Standard Terms Of Business
The following standard terms of business apply to all engagements accepted by King & King Chartered Accountants. All work carried out is subject to these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.
1 Firms Details
1.1 Firms Name King & King Chartered Accountants
1.2 Legal Form Partnership
1.3 Main Address: 5th Floor, Watson House, 54-60 Baker Street, London W1U 7BU
1.4 Wembley Office: 1st Floor, 65-67 Wembley Hill Road, Wembley HA9 8DP
1.5 Fax 020 7493 4120
1.6 Telephone 020 7493 7302: Wembley Office : 0208 902 7451
1.7 VAT Number GB 232 608 875
2 Professional Obligations
2.1 We are registered to carry on audit work in the UK by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Details of the firm’s audit registration can be found at www.auditregister.org.uk under reference C005309773.
The professional rules applicable to our audit registration are the Audit Regulations and Guidance which can be found at www.icaew.com/auditnews . In addition the International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland) can be found at www.frc.org.uk
2.2 We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws and regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales together with their code of ethics. We accept instructions to act for you on this basis. In particular you give us 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.
Professional indemnity insurance
2.3 In accordance with the disclosure requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, our professional indemnity insurer is HCC International Insurance Company Plc a company registered in England (Company number 01575839) with registered office at 1 Aldgate , London EC3N 1RE. 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 of America or Canada.
3 Investment Services
3.1 Investment business is regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. If, during the provision of professional services to you, you need advice on investments including insurances and pensions, we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, as we are not. However, as we are licensed by ICAEW, for exempt regulated activities we may be able to provide certain limited investment services that are complementary to, or arise out of, the professional services we are providing to you. Such advice may include:
- advice you on investments generally, but not recommend a particular investment or type of investment
- refer you to a Permitted Third Party (PTP) (an independent firm authorised by the FCA), assist you and the PTP during any advice given by that party and comment on, or explain, the advice received (but not make alternative recommendations). The PTP will issue you with their own terms and conditions letter, will be remunerated separately for their services and will take full responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;
- advise you in connection with the disposal of an investment, other than your rights in a pension policy or scheme.
- advise and assist you in transactions concerning shares or other securities not quoted on a recognised exchange;
- assist you in making arrangements for transactions in investments in certain circumstances.
- refer you to a lender for a hire purchase or other loan.
3.2 In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to claim compensation under the Chartered Accountants’ Compensation Scheme in respect of exempt regulated activities undertaken. Further information about the scheme and the circumstances in which grants may be made is available on ICAEW's website: www.icaew.com/cacs.
3.3 In relation to the conduct of insurance distribution activities, we are an ancillary insurance intermediary. We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However, we are included on the Register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance distribution activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling, and administration of insurance contracts. This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The register can be accessed via the Financial Conduct Authority website at www.fca.org.uk/register.
Alternatively, you may seek the advice of your own financial advisor for Investment advice.
4 Commissions or Other Benefits
4.1 In some circumstances, commissions or other benefits may become payable to us in respect of transactions we arrange for you, in which case you will be notified in writing of the amount
and terms of payment. The fees that would otherwise be payable by you will be abated by such amounts. When we reduce the fees that we would otherwise charge by the amount of commission retained, we will apply the HMRC concession which allows VAT to be calculated on the net fee after deduction of the commission. You consent to such commission or other benefits being retained by us without our, being liable to account to you for any such amounts.
5 Client Monies
5.1 We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firm’s funds. The account will be operated, and all funds dealt with, in accordance with the Clients’ Money Regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
5.2 In order to avoid an excessive amount of administration, interest will only be paid to you where the amount of interest that would be earned on the balances held on your behalf in any calendar year exceeds £25. Any such interest would be calculated using the prevailing rate applied by Barclays Bank Plc for small deposits subject to the minimum period of notice for withdrawals. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.
5.3 If the total sum of money held on your behalf exceeds £10,000 for a period of more than 30 days, or is enough to give rise to a significant amount of interest or is likely to do so, then the money will be placed in a separate interest-bearing client bank account designated to you. All interest earned on such money will be paid to you. Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid gross.
