O’Connells OBM is committed to making it easy for you to do business with us.

 We have outlined our engagement terms below, including the nature and limitations of the services we will provide.

 We welcome you to contact us should any of these terms need further explanation.

Purpose, Scope and Outputs

In providing our services, it is agreed that we will not be undertaking any independent audit of the financial statements or income tax returns prepared and therefore we will not be expressing an opinion as to the truth and fairness of those statements.

Our role will be limited to assistance in the compilation of the financial statements and preparation of the relevant taxation returns based on the information and records provided by you to us.

The financial statements prepared will contain an appropriate disclaimer that identifies the extent and limitation of our role. We are entitled to rely on the records provided as being both accurate and complete. Our involvement in the preparation of financial statements cannot be relied on to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist.

At times we may provide assistance with Single Touch Payroll or payroll systems within your accounting software. We will be relying on the information provided by you and will not be providing advice in relation to the appropriateness of such payments under the Fair Work Act or otherwise.

In respect of the preparation of income tax returns, we are required by the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 to satisfy ourselves as to the reasonableness of the information and claims being made in your income tax returns. The legislation provides the basis for this and may require us to make further enquiries with you from time to time in relation to your taxation returns. Where possible, we will endeavour to identify the information that will be required in advance.

Some of your agreed work is subject to specific lodgement dates. Our objective is to ensure that all of your work is completed in time to meet these lodgement dates. This is reliant on receiving your work within a reasonable time period prior to those due dates and having timely answers to any queries raised.

Our default method of communication will be by phone or electronic means (in the form of emails) and we ask that you take advantage of our digital signature platform – FuseSign, to make the review and signature process seamless for both parties. The traditional method of paper and post will still be made available if that is the client preference.

Your Rights & Obligations

The Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requires us to advise you of your rights and obligations where we are acting for you on taxation matters. In relation to the taxation services provided:

You are subject to the self-assessment system in relation to any of your income tax returns. The Commissioner is entitled to rely on any statements made in your income tax returns. Where those statements are later found to be incorrect, the Commissioner may amend your income tax assessments and, in addition to any tax assessed, you may also be liable for penalties and interest charges.

You have an obligation to keep proper records that will substantiate the taxation returns prepared and which will satisfy the substantiation requirements of the Income Tax Assessment Act. Failure to keep such records could result in claims being disallowed, additional tax being imposed, and the imposition of penalty or general interest charges.

You are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information required to comply with the various taxation laws. We will use this information supplied in the preparation of your returns.

Your rights as a taxpayer include:

  • The right to seek a private ruling;
  • The right to object to an assessment by the Commissioner;
  • The right to appeal against an adverse decision by the Commissioner.
  • Certain time limitations may exist for you to exercise these rights. Should you wish to exercise these rights at any time you should contact us so that we can provide you with the relevant time frames and to discuss any additional requirements which may exist.

Instructions

You confirm that you, and any other person you nominate from time to time are authorised to give us instructions and information on behalf of all persons we are acting for and to receive our advice and documents on their behalf.

If we are acting for a business, and we receive conflicting advice, information or instructions from different persons, we may refer the matter to the board of directors, partners or proprietors (as applicable) and act only as requested by them.

You and your spouse/partner

We will advise you and your spouse/partner on the basis that you are a family unit with shared interests. We may deal with either of you and may discuss with either of you the affairs of the other. If you wish to change these arrangements, please let us know.

Knowing you

We may be required to verify your identity for the purposes of the anti-money laundering laws. We may request from you such information as we require for these purposes and make searches of appropriate databases.

Responsibilities

You must provide us with all information necessary for dealing with your affairs including information which we reasonably request, in sufficient time to enable our services to be completed before any applicable deadline. We will rely on such information being true, correct and complete and will not audit the information.

You authorise us to approach such third parties as may be appropriate for information that we consider necessary to deal with your affairs.

You must keep us informed on a timely basis of changes in your circumstances that may affect our services.

Qualifications on our services

To the extent our services involve the performance of services established by law, nothing in the engagement letter or these terms reduce our obligations under such law.

You must not act on advice given by us on an earlier occasion without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid.

Our services are limited exclusively to those you have engaged us to perform. Unless otherwise specified in the engagement letter, our services cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities and errors, including fraud and other illegal acts, in your affairs.

Where our engagement is recurring, we may amend our engagement letter and these terms where we consider it is necessary or appropriate to do so. If you do not accept such amendments, you must notify us promptly.

Reliance on advice

We will endeavour to record all advice on important matters in writing. Advice given verbally is not intended to be relied upon unless confirmed in writing. If we provide verbal advice (for example during a meeting or telephone conversation) that you wish to rely on, you must ask us to confirm the advice in writing.

Investment and financial advisory advice

We will not provide you with investment or financial advice regulated under the Corporations Act 2001(Cth), but may refer you to our affiliated financial planning practice Liberum Financial Pty Ltd where such advice can be obtained.

Professional obligations

We will comply with the professional and ethical standards of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board, available at apesb.org.au. This includes APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including Independence Standards), among other things contains provisions that apply if we become aware of any actual or potential ‘non-compliance with governing laws or regulations’ (NOCLAR). Where any such non-compliance poses substantial harm (such as serious adverse consequences to investors, creditors, employees, auditor, group auditor or the public), we may be required to disclose the matter to an appropriate authority.

