1. Applicable Law
Our engagement letter, the schedule of services and our standard terms and conditions of business are governed by and should be construed in accordance with Scottish law. Each party agrees that the courts of Scotland will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference of opinion concerning the 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.
2. 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 lawful purposes and/or make searches of appropriate databases.
3. Client money
We will not at any time hold client money in cash or in any bank account on your behalf. Any refunds from HMRC will be requested to be sent to you directly.
4. 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 we have received for referring you to that particular professional. Any commission we receive we keep in full.
We are committed to providing you with a high-quality service that is both efficient and effective. However, should there be any cause for complaints in relation to any aspect of our service please contact the business owner. We agree to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do everything reasonable to put it right. If you are still not satisfied you can refer your complaint to our professional body, the Institute of Financial Accountants.
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 regulatory review. We may utilise the services of various third parties to assist in the work undertaken and we may make available to them confidential client information as necessary. Third parties may include organisations based locally and/or nationally.
All or any specialist third parties involved in your affairs will be bound by our client confidentiality terms.
Unless you inform us otherwise we will presume the right, for the purpose of training or for other business purpose, to mention the fact that you are a client. As stated above we will not disclose any confidential information.
7. 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.
8. Data Protection
9. Electronic communication and Online filing requirements
Unless you instruct us otherwise we may communicate with you and undertake online filing of documents with third parties on your behalf by electronic means. Recipients are responsible for virus checking and other safeguards applying to electronic storage of data.
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 electronic data. 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 to be borne 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.
For the avoidance of doubt, we will take responsibility for the electronic tagging and filing (iXBRL) of financial statements and corporation tax returns, if applicable to your affairs.
10. Fees and payment terms
Our current basis for raising fees is on a semi fixed fee basis once the work in the preparation of the accounts and tax return has been undertaken. Our invoices are due for payment within 14 days from the date of the invoice, in addition, documents will not be electronically submitted to HMRC until the invoice is paid in full, even if this results in HMRC receiving the documents after any submission deadline and you the clients, as a result receives a penalty for late submission with HMRC.
If you have moved to one of our Making Tax Digital packages, you will be asked to complete a Go Cardless direct debit mandate. All invoices will be paid via this mandate. Any sums due for invoices will be collected from your bank accounts 7-10 days after the date of the invoice allowing us to receive the funds within our 14 days from the date of the invoice.
As we progress to the Cloud and through Making Tax Digital all clients will be required to complete a Go Cardless direct debit mandate. Once the mandate is completed ALL invoices, including payroll and other services invoices will be collected and paid via the mandate.
In some cases, you may be entitled to assistance with your professional fees, particularly in relation to an investigation into your affairs by HMRC. Assistance may be provided through insurance policies you hold or via membership of a professional or trade body. Other than where such cover was arranged by or through ourselves 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 liable to be paid by your insurers.
Any disbursements we incur on your behalf and expenses incurred in the course of carrying out our work for you will be added to our invoices where appropriate. (e.g. postage, envelopes, paper etc)
We reserve the right to charge interest on late paid invoices at the rate of 2% per month. We also reserve the right to suspend our services or to cease to act for you on giving written notice by email, if payment of any fees is unduly delayed. We intend to exercise these rights only where it is fair and reasonable to do so.
We also reserve the right to review our fees, cost of packages on an annual basis and increase them if we feel necessary after informing you in writing 21 days prior to any increase.
If you do not accept that an invoiced fee is fair and reasonable you must notify us within 21 days of receipt, failing which you will be deemed to have accepted that payment is due.
If a client company, trust or other entity is unable or unwilling to settle our fees we reserve the right to seek payment from the individual giving us instructions on behalf of the client and you agree that we shall be entitled to enforce any sums due.
We will only assist with implementation of our advice if specifically instructed and agreed in writing.
12. Intellectual property rights
We will retain all copyright in any document prepared by us during the course of carrying out the engagement save where the law specifically provides otherwise.
If any provision of the engagement letter or related schedules is held to be void, then that provision will be deemed not to form part of this contract. In the event of any conflict between these terms of business and the engagement letter or appendices, the relevant provision in the engagement letter or schedules will take precedence.
14. Internal disputes within a client
If we become aware of a dispute between the parties who own or are in some way involved in the ownership and management of the business, it should be noted that our client is the business and we would not provide information or services to one party without the express knowledge and permission of all parties. Unless otherwise agreed by all parties we will continue to supply information to the normal place of business for the attention of the directors or proprietors. If conflicting advice, information or instructions are received from different principals in the business we will refer the matter back to the board of directors or the partnership and take no further action until the board or partnership has agreed the action to be taken.
