TErms of Business
The following terms of business apply to all engagments accepted by Hampshire Accountants Limited. All work carried out is subject to these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.
Where you give is confidential information we shall at all times keep it confidential, except as required by law or as provided for in regulatory, ethical or other professional statements applicable to this engagament,
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.
Where Hampshire Accountants provides access to accounting software in the Cloud, or, Hampshire Accountants chooses to use software in the cloud in order to discharge its services to you, this will be provided by a third party (the ‘Cloud Supplier’). We have confirmed that the third party complies with the Data Protection Act.
The service provided by the Cloud Supplier will be a discrete web based hosted facility, and you agree that access will also be provided to Hampshire Accountants and the third party.
Hampshire Accountants cannot be held liable for any interruption of service provided by the Cloud Supplier. However, we will liaise with them to help ensure that normal service is resumed as soon as possible.
Our fees are computed on the basis of time spent on your affairs and the responsibility and skill involved by the partners and staff of this firm. Unless otherwise agreed, our fees will be charged separately for each main class of work and will be billed at appropriate intervals during the course of the year. Hourly rates are available on request.
We may agree to invoice you monthly for a proportion of your fees in which case these will be payable on a monthly standing order. These standing order payments will be applied to fees for work agreed in this letter of engagement.
If invoices are not subject to payment by standing orders, our terms for such invoices are strictly 7 days net. Interest will be charged on all overdue debts at the rate stated on the invoice or, at the rate applicable under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, whichever is the higher.
Should you have any disagreement concerning a fee, this must be notified to us within 7 days of the invoice date. In the absence of such notification, you are deemed to have accepted the invoice and it is payable in full accordance with our normal terms.
If this letter of engagement covers work for a limited company and the company is unable to meet our fees as and when they fall due then the company’s directors will be personally, jointly and severally liable in respect of our outstanding fees.
Commissions or other benefits
While we will notify you of any commissions received, you agree that we may retain any such commissions.
Ownership of records
In the event of non-payment of our fees, we may exercise a 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.
Correspondence and other papers that we may hold older than 6 years will be destroyed unless you request their return in writing. Documents can be collected FOC but a fee will be charged for returning documents by post.
We are committed to providing a high standard of customer service. We welcome suggestions on how our service to you could be improved. We hope that you will not have the need to complain but if you do, we will look into your complaint carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you and address your concerns.
All accounts, statements and reports prepared by us are for your exclusive use within your business or to meet specific statutory responsibilities.
For the purpose of providing our services to you, pursuant to our engagement letter, we may disclose the client personal data to our regulatory bodies or other third parties (for example, our professional advisors or service providers). The third parties to whom we disclose such personal data may be located outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). We will only disclose client personal data to a third party (including a third party outside of the EEA) provided that the transfer is undertaken in compliance with the data protection legislation.
Anti money laundering legislation
All accountants must comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 (the “Anti Money Laundering Legislation”), which are intended to stop the activities of terrorists and other criminals by preventing them using accountancy services. If we do not comply with this legislation, we risk imprisonment.
Before we can act for your company, we have to confirm the identity of the directors. At any time we may also need to obtain evidence confirming the identities of third parties, the source of any money or funding of property or other assets, and other matters.
We assume that our clients are honest and law abiding. However, if at any time we have grounds to suspect that crime is being committed, we are obliged to make a report to the National Crime Agency (NCA). We are prohibited by the legislation from telling you that we have done this. In such circumstances, we cannot do any work for your company without consent from NCA.
‘Criminal property’ is money, property, other assets, rights or any benefit derived from criminal activity. Activity is considered ‘criminal’ if it is a crime under UK law, no matter how trivial. Tax evasion is a criminal offence but an honest mistake is not.
It does not matter who carried out the criminal activity. 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.
Disclaimer: We will not be liable for any loss suffered by you or any third party as a result of our compliance with the Anti Money Laundering Legislation or any UK law.
We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, separate from our funds.
If there are grounds to suspect that any monies held in a client account are derived directly or indirectly from any criminal activity whatsoever, we may not release such monies until we receive permission to do so from NCA.
This engagement letter is governed by, and construed in accordance with the law of the relevant UK jurisdiction as determined by law. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in Courts of the relevant jurisdiction.