Terms and Conditions of Business and General Information for Clients
1. People responsible for your work
(i) AFP Services Limited (“AFP”) is your service provider. Richard Peel and Catherine Casey will initially be responsible for the matters for which you engage us, but we will appoint another suitably qualified employee of AFP to be your primary account manager and contact, as soon as is relevant. We will inform you of the name and contact details of any person involved in matters on which you instruct us, as necessary.
(ii) We try hard to avoid changing the people who are handling your work, during the course of any engagement but, if this cannot be avoided, we will notify you promptly as to who will be handling your matter.
2. Charges and expenses
(i) Our charges are based mainly (but not only) on the time we spend in dealing with a matter. Time spent on your affairs will include; meetings with you and perhaps others; any time spent travelling; considering, preparing and working on papers; correspondence; and making and receiving telephone calls.
(ii) The hourly rate for AFP Services is £70 per hour from now until the review date of 3 months from the date of this document unless agreed otherwise as in point (x) For specialist work, eg tax work, the hourly rate will be £120 per hour. Any variations of this will be discussed with the client.
(iii) Time is charged on the basis of units of 1/4 of an hour (i.e. 15 minutes). This is the minimum unit charged, so that an attendance of less than 15 minutes will be charged as 15 minutes.
(iv) We review our basic charge-out rates annually. The next review date is 1 August 2020, after which we will notify you in writing of any increased rates to be implemented.
(v) In charging for work carried out for you, we may take into account a number of other factors in addition to the time spent. These include the complexity of the issues, the speed at which action must be taken, the expertise or specialist knowledge which the matter requires and, if appropriate, the value of the subject matter involved. It may on occasion be appropriate for us to “mark up” or “uplift” our charges based on hourly rates alone if any of these factors apply. The mark-up to be applied will depend entirely on the circumstances of a particular matter. We will always seek to give you the best advance estimate we can.
(vi) If applicable, we will add VAT to our charges at the rate that applies when the work is done. At present, the applicable rate is 20%.
(vii) There may be certain expenses we incur on your behalf, such as expert’s fees, courier costs and third party photocopying costs, which you will have to pay. VAT is payable on certain of these.
(viii) We will inform you if any unforeseen additional work becomes necessary (for example, due to unexpected difficulties or if circumstances or your requirements significantly change during the course of the matter). If requested, we will also inform you in writing of the estimated cost of such additional work, before any extra charges and expenses are incurred.
(ix) You may set a limit on the charges and expenses to be incurred. This means that you must pay those incurred up to the agreed limit without our needing to refer back to you. We will inform you as soon as it appears that the limit may be exceeded and will not exceed the limit, without first obtaining your consent.
(x) Normally our charges are agreed as a fixed monthly fee plus a % of our client’s turnover. This rate will be discussed with the client prior to us starting billable work. Any agreed fee amount takes precedent over other figures in this document. The fees we suggest are based on the estimated number of hours and the skill, expertise and other resources, needed to complete the tasks. We normally review all our fees on at least a quarterly basis, to ensure that they are in still line with our original thoughts. We will warn you in advance if it appears likely that an estimate will be exceeded.
(xi) It is normal practice to ask clients to pay sums of money, from time to time on account of the charges and expenses, which they are expected to incur in the following weeks or months. This helps to avoid delay in the progress of a matter. We may request payments on account of our charges and expenses to be incurred, before we start work or as the matter progresses or instructions on other matters are received. When a payment on account is applied against an invoice rendered to you, we will send you a receipted copy of that invoice. We will generally offset any payments on account against the final bill to be rendered to you on a particular matter, although we reserve the right to offset payments on account against interim bills. It is important that you understand that your total charges and expenses, may be greater than any payments on account made.
3. Billing arrangements
(i) We will send (if required, otherwise we will process accordingly) a bill as soon as possible after the end of each calendar month, for work done in the previous calendar month.
(ii) Payment is due to us on presentation or recording of the bill. We reserve the right to charge you interest on the bill from the end of a 30 day period, after that date at the UK Base Rate plus 4% if you do not make payment within this time. Interest will be charged on a daily basis.
(iii) It is expected that bills will be paid within the 30 day period set out in paragraph 3(ii) above. Earlier payment is obviously appreciated. We will take a sympathetic approach, to anyone who has genuine and unforeseen difficulty in paying any bill. However, if any bill is outstanding after 45 days without any response having been made to it (i.e. an explanation as to the failure to pay and/or a request for time to pay) then regrettably we will have no alternative but to consider commencement of proceedings to recover the amount due. This will inevitably result in a much greater payment being made by the client, due to the addition of legal costs and interest to the amount outstanding. The most aggressive action to recover costs will only be taken against those who make no genuine attempt to explain why the account is unpaid, and make no proposal for payment.
(iv) If you have any query about a bill, you should contact Richard Peel straight away.