15. Investment advice
As an incidental part of our services, we may advise you on generic investment matters. We are not, however, authorised to undertake specific product advice which should more appropriately be carried out by a suitable Financial Adviser. Should you require any specific investment advice we will introduce you to an authorised professional third party (PTP). The PTP will take full responsibility for all aspects of compliance under any regulations required by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. We will act as introducers and are not authorised to offer alternative advice. As a result of our introducing you to a PTP we may receive commission. It is our policy as a firm to remit half of all such commission to you. We will charge only for work carried out assisting the adviser and yourself with tax or other factual information and support.
Insofar as we are permitted to so by law or professional guidelines, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.
17. Limitation of liability
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.
Exclusion of liability for loss caused by others
We will not be liable if such losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities are due to the acts or omissions of any other person or due to the provision to us of incomplete, misleading or false information or if they are due to a failure to act on our advice or a failure to provide us with relevant information.
Exclusion of liability in relation to circumstances beyond our control
We will not be liable to you for any delay or failure to perform our obligations under this engagement letter if the delay or failure is caused by circumstances outside our reasonable control.
Exclusion of liability relating to the discovery of fraud etc
We will not be responsible or liable for any loss, damage or expense incurred or sustained if information material to the service we are providing is withheld or concealed from us or misrepresented to us. This applies equally to fraudulent acts, misrepresentation or wilful default on the part of any party to the transaction and their directors, officers, employees, agents or advisers.
This exclusion shall not apply where such misrepresentation, withholding or concealment is or should (in carrying out the procedures which we have agreed to perform with reasonable care and skill) have been evident to us without further enquiry.
Indemnity for unauthorised disclosure
You agree to indemnify us and our agents in respect of any claim (including any claim for negligence) arising out of any unauthorised disclosure by you or by any person for whom you are responsible of our advice and opinions, whether in writing or otherwise. This indemnity will extend to the cost of defending any such claim, including payment at our usual rates for the time that we spend in defending it.
18. Limitation of Third Party rights
The advice and information we provide to you as part of our service is for your sole use and not for any third party to whom you may communicate it unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work. We accept no responsibility to third parties, including any group company to whom the engagement letter is not addressed, for any advice, information or material produced as part of our work for you which you make available to them. A party to this agreement is the only person who has the right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any of its terms.
19. Period of engagement and termination
Unless otherwise agreed in the engagement covering letter our work will begin when we receive your implicit or explicit acceptance of that letter. Except as stated in that letter we will not be responsible for periods before that date.
Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to the other party except where you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or HMRC with misleading information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will be without prejudice to any rights that may have accrued to either of us prior to termination.
In the event of termination of this agreement, we will endeavour to agree with you the arrangements for the completion of work in progress at that time, unless we are required for legal or regulatory reasons to cease work immediately. In that event, we shall not be required to carry out further work and shall not be responsible or liable for any consequences arising from termination.
20. Professional rules and statutory obligations
We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Institute of Financial Accountants and will accept instructions to act for you on this basis. In particular you give us the authority to correct errors made by HM Revenue & Customs 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.
21. Retention of papers
You have a legal responsibility to retain documents and records relevant to your tax affairs. During the course of our work we may collect information from you and others relevant to your tax affairs. We will return any original documents to you if requested. Documents and records relevant to your tax affairs are required by law to be retained as follows:
Individuals, trustees and partnerships:
· with trading or rental income: 5 years and 10 months after the end of the tax year;
· otherwise: 22 months after the end of the tax year;
· 6 years from the end of the accounting period.
Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you we may destroy correspondence and other papers that we store, electronically or otherwise, which are more than 7 years old. You must tell us if you require the return or retention of any specific documents for a longer period.
22. Money Laundering
In common with all accountancy and legal practices the firm is required by the Proceeds of Crime Act and the Money Laundering Regulations to:
· maintain identification procedures for all new clients;
· maintain records of identification evidence obtained, and
· report, in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.
Duties under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), Bribery Act and Criminal Finances Act are imposed upon us to report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) if we know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that you, or anyone connected with your business, are or have been involved in money laundering or other criminal acts. Failure on our part to make a report where we have knowledge or reasonable grounds for suspicion constitutes a criminal offence.
The offence of money laundering is defined in the POCA and includes concealing, converting, using or processing the benefits of any activity that constitutes a criminal offence in the UK. It also includes involvement in any arrangement that facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of such benefit.
The law obliges us to report any suspicion of money laundering to NCA without your knowledge or consent. We may commit a criminal offence of tipping off if we were to inform you that a report had been made. As a result, neither the firm’s principals nor staff may enter into any correspondence or discussion with you regarding such matters.
We are not obliged to undertake work for the sole purpose of identifying suspicions of money laundering.
