- Applicable Law
Our service contract with you, the schedule of services and our standard terms and conditions of business are governed by, and should be construed in accordance with Northern Ireland law. Each party agrees that the courts of Northern Ireland 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 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.
- Client identification
As with other professional services firms, we are required to identify our clients for the purposes of the UK anti-money laundering legislation. We may request from you, and retain, such information and documentation as we require for these purposes and/or make searches of appropriate databases. Such information and documentation includes (but is not limited to):
- Photographic ID (current driving licence or passport)
- Proof of address (recent utility bill or bank statement)
- Company incorporation documents (certificate of incorporation etc)
- Money laundering
The provision of accounting and taxation services is a business in the regulated sector under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and, as such principals and staff in such firms have to comply with this legislation which includes provisions that may require us to make a money laundering disclosure in relation to information we obtain as part of our normal work. It is not our practice to inform you when such a disclosure is made or the reasons for it because of the restrictions imposed by the ‘tipping off’ provisions of the legislation.
- Client money
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. The account will be operated, and all funds dealt with, in accordance with the client money rules of our Institute, Chartered Accountants Ireland, and our regulatory body, Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB).
- Commissions and other benefits
In some circumstances we may receive commissions or other benefits for introductions to other professionals or in respect of transactions which we arrange for you. Where this happens we will notify you in writing of the amount and terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits. The fees you would otherwise pay will not be reduced by the amount of the commissions or benefits.
Communication between us is confidential and we shall take all reasonable steps to keep confidential your information except where we are required to disclose it by law, by regulatory bodies, by our insurers or as part of an external peer review. Unless we are authorised by you to disclose information on your behalf this undertaking will apply during and after this engagement. We may, on occasions, subcontract work on your affairs to other tax or accounting professionals. The subcontractors will be bound by our client confidentiality terms. We reserve the right, for the purpose of promotional activity, training or for other business purpose, to mention that you are a client. As stated above we will not disclose any confidential information.
- Conflicts of interest
We will inform you if we become aware of any conflict of interest in our relationship with you 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 regret that we will be unable to provide further services.
If there is a conflict of interest that is capable of being addressed successfully by the adoption of suitable safeguards to protect your interests then we will adopt those safeguards. Where possible this will be done on the basis of your informed consent. We reserve the right to act for other clients whose interests are not the same as or are adverse to yours subject of course to the obligations of confidentiality referred to above.
- Data Protection
We confirm that we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 when processing personal data about you and your family. In order to carry out the services of this engagement and for related purposes such as updating and enhancing our client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, legal and regulatory compliance and crime prevention we may obtain, process, use and disclose personal data about you.
- Electronic and other communication
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. With electronic communication there is a risk of non-receipt, delayed receipt, inadvertent misdirection or interception by third parties. We use virus-scanning software to reduce the risk of viruses and similar damaging items being transmitted through emails or electronic storage devices. However electronic communication is not totally secure and we cannot be held responsible for damage or loss caused by viruses nor for communications which are corrupted or altered after despatch. Nor can we accept any liability for problems or accidental errors relating to this means of communication especially in relation to commercially sensitive material. These are risks you must bear in return for greater efficiency and lower costs. If you do not wish to accept these risks please let us know and we will communicate by paper mail, other than where electronic submission is mandatory. Any communication by us with you sent through the post [or DX] system is deemed to arrive at your postal address two working days after the day that the document was sent.
- External review
As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically reviewed by an independent regulatory or quality control body. These reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and, of course, are bound by the same rules for confidentiality as us.
- Professional rules and practice guidelines
We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics of CAI and CARB and accept instructions to act for you on this basis. In particular you give us the authority to correct errors made by HMRC where we become aware of them. We will not be liable for any loss, damage or cost arising from our compliance with statutory or regulatory obligations. You can see copies of these requirements in our offices. The requirements are also available on the internet at www.carb.ie
- Professional indemnity insurance
Our professional indemnity insurer is HCC International of Walsingham House, 35 Seething Lane, London, EC3N 4AH. The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States or Canada.
- General pricing and payment terms
Our fees may depend not only upon the time spent on your affairs or the value of work carried out in the delivery of your service packages, 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. It is our normal practice to agree a fixed price with you in advance for the provision of specific services. If it becomes apparent to us, due to unforeseen circumstances, that our fixed price quotation is inadequate, we reserve the right to notify you of a revised figure or range and to seek your agreement thereto. We will normally bill on completion of specific services or stages of our work and our invoices are due for payment upon presentation.
Unless otherwise agreed to the contrary our fees do not include the costs of disbursements, any third party, counsel or other professional fees. Our fees are exclusive of VAT which will be added where it is chargeable.
Should we resign or be requested to resign we will normally issue a disengagement letter to ensure that our respective responsibilities are clear. We will issue such correspondence to your last known email and postal addresses. It is your responsibility to inform us of any change of your home or business addresses.