Terms of Engagement

Updated December 2023

Our Terms Of Engagement (for Non-Audit & Assurance Services)

Our engagement will be for the provision of traditional accounting and taxation related services (“accounting and tax services”).  We will make contact with you on an annual basis to discuss the specific services to be provided.

We will provide the accounting and tax services in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB) and with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009.

As a result, no audit or review will be performed and accordingly, no assurance will be expressed as to the accuracy of the information provided by you.  Our engagement cannot be relied upon to disclose irregularities including fraud, other illegal acts and errors that may exist. However, we will inform you of any such matters that may come to our attention.

In performing our services, we may deal with any of the entities/individuals listed in your client group to discuss any affairs of the other where applicable.  If you wish to change these arrangements, please let us know.

Informal verbal advice may be given from time to time in performing our services. If you intend to rely on any verbal advice, you should seek confirmation in writing. We do not accept liability for informal verbal advice for which insufficient information is provided, which is not in proper context and/or is not confirmed in writing.

No Financial Product Services Provided

Our services to you will not include the provision of any financial product advice under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Davidsons is not licensed to provide any financial product advice nor make any recommendations in respect of any financial product. If you require such advice, you will need to consult a financial adviser who is licensed to provide financial product advice before you make a decision on a financial product.

No Legal Services Provided

We do not provide legal services and you should consult a registered legal practitioner, such as a solicitor or lawyer, should you require legal services.


In conducting this engagement, information acquired by us in the course of the engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements.  That information will not be disclosed by us to other parties, except as required or allowed for by law, or with your express consent.

We maintain a system of quality control which has been established and maintained in accordance with the relevant APESB standard.  As a result, our files may be subject to a review as part of the quality control review programs of CPA Australia or the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia whom monitor compliance with professional standards by its members.

We advise you that by accepting this engagement you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program.

Disclosure & Record Keeping Obligations

Under this engagement you are responsible for the reliability, accuracy and completeness of the accounting records, particulars and information provided.

You are obliged to provide us will all information that you reasonably expect will be necessary to allow us to perform the services required under this engagement within a timely manner.  Inaccurate, incomplete or late information could have a material effect on our services and/or our conclusions and may result in additional fees.

You are required to advise us on a timely basis if there are any changes to your circumstances that may be relevant to the performance of our services.

The Taxation Administration Act 1953 contains specific provisions that may provide you with ‘safe harbours’ from administrative penalties for incorrect or late lodgement of returns if, amongst other things, you give us ‘all relevant taxation information’ in a timely manner (these provisions apply from 1 July 2010).  Accordingly, it is to your advantage that all relevant information is disclosed to us as any failure by you to provide this information may affect your ability to rely on the ‘safe harbour’ provisions and will be taken into account in determining the extent to which we have discharged our obligations to you.

You are also required to advise us if you become aware of any conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest.  Generally, a conflict of interest is any event which may result in us becoming unable to remain objective in the performance of our services to you.  Some examples of events which could give rise to a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest during this engagement are changes to your business circumstances, events affecting your family (eg. death and/or marriage breakdown) or a legal action commencing against you.

Outsourced Services and Cloud Computing

In providing our tax and business services to you, we utilise a variety of Online Cloud Computing services. Generally, such services relate to a subscription held by yourself for a cloud accounting program for the electronic, online processing of your financial data. We also use certain cloud based programs to collect, communicate and store your information as part of providing our services to you. For further information on the specific Outsourced and Cloud Computing services we use, download our Cloud Computing & Outsourced Service Providers List.

Limitation Of Third Party Rights

Our advice and information is for your sole use, and we accept no responsibility to any third party, unless we have expressly agreed in the engagement letter that a specified third party may rely on our work.

Your Rights And Obligations Under the Taxation Laws

You have certain rights and obligations under the taxation laws which have been summarized below.

Under self-assessment you are required to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return.  Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept claims made in an income tax return and issue a notice of assessment, usually without adjustment, the return may be subject to later review.

Under the taxation law such a review may take place within a period of between two to four years after the tax becomes due and payable under the assessment.  Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no limit on amending the assessment.  Accordingly, you should check any returns prepared before signing them to ensure that the information in the returns is accurate.

You have the right to seek a private ruling from the Australian Taxation Office or to appeal or object against a decision made by the Commissioner.  As relevant, we will provide further information to you concerning your rights under the Australian taxation laws during the performance of this engagement.