5.4 We will return monies held on your behalf promptly as soon as there is no longer any reason to retain those funds. In the unlikely event of us holding any unclaimed monies we reserve the right to pay such monies to a registered charity in line with the guidelines set out in the Clients’ Money Regulations referred to above. We will not do this unless we have been unable to contact you for at least five years and we have taken reasonable steps to trace you and return the monies.
6.1 Our fees are computed on the basis of time spent on your affairs by the principals, our staff and sub-contractors or consultants, and on the levels of skill and responsibility involved. Disbursements represent travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in dealing with your affairs.
6.2 If it is necessary to carry out work outside the responsibilities agreed with you for each service, we will advise you in advance. Any additional work will involve additional fees. Accordingly, we would like to point out that it is in your interests to ensure that your records etc. are completed to the agreed stage.
6.3 Invoices are payable in full (including disbursements) within 30 days. 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.
6.4 It is our normal practice to request that clients make arrangements to pay a proportion of their fee on a monthly standing order. These standing orders will be applied to fees arising from work agreed in this letter of engagement for the current and ensuing years. Once we have been able to assess the amount of work and time involved we would be grateful if you would agree to pay an amount to us on a regular basis.
6.5 Our terms relating to payment of amounts invoiced (fees and disbursements) and not covered by standing orders, where appropriate, are strictly 30 days net. Interest and compensation for recovery costs will be charged on all overdue debts at the rate for the time being applicable under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. Settlement of fees by MasterCard or Visa is accepted.
6.6 We require directors to personally guarantee to pay any fees (including disbursements) for services provided to the company that the company is unable to pay. This clause shall become effective in the event of a receiver or liquidator being appointed to the company or the company otherwise being wound-up.
6.7 In the event that this firm ceases to act in relation your company’s affairs, you agree to meet all reasonable costs of providing information to the company’s new advisors. In particular, you agree to meet these costs even where we are required by law to provide information to a successor firm.
6.8 Insofar as we are permitted to so by law or by professional guidelines, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all funds, documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and disbursements are paid in full.
7 Retention of and Access to Records
7.1 During the course of our work we will collect information from you and others acting on your behalf and will return any original documents to you following the preparation and audit of your financial statements and returns. You should retain these records for at least seven years from the end of the accounting year to which they relate.
7.2 Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that we store which are more than seven years old, other than documents which we consider to be of continuing significance. If you require retention of any document you must notify us of that fact in writing.
8 Conflicts of Interest and Independence
8.1 We reserve the right during our engagement with you to deliver services to other clients whose interests might compete with yours or are or may be adverse to yours, subject to 9 below. We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting you unless we are unable to do so because of our confidentiality obligations. We have safeguards that can be implemented to protect the interests of different clients if a conflict arises. 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.
8.2 If a conflict of interest should arise, either between two or more of our clients, or in the provision of multiple services to a single client, we will take such steps as are necessary to deal with the conflict. In resolving the conflict, we would be guided by the code of ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales which can be viewed at www.icaew.com/regulations .
9.1 We confirm that where you give us 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 relevant to our engagement.
9.2 You agree that, if we act for other clients who are or who become your competitors, to comply with our duty of confidentiality, it will be sufficient for us to take such steps as we think appropriate to preserve the confidentiality of information given to us by you, both during and after this engagement. These may include taking the same or similar steps as we take in respect of the confidentiality of our own information.
9.3 In addition, if we act for other clients whose interests are or may be adverse to yours, we will manage the conflict by implementing additional safeguards to preserve confidentiality. Safeguards may include measures such as separate teams, physical separation of teams, and separate arrangements for storage of, and access to, information.
9.4 You agree that the effective implementation of such steps or safeguards as described above will provide adequate measures to avoid any real risk of confidentiality being impaired.
9.5 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. You may additionally need to consider your data protection responsibilities.
