Accountant Letter of Engagement does not reflect the information I was given earlier
+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Posts 11 to 18 of 18
  1. #11

    Godlike

    Sockpuppet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,411
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    3
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.1.1 I thought it is the accountant company who is responsible for "maintaining proper accounting records and for preparing financial statements". - Could you please advise?
    THink, how will they know what you have spend. Basically this means. Don't give us some bank statements showing lots of cash withdrawals and expect us to be able to do anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.2.3 "You have told us that the company is exempt from an audit of the financial statements. We will not check whether this is the case. However, if we find that the company is not entitled to the exemption, we will inform you of this." - I have not told you this and I do not even know what is an audit and whether my company needs it. - Could you please advise?
    You're a small company. You are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.2.5 "we cannot provide any assurance whether the financial statements that we prepare from those records will present a true and fair view." - I would have thought that you will make sure that the financial statements will be accurate and true. - Could you please advise?
    "True and Fair" is accounting legal term. Basically it means they've made sure your not pulling a fast one. Small companies do not need the accountant to do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.2.7 "Furthermore, as directors you have a duty to prepare financial statements that comply with the Companies Act 2006 and applicable accounting standards. If we find that the financial statements do not conform to generally accepted accounting principles, or if the accounting policies adopted are not immediately apparent, we must disclose this in the financial statements." -- Again, I would have thought that the financial statements are are prepared by you. - Could you please advise.
    Only really applies if they inherit some accounts from another firm. Or you say I'm devaluating this at 75% per annum when its accepted its 20%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.5.4 "We will tell you the amounts of income corporation tax to be paid and the dates by which the company should make the payments." - I thought this is calculated automatically by Iris OpenBooks which I will have access to. Could you please confirm that I will be able to make invoices myself through the system. - Could you please advise.
    It can calculate profit. The tax system is complex. Let the accountant do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    1.6.2 f) "to keep us informed about significant transactions" - Could you please make an example?
    You buy a van.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    2.1.1 You will continue to deal with all matters required by law, such as Pay As You Earn including year end returns P35/P14/P60; forms P11D; and returns for sub-contractors. - Could you please advise as to what this means? If possible I would like you to deal with these as well.
    Some accountants charge for a PAYE service.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    2.2.2 c) "if any casual labour is taken on, you are required to operate P46 procedures. The completed P46 form should be passed to us for processing;" - Could you please advise as to what this means?
    If you hire anyone you need to find out their tax code.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    2.2.2 i) "any notice of coding received by you." - Could you please advise as to what this means?
    Change to PAYE tax codes. You get them you need to give them to the accountant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    PART 2

    3.1 "We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. The money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from the firm's funds." - Could you please advise as to what this means?
    If you want them to pay your tax for you I suppose. Personally I don't think there is a need for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    11.1 "Our fees are calculated on the basis of the time spent on your affairs by the principals and staff and on the levels of skill or responsibility involved. Our fees will be billed when due, together with outlays and VAT and our invoices will be due for payment when issued." - I was informed that I will be paying a fixed fee for the Gold Plan. - Could you please advise?
    Ask. Could be for "non standard" work. Could also just be catch all.

  2. #12

    Contractor Among Contractors


    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1,131
    Thanks (Given)
    21
    Thanks (Received)
    97
    Likes (Given)
    62
    Likes (Received)
    130

    Default

    Problem is they've used a bog standard letter of engagement - almost certainly a template from a professional body - which hasn't been tailored to clients needs.

    It happens often, but it's sloppy I'm afraid.

    It would be ok - if it reflected the agreement - for a general client, however for a contractor where services are being bundled up fixed price it needs to be smarter.

    I've always avoided the professional bodies templates for these reasons, and written my own bottom up.

    I'm always nervous about commenting publicly on competitors - there but for grace of god - but it strikes me the haven't really thought their services and documentation through. Doesn't bode well.

  3. #13

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessica@WhiteFieldTax View Post
    Problem is they've used a bog standard letter of engagement - almost certainly a template from a professional body - which hasn't been tailored to clients needs.

    It happens often, but it's sloppy I'm afraid.

    It would be ok - if it reflected the agreement - for a general client, however for a contractor where services are being bundled up fixed price it needs to be smarter.

    I've always avoided the professional bodies templates for these reasons, and written my own bottom up.

    I'm always nervous about commenting publicly on competitors - there but for grace of god - but it strikes me the haven't really thought their services and documentation through. Doesn't bode well.
    Exactly! That's my point! If I have no contract and the letter of engagement is not the contract what will bind them officially to do their work promised under the Gold Plan in the "Client Services Summary.pdf"???

    Just for starters, the Gold Plan costs a fixed monthly fee according to the Client Services Summary.pdf, the letter of engagement states that the fees are calculated on an hourly basis!!! And they want me to sign the letter of engagement not the Client Services Summary.pdf!!!

    My current accountant made sure to customise their contract to me, I always customise my contract to my client and include what services I will carry out.

    To give me a standard letter of engagement that does not reflect the services they promised me they will do is cheap!

