The standard terms and conditions of engagement for Client Services provided by Brodie Long & Grew Pty Ltd, trading as BLG Business Advisers, and BLG Audit Services Pty Ltd are outlined below.
Scope and Output of the Engagement
At the commencement of a client engagement, a client will be provided a letter or email communication (engagement communication) outlining the terms of our engagement and the nature and limitations of the services that will be provided. The engagement communication will also constitute a cost agreement.
The scope of the engagement will only include the services outlined in the engagement communication. If there is additional work required by the client, we will discuss the basis upon which that additional work can be included in the engagement. If we agree to carry out additional services, a client will be provided with new or amended engagement terms.
We will provide the services to each client in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB).
Unless the services covered by the engagement specifically include audit or review services, no assurance will be provided. Unless agreed with the client, the services will not include specific identification of fraud or other illegal acts. If we do identify any instances of fraud or illegal acts / omissions we will notify the client as soon as practicable that we have identified such acts / omissions.
The services are provided only for the benefit of the client identified in the engagement communication. We are not liable to any other person in respect of the services.
Our fees charged for the engagement will be outlined in the engagement communication. Fees will be charged at hourly rates according to the time spent by our employees and consultants working on the matter. Varying hourly rates are charged for each staff member differentiated by experience and qualifications.
Tax invoices will be raised on a work completed basis. If agreed, interim fees may be raised whilst the work is in progress. Our payment policy is 14 days following invoice date unless other terms are agreed to. Unless stated otherwise, our fees, expenses and charges exclude GST.
In accepting the terms of the engagement clients agree to provide us with complete, clear, accurate, meaningful and timely instructions.
Clients also agree to provide all information and documents requested by us, or necessary for us to undertake and complete the work, on a timely basis. Clients acknowledge and agree that they will be responsible for the completeness, accuracy and clarity of the information supplied to us.
Confidentiality and Data Protection
The purpose of collecting our clients’ personal information is to carry out the engagement services and for related purposes such as staff training and education, updating and enhancing our client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, legal and regulatory compliance and crime prevention.
Information our clients provide to us will be kept strictly confidential. Access to the information by our employees and contractors will be limited to the level of access required for them to complete the engagement services.
Our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand which monitors members’ compliance with professional standards. Our files may also be subject to review by other regulatory bodies including, but not limited to, the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. By accepting our engagement our clients acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to the engagement will be made available to these bodies. Should this occur, we will advise our affected clients.
Very occasionally, we may also be required to disclose confidential information by law, regulatory bodies, insurers or otherwise in accordance with APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Where our clients share personal information regarding a third party (including directors and employees of the client) with us, the client confirms that they have complied with their obligations under the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) (including, if they are not bound by that Act, as if they were so bound), including that the personal information was lawfully collected, that the client is entitled to disclose the personal information to us, and that we may use and disclose the personal information in the manner detailed above.
Involvement of third parties:
We are satisfied the third parties meet all Australian Privacy Law obligations as set out under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Australian Privacy Principles (AAP Standards). At all times we retain primary responsibility for delivery of the services covered under the engagement.
Limitation of Liability
We will provide our Services with reasonable care and skill. Our liability to our clients is limited to losses, damages, costs and expenses directly caused by our negligence or wilful default.
Our liability may also be limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Further information on schemes is available from the Professional Standards Councils’ website: https://www.psc.gov.au/.
Ownership of documents
All original documents that we obtain from our clients to perform the services under the engagement remain the property of the client. However, the client agrees that we may make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records and to provide the services of the engagement.
We retain all copyright in any document prepared by us during the course of carrying out the engagement for the client, except where the law specifically states otherwise.
To the extent permitted by law or professional standards, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for the client until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid to us in full.
Complaints and disputes
We have a complaints process in place and will use our best endeavours to resolve a complaint or dispute to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved. We may ask that our clients provide all complaints in writing to allow us to fully investigate the issues raised.
Either party to a dispute can request that the complaint or dispute is managed through external dispute resolution or mediation service. We and the client agree that external dispute resolution will be undertaken before any legal claim is formally commenced. This does not override the rights of either party to seek legal action to enforce contractual rights under the engagement agreement.
Acceptance of Terms
Clients acknowledge that by signing and returning a signed copy of the engagement letter, or by acknowledging via return email an acceptance of the engagement terms, they agree to be bound by these terms of engagement.