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Terms & Conditions 

Updated 1 October 2021

M G Arthur & Associates Pty Ltd has set out in this document our basic terms and conditions (the "Terms and Conditions"), which together with our Engagement letter (together called "the Costs Agreement"), will apply to all work performed by Us for You with respect to this Engagement.

Performance of the Services

  • We will provide the Services set out in our Engagement Letter and will use all reasonable commercial efforts to provide the Services in an efficient and timely manner, using the necessary skill and expertise to an appropriate professional standard.
  • We may provide additional or unlisted services on request by you which would be performed and charged on time cost basis.
  • Where no engagement letter is in place, MGAA aims to provide services under CPA Australia guidelines and charge based on our time costs.

Interpretation

In these terms and conditions:

Additional Clients means any persons or entities who You have instructed us to undertake work for who is not a Principal Client, including but not limited to individuals and entities listed in this Cost Agreement.
Costs Agreement means the agreement comprised of the Engagement Letter and these Terms and Conditions.
Engagement Letter means the letter under which You engaged Us that was provided with these Terms and Conditions.
Principal Client means the persons or entities described as a Principal Client in the Engagement Letter or who have signed an Accession Agreement.
You means each Principal Client and the Additional Clients (if any).
We, Us or Our means or refers to M G Arthur & Associates Pty Ltd.

1. Who May Instruct Us

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 Principal Clients and Additional Clients to receive Our advice and documents on their behalf. This includes any staff member or bookkeeper associated with Your business. Where there is more than one Principal Client, We may take instructions from either of them.

If We are acting for a business, and We receive conflicting instructions, 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.

2. 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.

3. Know Your Customer (KYC)

We may be required to verify Your identity for the purposes of anti-money laundering laws and Our obligations under the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 (Cth). We may request from You such information as We require for these purposes and make searches of appropriate databases.

4. Your Responsibilities, Obligations & Rights

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.

The Tax Agents Services Act 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 need to pass three tests to claim a tax deduction;
    o  You need to have spent money and not be reimbursed (the incurred test)
    o  The amount spent should be directly related to Your work and not be ancillary (the nexus test)
    o  You must maintain records to substantiate your expense (the substantiation test)
  • 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 possible penalties and/or general interest charges. All records need to be maintained for a period of 7 years (in case of Capital Assets, the purchase records need to be maintained until 7 years after the sale date).
  • 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;
    o  The right to object to an assessment by the Commissioner;
    o  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.

You must retain original copies of all data provided to and by Us. We adhere to industry best practice guidelines to prevent data loss, including secure back-ups of all client data but do not make any guarantees that there will be no loss of data. We expressly excludes liability for any loss of client data.

You must not use the Our logo on any websites or in any public statement, (including filing all or part of a report with a regulator or including all or part of a report in any public document) without obtaining our prior written consent. 

You are responsible to ensure that all username and passwords required to access Our services and cloud softwares are kept secure and confidential. You must immediately notify Us of any unauthorise use of Your passwords or breach of security.

You agree that We do not accept any liability for the content or performance of any third party website accessed through our website, nor endorse or approve the contents of any such site. We do not give any warranty that our website is free from viruses or anything else which may have a harmful effect on any technology.

5. Qualifications on Our Services 

Our services are limited to the services specified in the Engagement Letter, subject to the following qualifications.

You are responsible for recording and reporting PAYG, super guarantee, workers compensation insurance, land tax and other matters not specifically listed in this engagement. Other than specific advice sought or a specific form that We lodge in accordance with Your express instructions, We are not engaged by You in relation to such matters.

We do not provide any financial planning advice at any stage.

Where We are engaged to process payroll for your business entity, We do not provide any advice on employment law, nor hold responsibility for its implications for You as an employer. You should obtain legal advice on Your employment law obligations.

Where We are engaged to represent you as your ASIC agent for secretarial services, We do not hold or maintain Your corporate register. Our secretarial services are limited to the following:

  • preparing an annual solvency resolution for any companies that are a Principal Client or Additional Client;
  • preparing and lodging ASIC Form 484 when you have instructed us that there has been a change in company details that is required to be notified to ASIC for a Principal Client or Additional Client;
  • preparing and lodging other ASIC Forms pursuant to an express instruction from You; and
  • informing You when annual fees are due and reviewing the annual statement for the company to ensure it is correct based on information You have provided to us. 
We cannot and will not advise You on Your obligations under the Corporations Act. In particular, and without limitation, We cannot and will not provide You with advice on whether You are a disclosing entity under the Corporations Act. You should seek legal advice on Your obligations under the Corporations Act, including on any obligations to report to ASIC or on the application of the Corporations Act to any transaction undertaken by You.


