All accountants must comply with onerous duties imposed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (the “Anti Money Laundering Legislation”), which are intended to inhibit the activities of terrorists and other criminals by denying them access to technical expertise. If we fail to perform these duties, we risk imprisonment.
Before we accept your instructions, we may need to obtain ‘satisfactory evidence’ to confirm your identity. In certain circumstances, we may need to obtain evidence confirming the identities of third parties, the source of any funds or other property, the purpose of any instructions or any other matter. We may also need to obtain such evidence after we have begun to act on your instructions. We assume that our clients are honest and law abiding. However, if at any time, there appear to be grounds to suspect (even if we do not actually suspect) that your instructions relate to ‘criminal property’, we are obliged to make a report to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (“SOCA”), but we are prohibited from telling you that we have done so.
In such circumstances, we must not act on your instructions without consent from SOCA. If SOCA do not refuse consent within 7 working days, we may continue to act. If SOCA issue a refusal within that time, we must not act for a further 31 days from the date of the refusal.
‘Criminal property’ is property in any legal form, whether money, real property, rights or any benefit derived from criminal activity. It does not matter who carried out the criminal activity or how removed the property is from the original crime. Even if you are honest in your dealings, if your property represents a benefit from someone else’s crime, we must still make a report.
Activity is considered ‘criminal’ if it is a crime under UK law, no matter how trivial for example, tax evasion is a criminal offence, but an honest mistake is not. We will assume that all discrepancies are mistakes unless there is contrary evidence.
We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firm’s funds. If the total sum of money held on your behalf exceeds £2,000 for a period of more than 2 months, or such sum is likely to be held for more than 2 months, then the money will be placed in an interest-bearing client bank account. All interest earned on such money will be paid to you. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross. If there are grounds to suspect (even if we do not actually suspect) that any monies held in a client account is derived directly or indirectly from any criminal activity whatsoever, we may not release such monies until we receive permission to do so from SOCA.
We have required providing accountancy and consultancy service on your case.
Our fees may depend not only upon the time spent on your affairs but also on the level of skill and responsibility and the importance and value of the advice that we provide, as well as the level of risk.
If we provide you with an estimate of our fees for any specific work, then the estimate will not be contractually binding unless we explicitly state that will be the case by providing you our invoice.
Invoice fee will not be including additional work necessarily carried out as a result of enquiries or investigations by the HM Revenue & Customs or any other institution. Invoice Payment is due on presentation. We reserve our right to charge interest on overdue payments at a rate of two percent per month from the invoice date. Any enquiries about our invoice must be raised in writing within 21 days of the invoice date.
In the event of termination, you have legal obligation to pay off all your out-standing fee. On termination of the engagement you may appoint a new adviser. Where a new adviser requests professional clearance and handover information we reserve the right to charge you a reasonable fee for the provision of handover information.
In some circumstances, commissions or other benefits may become payable to us in respect of introductions to other professionals or transactions we arrange for you, in which case you will be notified in writing of the amount, the terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits. Any commission received will be paid to you unless we specifically agree a different basis of accounting for such commissions as appropriate to reflect charges for the relevant services provided by us.
In the event of non-payment of our fees for services rendered, we may exercise a particular right of lien over the books and records in our possession and withhold the documents until such time as payment of our invoice is received in full.
Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, unless you tell us not to, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that we store which are more than seven years old, other than documents which we think may be of continuing significance. If you require the retention of any document, you must notify us of that fact in writing.
We will observe the ethical guidelines of the Association of Accounting Technicians and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with those guidelines. A copy of these guidelines will be supplied to you on request.
We are committed to providing a high standard of customer service. If you have any ideas as to how our service to you could be improved, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving, please let us know. In the event that you have a complaint, we will look into this carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you or address your concerns. If you are still not satisfied you may of course make a complaint to the Association of Accounting Technicians.
All accounts, statements and reports prepared by us are for your exclusive use within your business or to meet specific statutory responsibilities. They should not be shown to any other party without our prior consent. No third party shall acquire any rights pursuant to our agreement to provide professional services.
This engagement letter is governed by, and construed in accordance with, English law. The Courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement letter and any matter arising from it. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in those courts, to claim that the action has been brought in an inappropriate forum, or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.
We will provide our services with reasonable care and skill. Our liability to you is limited to losses, damages, costs and expenses caused by our negligence or wilful default.