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Privacy Policy – Engagement Terms

Privacy Policy

Our collection use and disclosure of our client’s personal information may be subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth) and accordingly we will only collect personal information about our clients that relate to our engagement terms.  We may disclose personal information about our clients with their express consent unless required by law.

If we are required by law to provide any personal information about our clients, they agree to work with us to ensure that all obligations are met.

Confidentiality

We have an ethical duty of confidentiality, which means we must not share or disclose any client details with anyone without express consent by our clients, unless required by law.

Financial Planning

We work in partnership with Chalmers Financial who are registered financial planners.  They handle all our client’s superannuation and financial planning advice that fall under the financial planning licence structure.

Purpose, Scope and Output of a Geelong Accounting Engagement

We will provide as required:

  • Bookkeeping including Payroll
  • Accounting
  • Taxation Services
  • ASIC Services
  • SMSF Compliance Services
  • Other Compliance Lodgement Services

which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB), and with Corporations Law in Australia.

The standards relevant to the above include but are not limited to:

  • APES Standard 110 Code of Ethics
  • APES Standard 220 Taxation Services
  • Code of Professional Conduct pursuant to Tax Agent Services Act 2009
  • APES 205 Standard Conformity with Accounting Standards
  • APES 320 Quality Control for Firms
  • APES 310 Dealing with Client Monies

The extent of our procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only. As a result, no audit or review will be performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed. Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform our clients of any such matters that come to our attention.

Financial Statements and Income tax returns will be prepared for distribution to our clients for the agreed purpose. There is no assumption of responsibility for any reliance on our report by any person or entity other than our clients and those parties indicated in the reports.  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.

Responsibilities

In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us during the engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties except as required or allowed for by law, or with our client’s express consent.

We wish to draw your attention to our firm’s system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard. As a result, our files may be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise our clients that by accepting our engagement our clients acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will advise our clients.

The Client is responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records and information provided and disclosure of all material and relevant information. Clients are required to arrange for reasonable access by us to relevant individuals and documents and shall be responsible for both the completeness and accuracy of the information supplied to us. Any advice given to the Client is only an opinion based on our knowledge of the Client’s circumstances.

A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made by a taxpayer in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review. Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of up to 4 years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate.

Where the application of a taxation law to your particular circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way a taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what you do the private ruling is ineffective.

If our clients rely on a private ruling they have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where our clients disagree with the decision in the private ruling, or the Commissioner fails to issue such a ruling, our clients can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Our clients time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether our clients are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.

NOCLAR Legislation

NOCLAR was enacted 1 January 2018 which may mean we will be required to report to various government agencies on the non-compliance of a business.  We aim to make this a last resort after attempting to help our clients correct any issues we find.  If after numerous attempts by us to educate our clients and help them become compliant, we feel they are no closer to compliance, or if they refuse to become compliant, our intention will be to remove ourselves from the engagement.

We will not be held responsible for the late lodgements or payments for any related entities that result from our work, including Centrelink debts, Land Tax or Payroll Tax.

Client Employers

If our clients are an employer, they acknowledge the fact that it is their responsibility to ensure they comply with all relevant employer responsibilities and laws including those contained in the Fair Work Act and associated awards and payrates.  We are not liable for any employment law or workplace breaches that our clients commit.

Single Touch Payroll

Our clients give us the authority to lodge any Single Touch Payroll requirements as the fall due.  They confirm that they are responsible for the payroll information lodged by Geelong Accounting.  They confirm that their staff wages comply with all agreements, awards, contracts, regulations and legislation. They also confirm that they have correctly calculated to the best of their knowledge that the correct amount of PAYG Withholding and Superannuation.  If they have been the subject of any ATO compliance with regards to PAYG Withholding within the last 2 years, they will advise us immediately.

Client Monies

If we take our fees from our client’s refunds, we will calculate our bills and provide our clients with a copy of the invoice at the time of the tax return processing.   Our clients are required to complete a fee from refund form at the time of returning the signed tax return documents along with their current bank details.  When we receive our clients refunds into our trust account we will, as soon as practical, direct debit their refund minus our fees into their nominated account.

Information Storage & Transmission

Our engagement will result in our client’s data being transmitted via the internet in the normal course of our business.  This is via government transmission services, email and other methods as we see fit.  We utilize cloud programs and storage when available and will use all due care and caution in doing so.  We will ensure all reasonable care is used in protecting your data with credible protection software.

Limitation of Liability

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

If you want more information on the Scheme you can go to: https://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/about-us/consumer-information or https://www.psc.gov.au/consumer-information

Authority to Lodge Business Activity Statements and Instalment Activity Statements

Our engagement will result in a requirement to lodge and amend BAS and IAS “on time and without ATO interest and penalties”. Our clients give Geelong Accounting the authority to do this on an as needed or required basis and we will always advise our clients when this happens.

Ownership of Documents

All original documents obtained from the client arising from our engagement shall remain the property of the client. However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.  These will be stored in a secure online database.

Our engagement will result in the production of income tax returns, financial statements or other documents as requested by the client. Ownership of these documents will vest in our clients. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of the firm.

The firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute. The firm has also established dispute resolution processes.

Payment Terms for Professional Services Rendered

Geelong Accounting retains the right to not lodge documents with the ATO or ASIC unless payment for our services has been made. Payment terms are strictly as advised on our invoice. We reserve the right to charge interest on accounts 30 days or over. Accounts over 90 days old will be lodged with our legal representatives for collection and payment. We expect our clients in difficulty to contact us for payment options prior to this action, otherwise they agree to pay all costs that are incurred in the collection of their payments.

Our engagement will result in the production of income tax returns, financial statements or other documents as requested by the client. Ownership of these documents will vest in our clients. All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of the firm.

The firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute. The firm has also established dispute resolution processes.