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 are committed to ensuring the protection of the privacy and security of any personal data which we process. The below paragraphs detail how we treat personal data received by us in the provision of our services during our engagement with you. By signing this letter, you confirm that you have read and understood these clauses and any privacy notice referred to therein.
1.1 In this clause, the following definitions shall apply:
‘client personal data’ means any personal data provided to us by you, or on your behalf, for the purpose of providing our services to you, pursuant to our engagement letter with you;
‘data protection legislation’ means all applicable privacy and data protection legislation and regulations including PECR, together with the GDPR, and any applicable national laws, regulations and secondary legislation in the UK relating to the processing of personal data and the privacy of electronic communications, as amended, replaced or updated from time to time;
‘controller’, ‘data subject’, ‘personal data’, and ‘process’ shall have the meanings given to them in the data protection legislation;
‘GDPR’ means the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679); and
‘PECR’ means the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2426/2003).
1.2 We shall each be considered an independent data controller in relation to the client personal data. Each of us will comply with all requirements and obligations applicable to us under the data protection legislation in respect of the client personal data.
1.3 You shall only disclose client personal data to us where:
(i) you have provided the necessary information to the relevant data subjects regarding its use;
(ii) you have a lawful basis upon which to do so, which, in the absence of any other lawful basis, shall be with the relevant data subject’s consent; and
(iii) you have complied with the necessary requirements under the data protection legislation to enable you to do so.
1.4 Should you require any further details regarding our treatment of personal data, please contact our data protection officer.
1.5 We shall only process the client personal data:
(i) in order to provide our services to you and perform any other obligations in accordance with our engagement with you;
(ii) in order to comply with our legal or regulatory obligations; and
(iii) where it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests and those interests are not overridden by the data subjects’ own privacy rights.
1.6 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.
1.7 We shall maintain commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures, including administrative, physical and technical safeguards, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of the client personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, the client personal data.
1.8 In respect of the client personal data, provided that we are legally permitted to do so, we shall promptly notify you in the event that:
(a) we receive a request, complaint or any adverse correspondence from or on behalf of a relevant data subject, to exercise their data subject rights under the data protection legislation or in respect of our processing of their personal data;
(b) we are served with an information, enforcement or assessment notice (or any similar notices), or receive any other material communication in respect of our processing of the client personal data from a supervisory authority as defined in the data protection legislation (for example in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Officer); or
(c) we reasonably believe that there has been any incident which resulted in the accidental or unauthorised access to, or destruction, loss, unauthorised disclosure or alteration of, the client personal data.
1.9 Upon the reasonable request of the other, we shall each co-operate with the other and take such reasonable commercial steps or provide such information as is necessary to enable each of us to comply with the data protection legislation in respect of the services provided to you in accordance with our engagement letter with you in relation to those services.
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.
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.
Our terms for such invoices are strictly 14 days net. Interest may 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 14 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
We have links with a number of independent financial advisors and finance providers, and can introduce clients to them. You are entitled to receive information about any commissions received from third parties upon request. Under the terms of this agreement you consent to us retaining such commissions, for example introducer fees.
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. We will acknowledge your letter within five business days of its receipt and endeavour to deal with your complaint within eight weeks.
If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction, you may, of course, take up the matter with our professional body, ICAEW.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Our professional indemnity insurance is underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc, whose registered office address is 5 Old Broad Street, London, EC2N 1AD and Great Lakes Insurance SE, whose UK branch office address is Plantation Place, 30 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3AJ
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.
All accounts, statements and reports prepared by us are for your exclusive use within your business or to meet specific statutory responsibilities.
No third party shall acquire any rights under this agreement to provide professional services.
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.