9.6 We will inform you of the proposed use of a subcontractor before they commence work, except where your data will not be transferred out of our systems and the subcontractor is bound by the confidentiality terms equivalent to an employee.
9.7 If we use external or cloud-based systems, we will ensure confidentiality of your information is maintained.
9.8 This clause applies in addition to our obligations as to data protection below.
10 Quality Control
10.1 As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically subject to an independent regulatory or quality review. Our reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and are, of course, bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as our principals and staff.
Dealing with HM Revenue & Customs
10.2 When dealing with HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf we are required to be honest and to take reasonable care to ensure that your returns are correct. To enable us to do this, you are required to be honest with us and to provide us with all necessary information in a timely manner. For more information about ‘Your Charter’ for your dealings with HM Revenue & Customs, see www.hmrc.gov.uk/charter/index.htm. To the best of our abilities, we will ensure that HM Revenue & Customs meet their side of the Charter in their dealings with you.
10.3 We will take account of the steps and checks suggested by HM Revenue & Customs in their ‘Agent Toolkits’. While use of the Toolkits is voluntary, we will ensure that our quality control procedures match or enhance the suggestions in the Toolkits so that, in the unlikely event that HM Revenue & Customs consider any of your tax returns with which we assist to be inaccurate, we will be able to help you demonstrate to HM Revenue & Customs that reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of the return, thereby significantly reducing the possibility of an inaccuracy penalty being imposed. To further reduce the possibility of an inaccuracy penalty, you will remain responsible for maintaining good quality supporting records for each return, for providing us with all relevant information and explanations and for acting on any advice that we give you.
11 Help us to give you the Right Service
11.1 If at any time you would like to discuss with us how our service to you could be improved, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving, please let us know, by contacting either the partner responsible or Mr Shakeel Parkar on 020 7493 7302.
11.2 We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and to do all we can to explain the position to you. If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction you may of course take up the matter with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
11.3 In order for us to provide you with a high quality service on an ongoing basis it is essential that you provide us with relevant records and information when requested, reply to correspondence in a timely manner and otherwise follow the terms of the agreement between us set out in this Standard Terms of Business and associated Engagement letters. We therefore reserve the right to cancel the engagement between us with immediate effect in the event of:
- your insolvency, bankruptcy or other arrangement being reached with creditors;
- failure to pay our fees by the due dates; or
- either party being in breach of their obligations where this is not corrected within 30 days of being asked to do so.
11.4 In addition this agreement may be terminated for any reason if 90 days notice is given.
12 Applicable Law
12.1 This engagement letter is governed by, and construed in accordance with, English law. The Courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this engagement letter and any matter arising from it. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have 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.
12.2 If any provision in this Standard Terms of Business or any associated engagement letter, or its application, are found to be invalid, illegal or otherwise unenforceable in any respect, the validity, legality or enforceability of any other provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired.
13 Changes in the Law
13.1 We will not accept responsibility if you act on advice previously given by us without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid in light of any change in the law or your circumstances.
13.2 We will accept no liability for losses arising from changes in the law or the interpretation thereof, practice, or public policy that are first published after the date on which the advice is given to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law..
14 Electronic and Other Communications
14.1 Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means. However, internet communications are capable of data corruption and therefore we do not accept any responsibility for changes made
to such communications after their despatch. It may therefore be inappropriate to rely on advice contained in an e-mail without obtaining written confirmation of it. 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 in emails or by electronic storage devices. We do not accept responsibility for any errors or problems that may arise through the use of internet communication and all risks connected with sending commercially sensitive information relating to your business are borne by you. If you do not agree to accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication. We will never change our bank details without confirming this to you by posted letter. Any emailed or telephoned communications appearing to be from us which are not confirmed by post are fake and we accept no liability for any loss caused to you through accepting such communications as genuine. Similarly, always give us by hand or by post (as well as by email) details of your bank account.
