Proactive. Helpful. Affordable.
Terms of Business
Callan Accountancy a trading style of Stephens Ward Group Limited (SC409148). (“the firm”) aims to provide you with a high quality of service which:
- Identifies your objectives and is dedicated to assisting you in achieving these.
- Offers sound financial and commercial advice together with business support.
- Provides prompt and efficient replies.
- Offers accessibility at reasonable times and good communication; and
- Provides valued professional expertise at a cost which represents the benefit to the business / you and good value for money.
1. Continuity of Person Responsible
The person in charge of the work will remain in charge unless the clients agree otherwise. Likewise, any assistant will remain involved in the transaction unless the clients agree otherwise. If the client has any difficulty with the person/assistant, he should address this with Stephen Ward immediately.
2. Communication and ID
We are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. If the person concerned is unable to take your call, or if we are closed for a local or statutory holiday, you can leave a message on our answer machine/voicemail service. Our fax line is open at all times and we can also be contacted on our email addresses.
The Firm will keep its clients fully informed about the work and will:
- do all it reasonably can to give its clients, their consultants and other advisers sufficient notice of all information required in connection with the work undertaken on their behalf;
- provide its clients and their other advisers with all information they require as speedily as possible; and
- ensure in so far as it can that its clients are kept fully informed of any cause for concern, in particular any anticipated interference or delay in respect of the work.
The clients for their part, accept a reciprocal obligation to provide the Firm with information and to advise the Firm if there is any aspect of the service with which they are unhappy as soon as practicable. In this way, both parties can work towards a speedy resolution of any difficulty.
We require satisfactory identification from you, normally passport/driving licence and utility bill less than three months old, and we require you to advise us at any time if you cannot be contacted when we may require your instructions or signature to deal with matters within a specified timetable.
Instructions may be given to us in writing or verbally. We may well ask you to confirm in writing the terms of verbal instructions given to us. If there is any change in your instructions you must notify us immediately. If you wish anyone other than yourself to give instructions or information, we will require confirmation in writing.
In general, we cannot act for two or more parties if they have conflicting interests. Please advise us at the outset if you are aware of potential conflicts which may arise. If we decide that we can still act we will confirm this to you in writing.
3. External Services
On certain occasions, there may be elements of the work which are best dealt with by sub-contracting e.g. specialist tax advice. This will only occur with clients’ approval. The client will assume responsibility for those services and for payment for those services.
It is the Firm’s normal practice to agree on an estimated fee based on the initial meeting which is then compared to the actual time incurred and put a monthly standing order in place in accordance with paragraph 8. We will discuss the timing and method of payment with clients in advance. In some circumstances, normally for specialist assignments, we may agree a fixed fee or percentage success fee but where no specific fee is agreed, the Firm will charge the client on a time basis for all time charges logged in the Firm’s detailed time recording system. This time includes travel to and from the client. The hourly rate will vary between type of work required, the level of staff member available at the time and our current rates are noted in the table below:
Qualified accountant £70+VAT
Payroll support £50+VAT
Admin staff £50+VAT
These rates are subject to change by the firm after periodic review and a current rate table can be provided on request.
Any estimate/fixed fee that may be given will be based on the Firm’s experience and based on the level of work advised by the client. In particular, we will not be committed to any estimate given until we have worked with you for three months to establish your exact needs and the quality of your records. If the work turns out to be more complicated or takes longer than anticipated the Firm may increase the estimate to take account of this and will inform the client of such increase as soon as reasonably possible. We shall issue a periodic report on time spent on your affairs to keep you aware of the likely charges if you require.
In the case of payroll, we will add 10% to our fees to cover all consumables including payslips, P60s, payment advices, etc… and for the production of bound final accounts, these will be charged at £10 per bound copy. In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, the Firm will expect any fee rendered to be paid within seven days of the date of issue. The fees exclude expenses and disbursements.
Time spent travelling to and from client premises or in relation to a client meeting elsewhere is chargeable at normal rates.
In assessing fees not on a time/rate basis we take into account a number of factors including the value of the transaction, the complexity and difficulty of the matter, the skill, knowledge and responsibility involved, the urgency of the matter and the place where we are required to carry out the work.
Any necessary updates and revisions of financial projections and/or business plans, including updates for actual results, will be subject to additional charges which can be estimated if required on request prior to carrying out such work.
Our estimates of fees for a year are passed on information being available through software package such as Quickbooks, Sage, Xero or Receipt Bank. Receipt Bank is available to all client free and allows you to take electronic copies of your receipts. A separate fee would need to be agreed for the processing of traditional paper receipts.