23. Tax Credits/Universal Credits
These are, in effect, social security benefits and are unable to advise appropriately on these matters.
24. Professional Indemnity Insurance
In accordance with Institute of Financial Accountants requirements we hold professional indemnity insurance. Details about the insurer and coverage can be found at our office.
Who we are
ACG Accounting Services is a professional accountancy practice, regulated by the Institute of Financial Accountants (IFA). This Privacy Notice applies to ACG Accounting Services based at 7 Birch Crescent, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. PH10 6TS.UK.
This notice explains ACG Accounting Services approach to the personal information we handle in carrying out our duties as a professional Financial Accountants.
ACG Accounting Services is fully committed to handling personal information in accordance with data protection legislation and best data protection practices. This means that your personal information will be:
Processed lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner.
Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
Only collected so far as required for our lawful purposes.
As accurate and up to date as possible.
Retained for a reasonable period of time, in accordance with retention policies.
Processed in a manner which ensures an appropriate level of security.
Whether through this notice or otherwise, we hope to ensure that everyone has a good understanding of why ACG Accounting Services processes personal information and, where we do, the rights they may have.
Why do we need to process personal information?
As explained in this notice, there are various ways in which we must process personal data to allow us to fulfil our role as a professional firm of Financial Accountants.
How do we collect personal information?
Like most organisations that handle personal information, there are various ways in which we collect information from the people we deal with:
Email and written correspondence.
Visitors to our website.
Application forms and other information requests.
Direct personal contact at our offices and elsewhere.
In nearly all instances, it should be obvious to you that ACG Accounting Services is collecting your personal data.
What personal information do we collect?
We collect personal information to fulfil our role as professional Financial Accountants. As there are many different aspects to this role, the information requested and collected will vary from person to person.
The personal information most commonly collected from our clients is as follows:
Contact details (including home and business addresses, email address, telephone number).
Date of birth.
Employment details (including current and previous employers).
Regulatory information (including applications for licenses and regulatory monitoring).
Information regarding investigation and disciplinary processes.
Records of enquiries, meetings and other direct engagement.
Copies of physical and electronic correspondence.
Do we share personal data with third parties?
Some of the processing activities set out above require us to share personal information with third parties. Whenever we share personal data, we take all reasonable steps to ensure it will be handled appropriately and securely by the third party.
The following is a list of the main third parties with whom we share personal information:
IFA, which assist us in fulfilling our role as a professional firm of Financial Accountants.
Oversight regulators and statutory bodies (e.g. HMRC, Companies House).
Software providers which allow us to operate efficient digital processes, including:
For practical reasons, this is not an exhaustive list. This list may be updated from time to time.
How long do we retain personal information?
The periods for which we retain personal information depends on the purpose for which the information was obtained but, in general terms, we will retain personal data for so long as required by law, or as may be required for record keeping and legal claims purposes.
Where do we store and why do we process your personal information?
We collect data for a variety of purposes, and process it through software, dependent on the instructions received. Data may be held in any of the following systems for the purposes shown. As we as the dedicated software products, we will create files in a variety of formats to enable us to fulfil the functions below. This includes spreadsheets (Excel), word processing documents (Word), CSV files, PDF formatted files.
Data will be held on our external hard drive, which is removed and placed in a secure safe overnight and out-with office hours. Back-ups are held on the same drive and on encrypted USB drives, also held in the safe. The data is collected to be able to provide a wide variety of tax, accounting and business services as efficiently and cost effectively as practicable.
Final Accounts Software
Purpose:- to generate the accounts for HMRC purposes, to produce accounts for filing at Companies House and annual/more regular accounts for your own management purposes.
Accounts (Bookkeeping) Software
Purpose:- your day to day accounting data is processed through these. For desktop products you provide us with the documents and we process the data on to the software to enable us to enter this information in to the final accounts software.
Online products, the same above can apply but also you may well be doing the processing of the information. Both you and we have access to the prime data. Again, it will be entered from here in to the final accounts software.
Data reporting Software
Purpose: for cloud products, this transfers data on a regular basis and enables the production of management reports. Excel may also be used to produce reports and graphs.
Personal Tax Software
Purpose:- to enable the calculation of personal tax liabilities, calculate tax related information e.g. unused pension reliefs, and file tax returns in the required format to HMRC.
Corporation Tax Software
Purpose:- to enable the calculation of corporation tax liabilities, calculate tax related information and file tax returns in the required format with HMRC.
Company Accounts Filing Software
Purpose:- necessary to take the reports produced by the final accounts software and transfer in the required format to Companies house.
Fixed Asset Software
Purpose:- to maintain a fixed asset register and calculate depreciation
Document Management Software Incorporating Online Portal
Purpose:- all documents in the office that can identify you, be it email, paper based, or generated are stored in locked filing cabinets. This forms the basis of our internal records.