Conflicts of interest

We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you (including between the various persons this engagement letter covers) or in our relationship with you and another client. Where conflicts are identified which cannot be managed in a way that protects your interests then we will be unable to provide further services to some or all of the persons to whom this engagement applies. If this arises, we will inform you promptly.

We may act for other clients whose interests are not the same as or are adverse to yours, subject to the obligations of conflicts of interest and confidentiality referred to above.

Fees and payment

Our fees will be charged on the basis set out in the engagement letter and have been set based on the level of skill, responsibility, importance and value of the advice, as well as the level of risk.

If we have provided you with an estimate of our fees for any specific work, this is an estimate only and our actual fees may vary.

We may provide a fixed fee for the provision of specific services. If it becomes apparent to us, due to unforeseen circumstances, that a fixed fee is inadequate, we may notify you of a revised figure and seek your agreement to it.

If the decision is made to end this engagement midway through an agreed annual engagement/fixed price proposal, a review of the level of service provided, compared with the current amount of payments towards these services will occur. By default, any remaining payments for the 12-month period will still be due.

 Any disbursements and expenses we incur in the course of performing our services will be added to our invoices where appropriate.

Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary, our fees do not include the costs of any counsel, or other professionals or third parties engaged with your approval.

We may charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 10% above the RBA cash rate.

We may also suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice if payment of any fees is unduly delayed.  We advise we will not be held responsible for any consequences of this action as we consider a breach of our credit terms to be a breach by you in our contract to provide services to you.

We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so.

Lien

If permitted by law or professional guidelines, we may exercise a lien over all materials or records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.

Confidentiality

We will take all reasonable steps to keep your information confidential, except where:

  • we need to disclose your information to our preferred service providers (including Liberum Financial Pty Ltd, FuseWorks Pty Ltd, Faculte3 Pty Ltd, Vennd Pty Ltd, Zicht Pty Ltd trading as The Goods Community, Acumin IO Pty Ltd, Backoffis Pty Ltd and Balena Tassa Pty Ltd or regulatory bodies in performing the services, our professional advisers or insurers or as part of an external peer review from time to time.  Our files may also be subject to review as part of the quality review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.  By accepting this engagement, you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. We will take reasonable steps to ensure any such recipient (other than a regulatory body) keeps such information confidential on the same basis;
  • we are required by law, regulation, a court of competent authority, or those professional obligations referred to above, to disclose the information; or
  • you give us permission to disclose the information.

We may retain your information during and after our engagement to comply with our legal requirements or as part of our regular IT back-up and archiving practices. We will continue to hold such information confidentially.

We may mention that you are a client for promotional purposes.

Privacy

You must make all necessary notifications and obtain any necessary consents for us to process personal information you provide to us. We collect and use that personal information for the purposes of providing the services described in the engagement letter to you and we will comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) when processing that personal information. Our privacy policy provides further details of our privacy practices.

Ownership of materials

We own the copyright and all other intellectual property rights in everything we create in connection with this engagement. Unless we agree otherwise, anything we create in connection with this agreement may be used by you only for the purpose for which you have engaged us.

All working papers prepared by us (in any form whatsoever, including physical and electronic) remain our property. We will retain these papers in accordance with our normal record keeping practices in accordance with our professional and legal obligations.   Original source records provided by you to us to assist in the completion of your work will be returned to you at the completion of each engagement. Where appropriate we may take copies to retain on your client file.

You agree we can use your logos and trademarks for the sole purpose of providing advice to you in connection with the engagement, unless you tell us otherwise.

Limitation of liability

Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

Further information on the scheme is available from the Professional Standards Council website: http://www.psc.gov.au/

You agree not to bring any claim against any of our Directors, Partners, Shareholders or Employees in their personal capacity.  To the maximum extent permitted by law, we are not liable to you for:

  • indirect, special or consequential losses or damages of any kind; or
  • liability arising due to the acts or omissions of any other person or circumstances outside our reasonable control, or your breach of these terms.

 

Limitation of third party rights

Our advice and information is for your sole use, and we accept no responsibility to any third party, unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work.

Termination

Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to the other party except where a conflict of interest has arisen. Should you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or any other person with misleading or factually inaccurate information, in which case, we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will not affect any accrued rights.

Communication

You must advise of any changes to your contact details. We may send any communications to the last contact details you have provided. Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means. The recipient is responsible for virus checking emails and any attachments. There is a risk of non-receipt, delayed receipt, inadvertent misdirection or interception by third parties in any form of communication, whether electronic, postal or otherwise. We are not responsible for any such matters beyond our control.

Communication Preferences

The Tax Office’s communication preference service allows us as your tax agents to set which Tax Office communications are sent to our practice digitally (on your behalf) and which communications are sent directly to you.

In engaging our services, you give us written authority to select which Tax Office communication types will be sent directly to us digitally.

Applicable Law

Our engagement is governed by Queensland law. The courts sitting in that State will have non-exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute between us.

Interpretation

If any provision of the engagement letter or these terms is void, that provision will be severed and the remainder will continue to apply. If there is any conflict between the engagement letter and these terms, these terms prevail.

Disputes and complaints

If you have any concerns about our costs or services, please speak to the person responsible for this engagement. To resolve your concerns we have policies and procedures in place to deal appropriately with complaints and will use best endeavours to resolve a complaint or dispute to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved. We may require you to detail your complaint in writing to allow us to fully investigate any concerns that you raise.