibilities
We may utilise outsourced service providers and cloud computing service providers, including:
Xero – to manage our firm’s Practice Management System, software for preparation of tax returns and accounting software. Xero’s servers are located within enterprise-grade hosting facilities that employ robust physical security controls to prevent physical access to the servers they house. These controls include 24/7/365 monitoring and surveillance, on-site security staff and regular ongoing security audits. Xero maintains multiple geographically separated data replicas and hosting environments to minimise the risk of data loss or outages.
BGL – to manage company registry services (BGL CAS 360) and accounting administration of self-managed superannuation funds (CAS Simple Fund 360. BGL uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Australia to host their web applications. BGL’s Data Backup and Recovery Plan mandates a copy of the data may be maintained in an AWS region outside Australia.
You agree to the Terms & Conditions of “MYOB Live Accounts” and “Xero” and understand that Lutz & Associates may sign-up and agree to the “Terms & Conditions” of “MYOB Live Accounts” and “Xero” on your behalf, unless clearly expressed otherwise by you.
You agree to the Terms & Conditions of any other software used by Lutz & Associates that we are required to access in the provision of Services to you. This includes cloud based software accessed by you the Client, as instructed or made available by our firm.
It is your responsibility to retain data back-ups of all relevant information of information provided to our office.
We will communicate with you electronically, including sending you Commercial Electronic Messages (as that term is defined in relevant SPAM legislation). You consent to us sending Electronic Communications to you.
Electronically transmitted information cannot be guaranteed to be secure or virus or error free and consequently such information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete or otherwise be adversely affected or unsafe to use. We will not be liable to you in respect of any error, omission or loss of confidentiality arising from or in connection with the electronic communication of information to you.
Limitation of Liability
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation. This is approved under the Professional Standards Act (Qld) 2004.
Ownership of Documents
All original documents obtained from you in respect to this engagement shall remain your property, however, we reserve the right to make copies of the original documents for our records.
Ownership of the financial statements, income tax returns and any reports produced as part of the engagement will remain the property of the firm.
In the event of a dispute, the firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession.