In some cases the terms of engagement will include a clause which states ‘after X number of days the terms will deem to have been accepted’ but generally speaking an accountant won’t be able to commence the work you require until they you have signed the terms of engagement. This is one of the reasons we, Robertshaws Accounting, request electronic signatures on our terms of engagement to eliminate some of the administrative burden these practices put on clients.
Why are they important?
Issuing a letter of engagement is considered best practice and one should be issued to you by any accountant you choose to engage. Think carefully about dealing with those that don’t follow this procedure.
They are important for both parties, they let you – the client – know about the services the accountant is providing, their terms of business and any limitations of liability included in the agreement.
If there is anything you are not sure about when engaging with your accountant you should seek confirmation from them or independent advice prior to signing the letter.
What’s included in the letter?
The letter of engagement doesn’t necessarily have a set format but it will include key considerations such as;
- Scope of the services included
- Period of the engagement
- Fee terms
- Limitations of liability
- Terms of business
It’s important you are aware of these and you understand the agreement before signing.