Our Obligation to Comply with the Law

We have a duty to act in your best interests.  However, the duty to act in your best interests is subject to an overriding obligation to comply with the law even if that may require us to act in a manner that may be contrary to your interests.  For example, we could not lodge an income tax return for you that we knew to be false in a material aspect.

We also have an obligation to ensure that we manage conflicts of interest as they arise.  In this regard, we have arrangements in place to ensure that we manage potential or actual conflicts of interest.  The effective operation of these arrangements depend, in part, on you complying with your obligation to disclose any potential conflicts to us as noted above.


Subject to the law, we must not disclose any information relating to your affairs to a third party without your consent.  To the extent necessary to perform our services under this engagement, in signing this letter you agree that your confidential information may be disclosed to the following parties unless you instruct us otherwise in writing:

  • The Australian Taxation Office
  • The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC)
  • Your solicitor and other relevant professional advisors.

We will not disclose any information relating to your affairs to any other third party without your consent, unless required by law.  Permission obtained from you to disclose any relevant information to other third parties not named above must be provided in writing.


Our fee arrangement will be based on the value of the assignment and the level of staff required to complete the accounting and taxation related services to be performed.

Contact will be made with you on an annual basis to discuss the specific services to be provided and a fee estimate will be communicated based on the services to be performed.

Any disbursements and out of pocket expenses will be charged at cost.

Please note that all fees quoted by us will be in Australian dollars and are exclusive of GST.

Limitation of Liability

Our liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.  Further information on the scheme is available from the Professional Standards Councils’ website at www.professionalstandardscouncil.gov.au.

Dispute and Complaints

If you have any concerns about our costs or services, please speak to the person responsible for this engagement, who is identified in our engagement letter. To resolve your concerns we have policies and procedures in place to deal appropriately with complaints and will use best endeavours to resolve a complaint or dispute to the mutual satisfaction of the parties involved. We may require you to detail your complaint in writing to allow us to fully investigate any concerns that you raise.

Ownership of Documents

All original documents obtained arising from the engagement shall remain your property.  However, we reserve the right to make a reasonable number of copies of the original documents for our records.

Our engagement will result in the production of the certain documents, ownership of which will vest in you, the client.  These documents will include financial statements, income tax returns and business activity statements.

All other documents produced by us in respect of this engagement will remain the property of our firm.

The firm has a policy of exploring a legal right of lien over any client documents in our possession in the event of a dispute.


Nothing in this engagement shall prevent us from taking any action as may be required by law or statute or to comply with the regulations of any relevant professional body.

We may, without your consent, assign this engagement to a successor to the business of Davidsons to which this engagement relates.

In the absence of written instructions to the contrary, files may, without notice to you, be destroyed after seven years have elapsed since the completion of the matter. This does not apply to documents held for safe keeping such as share certificates, unexpired contracts or lease agreements.


Each of us may terminate this agreement by giving not less than 21 days’ notice in writing to the other party except where a conflict of interest has arisen, you fail to cooperate with us or we have reason to believe that you have provided us or any other person with misleading or factually inaccurate information, in which case we may terminate this agreement immediately. Termination will not affect any accrued rights.

Privacy Policy

Please refer to Davidsons website regarding our privacy policy, www.davidsons.com.au/privacy-policy

Payment Terms

Under this engagement, you agree to pay all amounts due in clear funds within 21 days from the date of the invoice for the services provided by Davidsons (this includes progressive invoices for any work completed to date).

If you fail to pay in accordance with these terms, Davidsons may:

  • Charge interest on debts at 8% per annum from time to time
  • Withhold services until such time as the debt is paid in full
  • Take action to recover the money owing on the services provided
  • Recover all collection and legal costs and expenses incurred in collecting overdue accounts.

Failure to comply with the above payment terms will constitute a breach of these Terms of Engagement, and Davidsons may treat the whole engagement as repudiated and act accordingly.

In the event that the engagement has been entered into by more than one party, each party shall be jointly and severely liable for any amount due.

Please note that credit card payments will incur a surcharge of between 1% and 3%, subject to the type of card used.

Our Commitment to You

Our mission is “To have trusted relationships and make a positive difference to our client’s financial success”. We welcome your feedback in relation to our performance in meeting this mission.

Please note Terms of Conditions are current as updated on 18th December 2023.