The online portal allows us to upload documents to a secure website, either for information or approval, but also allows a 2-way transfer – so you can upload files securely to us.
Purpose:- to process the payroll, calculate the statutory tax, NI and other payroll deductions, distribute payslips and year end P60 forms to you the clients, to pass on to your employees. Also used for reporting RTI to HMRC and auto-enrolment deductions to pension providers.
Purpose: CRM exists as part of the practice management software as well as having a stand-alone CRM package. This is used to record much of the data collected and enables us to report on elected criteria.
Practice Management Software
Purpose:- used to record primary data, time recording and billing, as well as running internal management reports.
Company Secretarial software
Purpose: to maintain the company information at Companies House, file annual compliance statements and produce dividend vouchers and other related forms.
Purpose:- a common communication tool. Portal usage is preferable for transferring files containing personal information to us. We will also use GDPR compliant RMail (Frama UK) to securely email you sensitive and personal information.
Email Newsletter Software
Purpose:- to produce newsletter text and distribute to those that are on the distribution list.
Data Extraction Tools
Purpose: to extract information and convert to a format ready to use in other products – predominantly scanning bank statements and converting to electronic format and extracting data from invoices for pushing to accounts software.
Purpose:- to keep followers informed of various topics of interest and what is happening within the practice in general.
Direct Debit Software
Purpose:- linked to accounting software to collect payments by direct debit.
Google Analytics / Pikwik Reports
Purpose:- to provide statistics on website usage and newsletter usage.
We may collect information about the computer or device which is used to access our website. We use this information to improve the user experience, and to help us better understand the ways in which our website is used. This may include information about:
The computer or device type.
Browser type and version.
Time zone setting and browser plug-in types and versions.
This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns. It is collected on an anonymous basis and does not identify individual users.
Our website makes use of cookie files to distinguish you from other users of our site, to provide you with a bespoke user experience tailored to your individual preferences. A cookie file (a small file of letters and numbers) will be placed on your computer or other access device each time you visit our site.
We also use analytical cookie files. These allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our site and to see how visitors move around our site when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our site works, for example, by ensuring that users are finding what they are looking for easily.
If you wish to delete any such cookie files, please refer to the instructions for your file management software to locate the file or directory that stores cookies. Our cookies will contain the domain name acgaccountingservices.co.uk within the file name.
You may refuse to accept cookie files when visiting our site, by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of cookies. However, if you choose this setting, you may not get an optimal web site experience and be unable to access certain parts of our site.
Our website and emails may contain links to other websites. We are not responsible for the content or practices of these other sites and we recommend that you check their own privacy policies.
Your rights where we are processing your information
The law in the UK gives certain rights to individuals whose information is being processed by a third party. The following is a short summary of these rights:
Access to your information – you have the right to request a copy of the personal information about you that we hold.
Correcting your information – we want to make sure that your personal information is accurate, complete, and up to date, and so you may ask us to correct any personal information about you that you believe does not meet these standards.
Deletion of your information – you have the right to ask us to delete personal information about you where:
You consider that we no longer require the information for the purposes for which it was obtained
We are using that information with your consent and you have withdrawn your consent – see ‘withdrawing consent to using your information’ below.
You have validly objected to our use of your personal information – see ‘objecting to how we may use your information’ below.
Our use of your personal information is contrary to law or our other legal obligations.
Objecting to how we may use your information – you have the right at any time to require us to stop using your personal information for direct marketing purposes. In addition, where we use your personal information to perform tasks carried out in the public interest, or in exercising official authority vested in us then, if you ask us to, we will stop using that personal information unless there are overriding legitimate grounds to continue.
Restricting how we may use your information – in some cases, you may ask us to restrict how we use your personal information. This right might apply, for example, where we are checking the accuracy of personal information about you that we hold, or assessing the validity of any objection you have made to our use of your information. The right might also apply if we no longer have a basis for using your personal information but you don’t want us to delete the data. Where this right is validly exercised, we may only use the relevant personal information with your consent, for legal claims, or where there are other public interest grounds to do so.
Withdrawing consent using your information – where we use your personal information with your consent, you may withdraw that consent at any time, and we will stop using your personal information for the purpose(s) for which consent was given.
Please contact us in any of the ways set out in the ‘contact information and further advice’ section if you wish to exercise any of these rights.
Changes to our privacy notice
We keep this notice under regular review and will place any updates on this website.
Paper copies of this privacy notice may also be obtained by emailing email@example.com or in writing to ACG Accounting Services, 7 Birch Crescent, Blairgowrie. PH10 6TS.
This privacy notice was updated in August 2019.