While seemingly convenient, the use of evergreen letters potentially removes an important statute-of-limitation defense, thus permitting a claim to be asserted several years after the services were rendered. Accounting is a global service, and each geographic area has its own regulations, specific structures, and other differences. There are also a number of fantastic resources available, showing nuances in their engagement letter templates. Does your firm use an accounting engagement letter when signing on a new client?
The bookkeeping engagement letter should include a timeline for the work included along with who is responsible for meeting each milestone. As the bookkeeper, the deadlines should be contingent on receiving access to the client’s information and accounting system. For the client, the timelines should include reasonable turnaround times for the finished project once the information has been provided. If you enter into a relationship (professional or otherwise) with mismatched expectations between you and the other party, it’s a recipe for disaster.
The Accountant/Bookkeeper, shall in the course of performing the Services hereunder, may gain access to certain confidential or proprietary information of the Client. The obligations under this section shall survive the termination or expiration of this Letter. An engagement letter can be an effective and easy way to protect your firm.
For example, will you handle all bookkeeping tasks for the client or just specific ones? Will you provide monthly reports, or only at the end of the year? First and foremost, your bookkeeping engagement letter should provide the date of the agreement. Engagement letters should be used by any accountant performing client work to protect themselves and establish a good business relationship based on transparency. This document ensures everyone is on the same page with what is expected and protected from potential future disputes.
Please keep in mind that this is only an estimate and that, depending upon the time required and the complexity of the action, actual costs may exceed this estimate. This Agreement, and the rights and obligations of the Parties hereunder, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws located in the State where the services are being provided. Our responsibility in this engagement consists of completing the bookkeeping activities outlined above with care and due diligence. All communication from your firm will be answered within 48 hours.
For instance, if your client conducts business in multiple provinces, you must note this information on their federal return. If they have corporate activities in one of the provinces that requires a standalone corporate return, such as Alberta or Ontario, you must complete these returns separately. An engagement letter is a crucial piece of any new bookkeeping project. Define your boundaries and expectations early so you don’t risk big losses later on. This section of a sample bookkeeping engagement letter doesn’t usually need much tweaking.
Ideally, it is recommended that engagement letters be used for all engagements. It is possible to utilize a single format for several identical services and different formats for services that are not identical. For lengthy projects, be sure to review and update the engagement letter quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. To make writing engagement letters easier, consider reviewing a few samples online. You may also want to have a liability attorney look over your engagement letter to ensure it covers the elements necessary to avoid professional malpractice suits. Engagement letters help you avoid issues down the road with your client in terms of payment and expectations.
It’s possible you will end up having several agreements in effect for a single client. An accounting engagement letter should be signed and accepted by each party to signify acceptance of the contract and understanding of the services to be rendered and at what price. In addition, it should include language for billing practices of additional services that might be outside the scope of the initial project. An accountant / bookkeeping engagement letter outlines the scope of work that a professional will provide for a client and typically includes details about compensation and the project timeline.
Include the names and addresses of both parties, as well as the date of the agreement. Then, outline the bookkeeping services to be provided, the payments to be made and the due dates for those payments. It lays out the bookkeeping services that will be provided, how much you will charge for your services, and the payment structure and due dates.
That’s why an engagement letter is a crucial piece of any new bookkeeping project. The letter spells out the expectations, timeframes, and scope of work included so all parties are on the same page. Bookkeeping engagement letters are a powerful tool for expanding your business while alleviating risks.
You have a new bookkeeping client, and you’re ready to get to work. But did you know that it’s also essential to have a written agreement in place with your client before starting that work? This document is called an engagement letter, and it outlines the specific accounting services you will provide and all the necessary details. My engagement to prepare your tax returns will conclude with the delivery of the completed returns to you (if paper-filing), or your signature and our subsequent submittal of your tax return (if e-filing).
I will return your original records to you at the end of this engagement. You should securely store these records, along with all supporting documents, canceled checks, etc., as these items may later be needed to prove accuracy and completeness of a return. I will electronically retain copies of your records and our work papers for your engagement for seven years, after statement of cash flows: free template & examples which these documents will be destroyed. If your tax return is selected for audit by the IRS or by the state tax authorities, I am available to represent you or to prepare materials in response to correspondence. However, these are additional expenses not included in my tax preparation fees and I will render additional invoices for the time and expense incurred.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved and a crucial part of onboarding. Over 6,000 accountants and bookkeepers use Jetpack Workflow to standardize client work, automate deadlines, and track firm progress. The important thing is to define your billing practices in advance.
If you are using a sample bookkeeping engagement letter template, do not forget to add in any missing sections. Most engagement letters are a two-edged sword, communicating your terms to clients while simultaneously giving your firm a way to quickly identify clients who aren’t the best for your business. Content Snare allows for a clear client dashboard that outlines precisely what documentation the client needs to provide and when. It also allows clients to ask questions right in the system and sends automatic reminders for documents outstanding in helping with your engagements.
Think of your new engagement letter as a way to clearly define the terms, fee structure, and services inside your proposal. We are thrilled you have chosen our firm to provide quarterly compilation services for your business and an annual review. The short answer is yes, you should have an engagement letter at the beginning of every engagement and have a signed agreement prior to commencing work. It could be the serial refinancers who need updated financial statements every couple of weeks as they chase down the best rate. Or the business client who comes across some unique investment idea requiring thorough tax projections and hours of research.
Such kinds of letters establish a good impression in front of your clients as they demonstrate your professionalism and the way you run the business. If you’re looking for simple workflow templates, which includes a bookkeeping client onboarding checklist, access our collection of 32 customizable accounting workflow templates and checklists here. This free resource includes a ton of the most popular accounting templates including monthly bookkeeping, weekly accounting analysis, client onboarding procedures, and common tax return forms.
The “pricing and services” section describes what’s included in the mandate and the definition of what’s included can be found in the Service Terms section. For reference the pricing and services described are the “scope” of [Insert firm name] mandate. Should a need arise that falls out of scope, [Insert firm name] will contact [Insert client name], assess the need, and quote an upfront price for ABC Inc. to either accept or decline.
Assistance to be supplied by your personnel, including the preparation of schedules and analyses of accounts, is described in a separate attachment. Timely completion of this work will facilitate the completion of our audit. However, we will inform you of any material errors, and all irregularities or illegal acts, unless they are clearly inconsequential, that come to our attention.