6. Reliance on Information Provided

You are responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided to Us.

You are also responsible for retaining paperwork for as long as legally required.

Where We review or record your accounting journals in MYOB/XERO or other accounting software, We do so based on information provided by You and hold no responsibility to confirm the accuracy or authenticity of the information contained in the accounting software.

You are responsible for reviewing any reports and returns prepared by Us before lodgement and to confirm the information contained in such reports and returns is complete and accurate.

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

We confirm that ;  

  • You are responsible of the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided by You;
  • You are responsible for ensuring that We have been provided with all of Your particular circumstances when providing advice to You; and
  • You have an obligation under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns.

As a result, no audit or review will be performed by Us and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed by Us. 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.

Statements/Returns may be provided to the directors/members of the corporate client, partners of partnership clients, or the trustee/beneficiaries of the trust client, for the agreed purpose. There is no assumption of responsibility for any reliance on Our report by any person or entity other than You. The report shall not be inferred or used for any purpose other than for which it was specifically prepared. Accordingly, Our report may include a disclaimer to this effect.

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 lodgment penalties you may incur.

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 in which case You may terminate Our engagement below and those amendments will not apply prior to such termination. 

7. Reliance on Advice

From time to time, we will provide You with advice incidental to other work We perform. Any advice provided will be based on our understanding of Your circumstances. Our advice may be given verbally, in an email or in a formal letter of advice. The tax laws are complex and, accordingly, if You require certainty as to Your tax position You should instruct us to provide a formal letter of advice or obtain a ruling from the ATO.

Separately, We may provide general information either through website or social media (e.g. in form of blogs or newsletters) or in direct communication with You. This information is generic in nature.

It is not reasonable for You to rely on any advice given verbally, by email or through website and social media without obtaining a formal letter of advice or a ruling from the ATO. We do not accept responsibility if You rely upon advice given verbally, via an email or through website and social media.

8. Investment and Financial Advisory Advice

We will not provide You with investment or financial advice regulated under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) unless We have expressly agreed to do so in writing, specifying an applicable Australian Financial Services License number.

9. 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), which 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.

10. Conflict 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.

11. Fees 

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.  An indicative range for some of the engagement elements are listed below;

 Engagement Elements   Fee Range (+GST) 
 Investment Entity (Company or Trust) Financials and Tax Returns    $750-$3,500 per entity per year
 Business Entity Financials and Tax Returns T/O <$2m   $3,500-$5,000 per business entity per year
 Business Entity Financials and Tax Returns T/O >$2m   $5,000-$20,000 per business entity per year
 SMSF Financials and Tax returns   $1,500-$4,500 per Superfund per year
  BAS Returns   $190-$750 per BAS Return
  FBT Returns   $350-$750 per FBT Return
  Individual Returns   $190-$1,500 per individual per year
  Annual ASIC Renewal and Solvency Resolution   $90 per entity per year
  Update contact details with ASIC, ATO and ABR   $90 per entity
 Administration services including letters for banks, copies of ATO accounts, managing ATO remissions and
 payment plans etc.
  Relevant Hourly Charge
  Business and Tax Advisory and audit representation   Relevant Hourly Charge

The above Fee Range has been calculated keeping in mind charge out rate of various level of staff, including professional staff and administration staff. A schedule of hourly charge out rate for staff can be provided upon request. 

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.

In some cases, You may be entitled to assistance with Your professional fees, particularly in relation to any investigation into Your tax affairs by the ATO. Assistance may be provided through insurance policies You hold or via membership of a professional or trade body. Other than where such insurance was arranged through Us, You will need to advise Us of any such insurance cover that You have. You will remain liable for Our fees regardless of whether all or part are to be paid by someone else.

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. Any disbursements and expenses We incur in the course of performing Our services will be added to Our invoices where appropriate. Our fees are subject to review on annual basis.

12. Payment Terms

We will bill upon completion of each activity or on a monthly or quarterly basis, as may be suitable. Our fees set out in our engagement letter are exclusive of GST which will be added to Our invoice where it is chargeable.

 Our invoices are payable strictly within 14 days from date of invoice.

You consent to Us sending Our invoices to you electronically at Your usual email address You use for communicating with us.


We will charge interest at the general interest charge rate prescribed by section 8AAD of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) as applies from time to time on any amounts unpaid after the expiry of 14 days after a tax invoice is given to You.

