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Engagement letters

Protect yourself; support your client

The Contract

If you are a member of a professional body, it is likely that you are required, as a condition for being authorised to practise, to issue engagement letters covering all work to be undertaken for each of your clients. If you are not bound by the regulations of a professional body, the use of engagement letters will nevertheless serve you well – in respect of the clarity they provide, but also in demonstrating compliance with various requirements of legislation.

The primary purpose of the engagement letter is to set out clearly the services the practice will provide, and what the practice and the client may expect from each other. But the engagement letter must also carry certain disclosures to the client, which are necessary to meet the requirements of:

  • professional standards (including the technical and ethical standards with which the practice is expected to comply),

  • the Provision of Services Regulations 2009, and

  • the UK General Data Protection Regulation.

 

The engagement letter may also be an appropriate place in which to refer to your obligations under:

  • the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and

  • the Bribery Act 2010.

 

The use of an up-to-date standard engagement letters product (which has been tailored to your practice) is the most efficient way of achieving what is required. The right product will be easy to use, and will take a ‘building block’ approach, allowing you to combine the appropriate documents in a way that provides clarity to both parties - the practice and the client - in an efficient way. The intelligent use of engagement letters will also help to demonstrate that your practice is trustworthy and has high standards of professionalism.

How can Compliance for Accountants help?

Compliance for Accountants has a suite of standard engagement letters, which are easy to use, and provide flexibility so that you can tailor them to your practice. They comprise:

  • an overarching engagement letter,

  • standard terms and conditions,

  • a data privacy statement, and

  • appendices covering a range of relevant accountancy services.

 

Among other things, the overarching letter includes a schedule of services, cross-referenced to the required appendices. This product is currently in the process of being updated and enhanced. If you would like to be among the first to know when it is available, please contact us. In the meantime, you might like to read our Engagement Letters Factsheet, which we would be happy to provide free of charge.

Please contact us if you would like to know more.

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