General Terms of Business & Legal Details

Last updated: June 2023

These are our indicative terms of business; however, every engagement will have specifically tailored terms of business relevant to the requirements of this work.

1.0

Burton Sweet is the trading name of the following entities:

Burton Sweet Ltd, company number 10729417 registered in England and Wales. The Registered office is Cooper House, Lower Charlton Estate, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 5QE.

E K Furse ACA FCCA and J N Kingston BSc (Hons) ACA trading as Burton Sweet, a Partnership.  Notices for the Partnership should be delivered to Cooper House, Lower Charlton Estate, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5QE.

These terms are amplified by a letter(s) of engagement which confirms the basis upon which we accept your instructions and incorporate references to these terms. By signing and returning the letter(s) of engagement you accept that you fully understand the letter of engagement and these terms.  Even if you do not return the letter of engagement, if you continue to give us instructions you will be considered to have accepted these terms and conditions.

2.0

Other services

There are many other areas where we can be of assistance and we shall be pleased to discuss any matters with you.  Details of these other services can be found at www.burton-sweet.co.uk.

3.0

Investment services

3.1

We may, in the course of the other   professional services, assist you with regard to exempt regulated activities which are incidental to the other professional services. (Such advice may include general pension or investment advice.)  In the unlikely event that we cannot meet our liabilities to you, you may be able to claim compensation under the Chartered Accountants’ Compensation Scheme in respect of exempt regulated activities undertaken.

3.2

If during the provision of professional services to you, you need advice on investments, we may refer you to a firm who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. 

As noted below, we have working agreements with suitably authorised qualified professional firms and will liaise with them as necessary. The third-party firm will issue you with their own terms and conditions letter, will be remunerated separately for their services and will take full responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 

These firms are subject to similar confidentiality regulations as ourselves and you authorise us to share such information as necessary to enable them to give you best advice.

However, as we are licensed by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), we may be able to provide certain limited investment services where these are complementary to, or arise out of, the professional services we are providing to you. 

3.3 

We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of insurance mediation services.  However, we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly advising on selling and administration of insurance contracts and introduction of clients to a Broker.  This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the ICAEW.

4.0

Professional rules and practice guidelines

We will observe the bye-laws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the ICAEW and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with those guidelines.  In particular, you give us authority to correct HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) errors. Copies of these requirements are available for your inspection in our offices.  Burton Sweet Limited is registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the ICAEW.

5.0      

Investment commissions or other benefits

In general, we do not seek introducer fees or commissions.  However, in some circumstances, investment commission or other benefits may become payable to us (or to one of our associates), in respect of introductions to other professionals or transactions we (or such associates) arrange for you, in which case you will be notified in writing of the amount, the terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits.  The fees otherwise payable by you may be abated by such amounts.

You consent to 50% of such commission or other benefits being retained by us (or, as the case may be, by our associates), without us or them being  liable to account to you for any such amounts and the remaining 50% being available to rebate fees as agreed.  We will seek your direct agreement to this arrangement in all cases where it applies.

Income received from any share of procurement fees that we might obtain for work undertaken in introducing clients to providers of loan/mortgage finance, general insurance etc are retained by us in full.

6.0

Outsourcing

Where appropriate and, in fulfilling our obligations, we may use the following professional third parties which have some level of access to data:

  • IT Service Providers – in order to store data securely on the internet for backup services.
  • IT support providers – in order for us to maintain our service levels with the software we use.
  • Telephony Support – in order for us to maintain our service levels and communication with you.
  • Website Support – in order for us to provide access to information and services we offer.
  • Payroll Support – in order for us to provide payroll bureau services.
  • Tax and VAT Support – to provide specialist tax and VAT advice, support and assistance.
  • Archive Records Service – to provide secure record storage.
  • Waste Paper Service – to provide secure waste paper disposal.
  • Cleaning Services.
  • Professional Services – to provide subcontract bookkeeping services for clients and software development for clients and for internal use.
  • Cloud Hosting Services – accounts and payroll and, storage/backup of data.
  • Professional Accounting Support Services – to provide basic accounting support.  This service may be provided by a company outside the EU.
  • Accounts and Tax Software Support – third party software for us to maintain the service levels with software we use.
  • Newsletters and Surveys – to provide access to updates, information and services we provide.

We have taken steps to ensure both ours and third parties’ compliance with security measures as part of our GDPR review.

7.0

Client monies

We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a client bank account, which is segregated from our own funds.  The account will be operated, and all funds dealt with, in accordance with the Clients’ Money Regulations of the ICAEW.

All client monies will usually be held in an interest-  bearing account.  In order to avoid an excessive amount of administration, interest will only be paid to you where the amount earned on the balances held on your behalf in any calendar year exceeds £25.00. 

If the total sum of money held on your behalf is such that a material amount of interest would   arise or would be likely to arise, the money will be    placed in a designated interest-bearing client bank account.  All interest earned on such money will be paid to you.

Subject to any other tax legislation, interest will be paid gross on funds held in our client accounts. 

