What is an Accountant Engagement Letter?
An Accountant Engagement Letter is a written agreement which sets out the business relationship between a client and an accountant (or accounting firm). The letter covers the key terms of your client engagement. This includes the services being offered, client responsibilities, scope. fee structure, payment terms, deadlines and other important legal terms like limitation of liability.
Other names for this document include a Services Agreement, Terms of Engagement or Client Agreement.
It’s important to have a contract which is tailored to your industry, the unique services you provide and your way of doing business. Luckily, we have worked with a number of Accountants across Australia!
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Do I need an Engagement Letter?
Yes, we recommend you always have an Engagement Letter signed before you start a new accounting job for a client. It will help both sides to understand the terms of your agreement in black and white.
Setting expectations is important. The client gets the reassurance of knowing when a service will be completed, and how much it will cost. You can reduce scope creep and bill disputes by having a well-written Accountant Engagement Letter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Without a clear agreement in writing, you are leaving yourself open to risk. It can be almost impossible to prove what you agreed on if you only have a verbal or ‘handshake’ agreement with your client. More importantly, you are leaving your business vulnerable. An Accountant Engagement Letter will help to avoid late payments, scope creep and other issues which you want to avoid.
If a client ever disputes your bill or refuses to pay, it’s always good to have a signed agreement which you can refer back to.
Yes you can. We actually do this for our own law firm using Dubsado software.
However, you need to be careful with the wording of the Engagement Letter to make sure it covers electronic signatures, changes to scope and other areas which you want to anticipate.
Don’t forget, every single contract we write is custom so we can make sure your own terms suit your practice and way of doing business.
Generally it takes around 2 weeks to complete a drafting project from start to finish. If you have asked us to prepare more than one document, we’ll try to complete them at the same time to speed things up.
If something is urgent or you are working to a deadline, please let us know ahead of time and we will do our best to meet your timeline.