Engagement Terms

STM Accounting Group – Terms of Service

This work will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB), including APES 110 Code of Ethics (Code), APES 220 Taxation Services and the Code of Professional Conduct pursuant to Tax Agent Services Act 2009.  Based on our scope of work, you give us authority to use Online Services for Agents and other Tax Agent Online Services for Agents related activities for the purposes of managing and meeting your taxation and Superannuation lodgement obligations.

Our Promise

We will perform procedures (guided by the APES suite of standards) required that are directly related to the engagement consistent with our Fundamental Principals of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, professional behaviour, and identifying, avoiding and dealing with conflicts of interest.

We will seek to understand your requirements and provide you services confidentially and professionally

We will document sufficient and appropriate records of the procedures performed for the terms of engagement, which may be subject to Best Practice Program assessment by CPA Australia under APES 320 Quality Control for Firms

 

Responsibilities

Our Responsibilities

We are obliged to consider whether our clients create any threats to compliance with our Fundamental Principles and where we cannot reduce the risk to an acceptable level, we are obliged to cease the Terms of Engagement under the Code (section 320) to decline or cease the client engagement.

We have a duty to act in your best interests, unless this duty is inconsistent with our duty to act in the public interest.

We will inform you

We are responsible for maintaining records for a period of at least 5 years unless otherwise required by legislation.

Your Responsibilities

You will be responsible for maintaining and regularly balancing all books of accounts, and the maintenance of an adequate accounting and internal control system. You also acknowledge that it’s your responsibility for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records and that you have disclosed all material and relevant information.

Our involvement in this type of engagement will not disclose fraud, defalcations or other irregularities which may occur. However, any material weaknesses in the accounting or internal control systems which come to our notice will be drawn to your attention.

Please be aware that:

  1. you are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided in relation to taxation services and this responsibility rests with you;
  2. any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances; and
  3. a taxpayer has obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns.
  4. You must retain paperwork for a period of five years after the assessment in instance of an Australian Taxation Office review
  5. You are responsible for checking the assessment before submission to ensure accuracy

Any information acquired by us in the course of our engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. Information will not be disclosed by me to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or professional standards, or with your express consent.  Our files may, however, be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by signing this letter 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. The same strict confidentiality requirements apply under this program as apply to us.


Taxpayer Obligations

A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to 5 years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate. If you are late in providing information, we will do our best to meet the time limits, but we will not be responsible for any late lodgement penalties or interest charges you may incur.

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.

Involvement of Others

Where, as part of our engagement, the services of an external consultant or expert are required, an estimated cost and timeframe and involvement will be provided to you for your approval.

Outsourcing

We currently use an outsourced service provider, The Outsourced Accountant  https://theoutsourcedaccountant.com/ located in Clark, Philippines, who delivers administration, professional accounting and taxation services and bookkeeping services.

Cloud Computing

In providing our services to you, we utilize Xero accounting, tax and practice management software, BGL 360 software, SuiteFiles, Docusign, AdobeSign and other occasional cloud computing programmes.  Data generated on these cloud computing platforms are held on servers in Australia, United States, Ireland and other countries.

Acceptance of our services in conjunction with this engagement document indicates your acceptance of the use of outsourced services and cloud computing programmes as described.  Where the outsourced service requires the disclosure of personal information to an overseas recipient a consequence of your consent is that STM Accounting Group will be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the Australian Privacy Principles are complied with by the overseas recipients of the Personal Information.

Losses from Unauthorised Cyber-Activity

We will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that any electronic data that contains your private information is securely stored and that any email transmissions are protected and are not able to be intercepted by third parties. However, we cannot be held liable for any loss you might incur as a consequence of any third party intervention that accesses, procures or copies any data that contains your private information from any medium or device we use to store or transmit such information.

In the event that, despite our firm having taken reasonable precautions to securely store your private information, you suffer any losses arising from the unauthorized cyber-activity, you agree to forever release us from any claim for your losses.

Privacy

Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information (PI) may be subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth) and accordingly we will only collect PI about you that relates to the terms of engagement.  We may disclose PI about you with your implied consent for the primary purpose of this term of engagement, or to third parties by express consent or as required by law,  This PI may be stored overseas in overseas servers (Google server locations and as detailed above).  If you would likes to access any PI we might hold about you, please contact us on 03 9879 8355.

We may collect PI about you, your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you.  If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet our respective obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).  Your obligations may include ensuring your privacy policy and contracts include a reference to your collection practices, how you will use the PI and that you may disclose the PI to an agent for public accounting services.

Where an outsourced service requires the disclosure of PI to an overseas recipient, we will take reasonable steps to ensure, by contract or otherwise, the recipient complies with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Your PI may be disclosed to CPA Australia Ltd and its service providers (if requested) for the purpose of conducting a CPA Australia Best Practice Program assessment on the services provided, which is aimed at maintaining high industry professional standards. CPA Australia Ltd will handle your personal information in accordance with the CPA Australia Privacy Policy.

Confidentiality

We have an ethical duty of confidentiality, which means we must not share or disclose your details of this TE to anyone, except as otherwise specified in this clause, without your consent unless required to by law.

We may disclose details and records of the services provided to you to CPA Australia Ltd, (if requested) for the purposes of conducting CPA Australia Best Practice Program assessment aimed at maintaining high industry professional standards.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

We hold professional indemnity insurance of at least the minimum amount prescribed in the CPA Australia Ltd By-Laws or as required by law.  Our PII cover at the time of this Terms of Agreement is $2,000,000 for any one claim.

Ownership of Documents 

The final Financial Statement, Income Tax Returns and any other documents which we are specifically engaged to prepare, together with any original documents given to me by you, shall remain your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us including general journals, working papers, the general ledger, draft financial statements and copies of tax returns, will remain our property at all times, subject to any statutory obligations.

Lien on Documents 

In relation to any subsequent termination of our services, you are advised that we shall be entitled to retain all documents belonging to you and any related parties we act for until payment is received in full for all outstanding fees.

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 Councils’ website:

https://www.psc.gov.au/



Contact Us Today.

Whatever your requirements, we can help you find the solution.

Unit 6, 1 Sigma Drive Croydon South, Australia VIC 3136


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