14.2 It is the responsibility of the recipient to carry out a virus check on any email and attachments received.
15 Data Protection - General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018
To enable us to discharge the services agreed under our engagement, and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance, we may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you/your business/company/partnership/its officers and employees and shareholders (‘personal data’).
15.1 In this clause 15:
‘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, 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’, ‘personal data breach’, ‘processor’, ‘process’ and ‘supervisory authority’ 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).
15.2 We shall both comply with all applicable requirements of the data protection legislation. This clause 15 is in addition to, and does not relieve, remove or replace, either of our obligations under the data protection legislation.
15.3 We both acknowledge that for the purposes of the data protection legislation, you are the data controller and we are the data processor. Our letter of engagement with you sets out the scope, nature and purpose of processing by us, the duration of the processing and the types of personal data and categories of data subject.
15.4 In respect of the client personal data, unless otherwise required by applicable laws or other regulatory requirements, we shall:
a. process the client personal data only in accordance with your lawful written instructions, in order to provide you with the services pursuant to our engagement with you and in accordance with applicable data protection legislation;
b. disclose and transfer the client personal data to [members of our firm’s network,] our regulatory bodies or other third parties (for example, our professional advisors or service providers) as and to the extent necessary in order to provide you with the services pursuant to our engagement with you in relation to those services;
c. disclose the client personal data to courts, government agencies and other third parties as and to the extent required by law;
d. maintain written records of our processing activities performed on your behalf which shall include: (i) the categories of processing activities performed; (ii) details of any on cross border data transfers outside of the European Economic Area (EEA); and (iii) a general description of security measures implemented in respect of the client personal data;
e. maintain commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures, including administrative, physical and technical safeguards, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of any client personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, such client personal data.
f. return or delete all the client personal data upon the termination of the engagement with you pursuant to which we agreed to provide the services;
g. ensure that only those personnel who need to have access to the client personal data are granted access to it and that all of the personnel authorised to process the client personal data are bound by a duty of confidentiality;
h. notify you if we appoint a sub-processor (but only if you have given us your prior written consent, such consent not to be reasonably withheld or delayed) and ensure any agreement entered into with the relevant sub-processor includes similar terms as the terms set out in this clause;
i. where we transfer the client personal data to a country or territory outside the EEA to do so in accordance with data protection legislation;
j. notify you promptly if:
i. 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 the client personal data; or
ii. we are served with an information or assessment notice, or receive any other material communication in respect of our processing of the client personal data from a supervisory body (for example, the Information Commissioner’s Officer);
k. notify you, without undue delay, in the event that we reasonably believe that there has been a personal data breach in respect of the client personal data;
l. at your cost and upon receipt of you prior written notice, allow you, on an annual basis and/or in the event that we notify you of personal data breach in respect of the client personal data, reasonable access to the relevant records, files, computer or other communication systems, for the purposes of reviewing our compliance with the data protection laws.
15.5 Without prejudice to the generality of clause 15.2, you will ensure that you have all necessary appropriate consents and notices in place to enable the lawful transfer of the client personal data to us.
15.6 Should you require any further details regarding our treatment of personal data, please contact our data protection manager or the partner nominated to your assignment.
16 Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
16.1 Persons who are not party to this agreement shall have no rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement. This clause does not affect any right or remedy of any person which exists or is available otherwise than pursuant to that Act.
16.2 The advice that we give to you is for your sole use and does not constitute advice to any third party to whom you may communicate it. We accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
17 The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2017
17.1 In common with all accountancy and legal practices, the firm is required by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 to:
- maintain identification procedures for all clients and beneficial owners of clients;
- maintain records of identification evidence and the work undertaken for the client; and
- report, in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.
17.2 We have a duty under section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) we know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that another person is involved in money laundering. Failure on our part to make a report where we have knowledge or reasonable grounds for suspicion would constitute a criminal offence.
17.3 The offence of money laundering is defined by section 340(11) of the Proceeds of Crime Act and includes concealing, converting, using or possessing 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 a benefit.