You are entitled to change accountants at any time but you are responsible for the fees and any other outstanding payments due to us until the time of change. We are entitled to hold documents, files or other records until payment.
Air, rail or taxi fares will be charged at cost. Hotel charges and meals will also be charged at cost but only with the prior approval of the client and when such costs cannot be reasonably avoided. Business mileage will be re-charged at 45p per mile. Bulk mailing, long-distance telephone calls and delivery charges will also be charged at cost where appropriate. For other disbursements including stamp duty the Firm will endeavour to notify the client in advance where possible and these will be charged at cost. The Firm reserves the right to invoice all out of pocket expenses where incurred. These are payable upon receipt of invoice.
6. Additional Work
In the event of any change of instruction, extra work, or alteration to the agreed scope and extent of our work for any reason, then the clients will pay the Firm a fair and reasonable additional amount for the extra work performed. Where possible we will issue an additional work order to vary or add to the scope and extent of our work, provide an estimate, and obtain your agreement prior to proceeding. If you require work urgently before formally authorising, you agree to pay our fee based on a time and hourly rate charge.
VAT is charged at the current rate on all fees and expenses other than disbursements on your behalf.
Clients will make payment by monthly standing order and unless specifically agreed otherwise, this constitutes payment to the account of the actual fees chargeable in accordance with paragraph 4 on Charges i.e. payment by standing order does not constitute a fixed fee arrangement for all services requested and provided to you. We shall reconcile our actual fees chargeable with standing orders received on a quarterly/annual basis and advise you accordingly of any additional charges due. The date the standing order payment is made will be towards the year-end fee for that year. If work for a previous year is completed, this is invoiced and will become due for payment on receipt of invoice.
Payment of fees and balance of fees after standing order payments have been allocated is due forthwith after issue of the invoice. The Firm also reserves the right to withdraw from acting for clients if payment of fees is overdue. Where an invoice has been issued for a modified fee and the fee remains outstanding for a period in excess of thirty days, the Firm reserves the right to issue a new fee note for the work with removal of the modification. Where independent assessment of a fee becomes necessary the Firm will be entitled to recover any charge for such an assessment in full from the client.
If any fees are not paid within stated invoice terms we reserve the right to add a surcharge of 5% per month to offset the additional costs involved as a result.
Where specific work is engaged and is carried out over a period of time we shall be entitled to issue interim fees to account periodically to cover fees incurred to date.
Where work is requested on business setup or funding, payment of our fees is not conditional on such setup or funding being successful and we will normally request an advance payment of our estimated fees being paid before commencing such work due to the risky nature of such engagements. Once our fees have reached the amount of the advance payment we will advise you accordingly and obtain your consent to continuing such work and obtain further interim payment to allow us to do so.
Final fees for work on raising finance will be invoiced once an acceptable funding offer has been received by the client. Any outstanding fees will be deducted from receipt of funds by solicitors and settled along with, and at the same time as solicitors fees by direct remittance to us.
9. Limited Companies
Where the client is a limited company the Firm will only act on the basis and understanding that all Directors of the company are liable jointly and severally along with the company for the fees and disbursements for all work carried out by the Firm on behalf of the company. This applies irrespective of when a Director may be appointed to the company. Joint and several liability of the Directors of the company will apply whilst a fee is outstanding to the Firm for work carried out on behalf of the company, and whilst the terms of the Letter of Appointment/Engagement apply.
10. Work Deadlines
As a company, we work to a deadline for work completion of 4–6 weeks. This is for accounts and self-assessment tax returns. This is based on paperwork being available within three months of the period’s end. If paperwork is received outside this timescale please contact us.
11. Tax Enquiry Insurance
We can offer you inexpensive tax enquiry insurance through our provider, which can cover our fees both for full and aspect tax inquiries. Unfortunately, anyone can be subject to such an inquiry even on a random basis and we would encourage you to join our protection scheme – please contact us for details of cover, cost, and how to take this out via ourselves to ensure you are covered.
Information passed to us is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties unless authorised by you or required by law. It should be noted that we have a statutory duty to make a disclosure to the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in certain circumstances.
13. Copyright and Third Parties
All copyright in documents we produce is reserved to us. Advice given and documents prepared are for your use only and may not be copied or used by any third party without our express written consent.
If for any reason you are unhappy about the quality of service provided, or the amount of our fees, then you should, in the first instance take the matter up with the person with whom you have been dealing. Alternatively, should you prefer or if you feel your initial approach has not resolved the point, we would invite you to raise the matter with Stephen Ward.
If a client were to, unfortunately, disengage from our services we require notice prior to the disengagement and require 30 days to respond to any clearance letter received.
We ask that you read these terms which we consider binding and if you have any queries, please contact us.