  4. #14

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sockpuppet View Post
    THink, how will they know what you have spend. Basically this means. Don't give us some bank statements showing lots of cash withdrawals and expect us to be able to do anything.



    You're a small company. You are.



    "True and Fair" is accounting legal term. Basically it means they've made sure your not pulling a fast one. Small companies do not need the accountant to do this.



    Only really applies if they inherit some accounts from another firm. Or you say I'm devaluating this at 75% per annum when its accepted its 20%.



    It can calculate profit. The tax system is complex. Let the accountant do it.



    You buy a van.



    Some accountants charge for a PAYE service.



    If you hire anyone you need to find out their tax code.



    Change to PAYE tax codes. You get them you need to give them to the accountant.



    If you want them to pay your tax for you I suppose. Personally I don't think there is a need for this.



    Ask. Could be for "non standard" work. Could also just be catch all.
    Great, that someone from a forum was willing to explain me all this but my accountant was unwilling to.

  5. #15

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I would then strongly suggest you speak to Nixon Williams, In Touch and SJD. They all support freeagent. I see BFCA is listed on the freeagent site and they are contractor specific also. I tried a local bod and he didn't know contracting so supplied me with a really poor service. I switched to SJD and haven't had a hiccup in 4 years. I have never had to or felt the need to go meet them in all that time so strongly believe that a better, knowledgeable service tailored to my needs is much much more important than popping round to see someone who doesn't know my business inside out.
    Of course being local is not the most important. I just checked freeagent and they were listed in my town, so I thought it's bingo. I talked to them on the phone and they confirmed they ticked all the boxes - bingo. They sent me the letter of engagement - disappointment.

    I'm hesitant to use a large accountancy service because I prefer personal service. I want to talk to one accountant not 3! Do SJD give you a personal account manager / accountant?

    Also, do SJD give you a proper contract that includes the services they will carry out?
    Last edited by Gulliver; 17th January 2013 at 10:07.

  6. #16

    Super poster


    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    3,996
    Thanks (Given)
    36
    Thanks (Received)
    29
    Likes (Given)
    153
    Likes (Received)
    89

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    Great, that someone from a forum was willing to explain me all this but my accountant was unwilling to.
    If the accountant had explained this then you could argue that it formed part of the contract and perhaps varied what was written there. If we explain it to you then it's merely an interpretation of what the accountant said. Can you see why the accountant doesn't want to elaborate on their standard terms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    I prefer personal service. Do SJD give you a personal account manager / accountant?
    SJD do allocate you an accountant who is supposed to be your primary contact but you deal with quite a number of different people for VAT/PAYE/Self Assessment etc which some people may find irritating.

    You probably want to speak to a few accountants and say you want a single point of contact if you are looking for a more personal service.
    Free advice and opinions - refunds are available if you are not 100% satisfied.

  7. #17

    Still gathering requirements...


    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    62
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    If the accountant had explained this then you could argue that it formed part of the contract and perhaps varied what was written there. If we explain it to you then it's merely an interpretation of what the accountant said. Can you see why the accountant doesn't want to elaborate on their standard terms?



    SJD do allocate you an accountant who is supposed to be your primary contact but you deal with quite a number of different people for VAT/PAYE/Self Assessment etc which some people may find irritating.

    You probably want to speak to a few accountants and say you want a single point of contact if you are looking for a more personal service.
    I do understand your explanation as to why they refrain from commenting their TCs however I do disagree with such a practice. If I have a TCs and my client ask me for an explanation I do explain.

    Yes, absolutely irritating to deal with multiple point of contacts! One doesn't know about what the other one has said a day ago and so I have to explain the whole thing again. Furthermore they will not have the same view on the same issue. Absolutely frustrating!

  8. #18

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    33,780
    Thanks (Given)
    141
    Thanks (Received)
    1466
    Likes (Given)
    1780
    Likes (Received)
    6028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    I do understand your explanation as to why they refrain from commenting their TCs however I do disagree with such a practice. If I have a TCs and my client ask me for an explanation I do explain.

    Yes, absolutely irritating to deal with multiple point of contacts! One doesn't know about what the other one has said a day ago and so I have to explain the whole thing again. Furthermore they will not have the same view on the same issue. Absolutely frustrating!
    SJD are not irritating at all. I get a lady send me a reminder to send my spreadseet in to calc VAT and they send me back a nice detailed list of exactly what to file and the link to the page. Total time about 1 minute.

    I get another lady asking to send in my spreadsheet at year end, which I send it and get a mail back with the results. Total effort to me, just the time it takes to check the numbers.

    I haven't needed to respond to either of these contacts in 4 years.

    I have however spoken to my accountant numerous times and I can't remember an instance he didn't reply to me within the day. Much rather someone else doing the leg work to free the expert up so I can speak to him rather than him being knee deep in VAT calcs all day. I did however have a one man band before and I couldn't speak to him most of January and other tax deadlines as he was too busy.

    11k contractors aren't frustrated by it. Take it from me at least, it isn't irritating in the slightest. I would say it works very well indeed.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011' - Winner - Yes really!!!!

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.