This definition is very wide and would include such crimes as:
- deliberate tax evasion;
- deliberate failure to inform the tax authorities of known underpayments or excessive repayments;
- fraudulent claiming of benefits or grants; or
- obtaining a contract through bribery.
17.4 We are obliged by law to report any instances of money laundering to NCA without your knowledge or consent. In consequence, neither the firms' principals nor staff may enter any correspondence or discussions with you regarding such matters.
17.5 We are not required to undertake work for the sole purpose of identifying suspicions of money laundering. We shall fulfil our obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in accordance with the guidance published by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies.
17.6 If we are not able to obtain satisfactory evidence of your identity and where applicable that of the beneficial owners, we will not be able to proceed with the engagement.
17.7 Unless agreed specifically in a separate engagement letter, we are not responsible for your compliance with the International Tax Compliance (United States of America) Regulations 2013, produced as a result of FATCA. In particular, we are not responsible for the categorisation of any UK entity into either a Financial Institution (FI) or an active or passive Non-Financial Foreign Entity (NFFE) nor, if a Financial Institution, for its registration with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and subsequent submission of the required annual returns to HM Revenue & Customs.
18 General Limitation of Liability
18.1 We will provide services as outlined in this letter with reasonable care and skill. However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we will not be responsible for any losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities where you or others supply incorrect or incomplete information or fail to supply any appropriate information or where you fail to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us or the tax authorities.
18.2 You will not hold us, our principals and staff, responsible, to the fullest extent permitted by law, for any loss suffered by you arising from any misrepresentation intentional or unintentional supplied to us orally or in writing in connection with this agreement. You have agreed that you will not bring any claim in connection with services we provide to you against any of our partners or employees personally.
18.3 Our work is not, unless there is a legal or regulatory requirement, to be made available to third parties without our written permission and we will accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.
18.4 Nothing in this agreement shall exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by negligence nor for fraudulent misrepresentation or other fraud which may not as a matter of applicable law be excluded or limited.
19 Use of our Name in Statements or Documents Issued by You
19.1 You are not permitted to use our name in any statement or document that you may issue unless our prior written consent has been obtained. The only exception to this restriction would be statements or documents that in accordance with applicable law are to be made public.
20 Draft / Interim Work or Oral Advice
20.1 In the course of our providing services to you we may provide advice or reports or other work products in draft or interim form, or orally. However, final written work products will always prevail over any draft, interim or oral statements. Where you request it, we will provide you with written confirmation of matters stated orally.
21.1 If any provision of our engagement letter or terms of business 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.
22 Internal disputes within a client
22.1 If we become aware of a dispute between the parties who own the business, or who are in some way involved in its ownership and management, it should be noted that our client is the business (unless we have agreed otherwise) 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 registered office/normal place of business for the attention of the directors/proprietors/partners/trustees. If conflicting advice, information or instructions are received from different directors/principals in the business, we will refer the matter back to the board of directors/the partnership and take no further action until the board/partnership has agreed the action to be taken. In certain cases we reserve the right to cease acting for the business/client entirely.
23 Period of Engagement and Termination
23.1 Unless otherwise agreed in our engagement letter, our work will begin when we receive implicit or explicit acceptance of that letter. Except as stated in that letter, we will not be responsible for periods before that date.
23.2 Each of us may terminate our agreement by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to the other party except if 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 before termination.
23.3 We reserve the right to terminate the engagement between us with immediate effect in the event of: your insolvency, bankruptcy or other arrangement being reached with creditors; an independence issue or change in the law which means we can no longer act; failure to pay our fees by the due dates; or either party being in breach of their obligations if this is not corrected within 30 days of being asked to do so.
23.4 In the event of termination of our contract, 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 will not be required to carry out further work and shall not be responsible or liable for any consequences arising from termination.
Timing of our Services
24.1 If you provide us with all information and explanations on a timely basis in accordance with our requirements, we will plan to undertake the work within a reasonable period of time to meet any regulatory deadlines. However, failure to complete our services before any such regulatory deadline would not, of itself, mean that we are liable for any penalty or additional costs arising.