If any rebates or discounts have been extended in Our invoice, the same may be reversed if the invoice is not paid within payment terms, solely at Our absolute discretion. In the event that We incur legal expenses to enforce any provision of the Costs Agreement, We will be entitled to recover such legal expenses, including, without limitation, legal fees on an indemnity basis, costs and disbursements, in addition to any other relief to which We shall be entitled.


Where you request us to charge your credit card, we will treat the information given as per Clause 14. Confidentiality and Clause 15. Privacy of this Terms and Conditions.  Where you use our online services for credit card payments, we do not hold any responsibility for misuse or inappropriate use of the card. Additional service fee may be charged for credit card payments.

13. Client Monies

We do not maintain a trust account and do not manage any third party payments (including payments to ATO or ASIC) on Your behalf.

14. Confidentiality

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

  • We need to disclose Your information to our service providers (including auditors of client monies if applicable) 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 and CPA Australia. By accepting this Costs Agreement, You acknowledge that, if requested, Our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program;
  • We are required by law, regulation, a court of competent authority, or pursuant to other professional obligations, to disclose the information;
  • We provide limited information (but only to the extent reasonably necessary) to potential purchasers (or their professional advisors) of Our practice but we will take reasonable steps to ensure that any such recipient keeps the disclosed information confidential; 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.

You expressly authorise us, in signing our letter of engagement, to publicly state that any Principal Client or Additional Client is a client for promotional purposes.

15. Privacy

Your personal information will only be used for the purposes for which it is collected or in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (as amended).  For example, We may use your personal information to provide advice and recommendations that take into account Your personal circumstances.

Depending on the nature of the work We do for You or any of the entities covered by this engagement, the types of bodies to whom we may disclose Your personal information include any Principal Client or Additional Client, the ATO, ASIC, Revenue NSW, solicitors and barristers, the courts or tribunals, the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, CPA Australia, and any outsourced service providers we may engage as independent contractors.

Our privacy policy provides further details of our privacy practices.  This is available here. 

16. 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. Accordingly You are prohibited from disclosing such material without our express consent.

All original documents obtained from You arising from the engagement shall remain Your property. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.

Our engagement will result in the production of BAS returns, Financial Statements and Tax Returns. Ownership of these documents will vest in You. All other documents produced by Us in respect of this engagement are part of Our intellectual property and will remain the Our property.

We confirm that:

  • You own all original materials given to us;
  • We own all materials produced by us that resulted from Our skill and attention to the extent that the materials produced by Us incorporate any original materials You give to Us;
  • We may exercise a lien over your documents or the documents of any entity covered by this engagement that are in Our possession in the event of Your failure to pay our fees; and
  • subject to the payment of all outstanding professional fees and disbursements owing to Us, We will provide you with copies of materials produced by Us for You in the event that You engage the services of another practitioner, and the materials are required by Your new practitioner. We may charge You Our reasonable costs in providing these materials to your new practitioner, estimated between $450+GST and $900+GST.

17. Limitation of Liability

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

You agree not to bring any claim against any of Our principals, partners, directors, shareholders or employees in their personal capacities.

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.

18. 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.

19. Termination by Us

We may cease to act for You or refuse to perform further work for you, including:

  • while any of Our tax invoices remain unpaid by You;
  • if You do not comply with a request to pay an amount in respect of disbursements or future costs, charges and expenses within 14 days;
  • if You do not provide Us with clear and timely instructions to enable Us to advance your matter;
  • if You refuse to accept Our advice;
  • if You indicate to Us or We form the view that You have lost confidence in Us;
  • if there are any ethical grounds which We consider require Us to cease acting for You, for example a conflict of interest;
  • for any other reason outside Our control which has the effect of compromising Our ability to perform work required by You within the required timeframe;
  • if, in Our sole discretion, We consider it is no longer appropriate to provide services to You; or
  • for just cause.

 We will give You 21 days written notice of termination of Our services. 

 You will be required to pay Our fees, charges, expenses and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination.

20. Termination by You

You may terminate Our services by written notice at any time.

If You terminate Our services, You must pay Our fees, charges, expenses and disbursements incurred up to the date of termination, including for works completed but not billed and works in progress yet to be completed.

On termination, whether by You under this clause or by Us under the preceding clause, if You request Us to provide any documents to You or to Your new accountants, we may charge You a reasonable fee of between $450+GST and $900+GST for arranging the documents to be provided.

21. 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.

22. Applicable Law

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

23. 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.