4. Storage of papers and documents
(i) In the normal course of business we will hold all paperwork relating to clients accounts at our offices. This paperwork remains the property of the client and as such is available for inspection, or transmission at any reasonable time, if requested by our client. This is the case for any electronic records held, though any software needed to view such records will always remain the property of AFP.
(ii) After completing work for you, we are entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us, for our charges and expenses. Where no amounts are owing to us, we will keep our file(s) of papers on a matter (except for any of your papers which you ask to be returned to you) for no more than 6 years from the date of the final bill sent to you on that matter. We keep the file(s) on the understanding that we have the authority to destroy it/them once such 6 year period has elapsed. We will not destroy documents you ask us to deposit in safe custody.
(ii) If we retrieve papers or documents from storage in relation to continuing or new instructions to act in connection with your affairs, we will not normally charge for such retrieval. However, we may make a charge based on time spent producing stored papers or documents to you or another, at your request. We may also charge for reading, correspondence or other work necessary to comply with the instructions, given by you or on your behalf.
(i) You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time, but you agree that we will be entitled to keep all your papers and documents while there is money owing to us, for our charges and expenses (as set out in paragraph 4 (i) above).
(ii) In some circumstances, we may consider that we ought to stop acting for you (for example, if you cannot give clear or proper instructions on how we are to proceed). We may only decide to stop acting for you with good reason (for example, if you do not pay an interim bill, or comply with our request for a payment on account). We must give you reasonable notice that we will stop acting for you in such circumstances.
(iii) If you or we decide that we will no longer act for you, you will pay our charges and expenses on the basis set out above, up to the date on which we cease to act for you.
6. Communication between you and us(i) All communications between you and us shall remain confidential and shall not be disclosed to any third party, without your prior authority save as required by law.
(iii) We are confident of providing a high quality service in all respects. If, however, you have any queries or concerns about our work for you, please raise them immediately with either your account manager or our Managing Director, Catherine Casey(FCMA)
(iv) If you do not receive a satisfactory and timely response, please then escalate the issues you have to Richard Peel.
(v) We hope that we resolve all issues in a professional way. However if you are happy with the resolutions that we provide, you are entitled to write to our professional body
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
26 Chapter Street
26 Chapter Street
(iii) It is important that you immediately raise any concerns you may have with us. We value you as a client and would not wish to think that you have any reason to be unhappy with us.
7. Status of AFP Services Limited and what areas we advise on
(i) AFP Services Limited is a Company registered in England and Wales; the registered number being 04511386
(ii) AFP Services Limited is VAT registered; the VAT registration number being 797 8109 68
(iii) AFP Services Ltd is a privately owned accountancy and consultancy business, that specializes in working with small and medium size enterprises. The company works with both new and existing companies to establish robust existing processes and controls and firm foundations for future growth. The company’s core business is that of providing outsourced finance departments, but also advises on many aspects of business structure and development including strategy, business planning, and viability, marketing and sales. AFP does not act as executives or board directors with executive powers unless otherwise agreed.
(iv) Through its affiliate network AFP can provide a number of support services for clients that are happy to outsource non core activities. These include marketing and communications, Business consultancy, IT systems and software development, Legal Consultancy, Health and Safety issues, and HR and Recruitment. We are also happy to promote clients services towards other clients.
(v) AFP Services Ltd is covered by Professional Indemnity insurance underwritten by AXA/ABG
8. Limitation of Liability
(i) Nothing herein shall exclude or in any way limit our liability for fraud, or death or personal injury caused by our negligence, or any other liability to the extent such liability may not be excluded, or limited as a matter of law. Subject thereto:
a. our (and that of our employees and agents) maximum aggregate liability under or in connection with our services, whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise , will in no circumstances exceed the total charges payable to us hereunder; and
b. we (and our employees and agents) will not be liable hereunder for any loss of actual or anticipated income or profits, loss of contracts or for any special, indirect or consequential loss or damage of any kind, howsoever arising and whether caused by tort (including negligence), breach of contract or otherwise, whether or not such loss or damage is foreseeable, foreseen or known.
(ii) These terms state the full extent of our obligations and liabilities in respect of the performance of the services. Any condition, warranty, representation or other term concerning the performance of the services by us, which might otherwise be implied into or incorporated, whether by statute, common law or otherwise, is excluded to the maximum extent permitted by law.
(i) We will not accept instructions to act for two or more clients on the same matter without all clients’ prior approval.
(ii) We will disclose to you any conflicts of interest which arise in the course of our handling of your affairs.
(iii) For the avoidance of doubt this agreement is between AFP Services Limited and you and not the individuals who provide services to you on AFP’s behalf.
(i) Unless otherwise agreed, these terms of business apply to the first and any future instructions you give us. If you have any questions or concerns about the terms of this engagement letter, please contact Richard Peel or seek independent legal advice on it.
(ii) Your continuing instructions in the first matter on which you instruct us will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions of business.