24. Disputes and Complaints

If you have any concerns about our costs or services, please speak to the Practice Manager of our practice as first point of contact.  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.

25. Third Party Responsibilities

We may from time to time engage third party specialist professionals and other public practitioners, where warranted to obtain the advice you need or to assist us to provide our service to you.  These may include cloud service providers and outsourced service providers.

In performing our duties we allow our staff to work from home and from locations outside of our office premises. We also engage staff in overseas locations, particularly in Sri Lanka and India. The concerned personnel work subject to confidentiality obligations and only access your information on our servers through remote access

We may utilise outsourced service providers and cloud computing service providers, including:

  • CloudAxis, to provide accounting solutions for SMSFs. CloudAxis is located in Australia, but the accountants who work on our client files for CloudAxis work from a location in India. The accountants work on our client files on our server through remote access and use CAS 360 cloud based software to produce financial accounts for SMSFs. No client information is stored on any server maintained by CloudAxis;
  • CCH Australia Limited (CCH iFirm) to host our website and email database for newsletters. All client data is hosted in Microsoft Azure cloud storage facilities onshore in Australia.
  • Annature, to provide electronic signature service, store all data sovereignly on Australian shores. Their application is hosted with Amazon Web Services, with three data centres located in Sydney, NSW.
  • Atlassian, in particular Trello and Confluence for cloud data management. They maintain data on Amazon Web Services, with data centres the US, Germany, Ireland, Singapore and Australia.
  • BGL Group, for CAS360 and SF360 which manages our ASIC renewals and lodgments, and compliance solutions for self-managed superfund. All BGL client web data is hosted in Australia by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • Sage Handisoft as our practice management software. We use the on premise solution of Sage Handisoft whereby data is stored locally on our server in our office and not on the cloud.
  • Xero for cloud computing. Xero maintains multiple geographically separated data replicas and hosting environments to minimize the risk of data loss or outages. For further information, please visit xero.com/au/about/security/
  • MYOB for cloud computing. For desktop data, data stays in our practice or at the location it is hosted eg. Client's desktop. All cloud based data is stored at Amazon Web Services Sydney region data centres.
  • Quickbooks for cloud computing, house production equipment in both Intuit-operated and Amazon Web Services (AWS). For further information, please visit https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/security/
  • CBA Australia merchant facility, for online payment through our website. Their data is stored in Australia. Please visit https://www.commbankawards.com.au/securityPrivacy for further information.
  • American Express merchant facility, for online payment through our website. Please visit https://www.americanexpress.com/au/about-us/disclosures/privacy-statement/ for details on data handling by AMEX.
  • Accountancy Insurance for the management of our clients accounting insurance policies. They currently store data in Microsoft Azure located in Australia and are looking to move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) also stored in Australia.

In conducting our services, we may engage advisors, solicitors, auditors and expert specialist such as quantity surveyors, business and property valuers, bankers, mortgage brokers, template document providers and others, on your behalf. We may also engage other cloud solution providers from time to time.

To perform the services, we may provide these third parties with access to your data to the extent this is required to perform the services.

 Acceptance of our services in conjunction with this engagement document indicates your acceptance of the use of outsourced services as described above.

26. Audit Insurance Cover

As part of Accountancy Insurance policy (underwritten by Vero), we offer you the opportunity to subscribe for a cover for accounting and legal fee, in case any tax obligations are audited by relevant government authority. This may give you peace of mind in not having to pay for all or part of our fee, in case there is an audit. More details and terms of the policy can be provided on request.

27. Responsibility for Payment of Fees and Breach of Agreement

By agreeing to these terms, You irrevocably and unconditionally agree to pay in full to Us any fees charged by Us for any Principal Client or Additional Client, as and when due, regardless of any defense, right of set-off or counterclaim that You may assert.

 

Your obligation to pay the fees may be satisfied by direct payment of the fees charged by Us or by causing the Principal Client or Additional Client to which the fees relate to pay such amounts to Us.

 

For the avoidance of doubt each Principal Client and each Additional Client is jointly and severally liable for the fees for each other Principal Client and Additional Client that is payable under the Costs Agreement.

 

Each Principal Client and each Additional Client, jointly and severally, shall indemnify Us against all liabilities, costs, expenses, damages and losses (including but not limited to any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profit, loss of reputation and all interest, penalties and legal costs calculated on a full indemnity basis) suffered or incurred by Us arising out of or in connection with any breach of or negligent performance or non-performance of the Costs Agreement any Principal Client or Additional Client, including without limitation, a failure or refusal to pay our fees within 14 days of the date of the invoice.