If we are unable to trace a client for whom we hold funds for a period of more than five years, in certain circumstances, we may follow the ICAEW guidance and distribute those funds to a registered UK charity.

8.0

Retention of records

During the course of our work, we will collect information from you and others acting on your    behalf and will return any original documents to you following preparation and, if applicable, audit of your Financial Statements, Accounts and Tax Return.  Individuals should retain these records for six years from 31 January following the end of the accounting year.  Companies should keep records for six years from the end of the accounting period.  This period can be extended if HMRC enquire into your Tax Return.

While certain documents may legally belong to you, unless you tell us not to, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that we store which are more than seven years old, other than documents which we think may be of continuing significance.  You must tell us if you require retention of any document.  See also section 11.0 below relating to Data Protection regulations.

We accept no responsibility in respect of files or papers destroyed after seven years.

We will exercise a lien in respect of unpaid fees.  This means we are entitled to refuse to give any papers to you or anyone else until you have settled our fees.

9.0

Conflicts of interest and independence

You agree that we may reserve the right to act during this engagement for other clients whose interests are or may be averse to yours, subject to 10.0 below.  We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest to which we are subject in relation to the engagement.

If a conflict of interest should arise, either between two or more clients, or in the provision of multiple services to a single client, we will take such steps as are necessary to deal with the conflict. In resolving the conflict, we will be guided by the Code of Ethics of the ICAEW which can be viewed at www.icaew.com/membershandbook, section B, sub section 220.

10.0

Confidentiality

We confirm that where you give us confidential information, we shall at all times keep it confidential, except as required by law or as provided for in regulatory, ethical or other professional pronouncements applicable to our engagement.

You agree that it will be sufficient compliance with our duty of confidence for us to take such steps as we in good faith think fit to preserve confidential information both during and after termination of this engagement.  (See also 3.2 above.)

11.0

Data protection regulations

In this clause, the following definitions shall apply:

  • ‘Personal Data’ means any personal data provided to us by you, or on your behalf, for the purpose of providing our services to you, pursuant to our engagement letter with you;
  • ‘Data Protection Legislation’ means all applicable privacy and data protection legislation and regulations including PECR, the GDPR and any applicable national laws, regulations and secondary legislation in the UK relating to the processing of personal data and the privacy of electronic communications, as amended, replaced or updated from time to time;
  • ‘Controller’, ‘Data Subject’, ‘Personal Data’ and ‘Process’ shall have the meanings given to them in the data protection legislation;
  • ‘GDPR’ means the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679); and
  • ‘PECR’ means the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2426/2003).

11.1

We shall each be considered an Independent Data Controller in relation to the client personal data.  Each of us will comply with all requirements and obligations applicable to us under the data protection legislation in respect of personal data.

To enable us to discharge the services agreed under this engagement and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory Returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance, we may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you, your business, its officers and employees.  We confirm when processing data on your behalf we will comply with the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Regulations. The Data Controller is Edward Furse.

We would like to keep you up-to-date and inform you about activities and events. In order to do this, we will need your permission. 

This permission is sought from you as part of the client engagement process.  You have the right to opt in or out at any time.

11.2

What information do we collect about you?

The personal information we collect includes your name, address, date of birth, contact details, tax details and information required to complete your Accounts and Tax Return obligations.

For more details on how your data is used and stored you can read our updated Privacy Policy on our website: www.burton-sweet.co.uk/privacy-policy

You shall only disclose personal data to us where:

a) you have provided the necessary   information to the relevant data subjects regarding its use (and you may use or refer to our privacy notice as noted below);

b) you have a lawful basis upon which to do so, which, in the absence of any other lawful basis, shall be with the relevant data subject’s consent; and

c) you have complied with the necessary requirements under the data protection legislation to enable you to do so.

11.3

What we will do with your data

We will use the data provided in order to compile Accounts and Tax Returns and fulfil other statutory and contractual obligations on your behalf as indicated in our engagement letter and terms of business.  This could include using your data in order to fulfil additional work as requested by you whilst you are a client of Burton Sweet.

We may disclose the client personal data to other third parties in the context of a possible sale, merger, restructuring or financing of or investment in our business. In this event we will take appropriate measures to ensure that the security of the client personal data continues to be ensured in accordance with data protection legislation. 

If a change happens to our business, the new owners may use our client personal data in the same way as set out in these terms.

We shall maintain commercially reasonable and appropriate security measures, including administrative, physical and technical safeguards, to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of the client personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to personal data.

11.4

How long will we retain your data

For ongoing engagements:

Under normal circumstances, we will retain data for up to seven years (7 years).

If we cease to act for you, we will remove your data after three years (3 years).

We will remove data by 31 March following the anniversary dates noted in 1 and 2 above.

While we continue to act for you, where we encounter specific long-term data, we retain this unless you advise us otherwise.  Please do note that the responsibility for holding long-term data lies with you.  For the avoidance of confusion this will include Wills, Trust documents, leases, capital gains tax and tax elections information.

11.5

Your rights

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) provides the following rights for individuals relating to the use and retention of data:

  • the right to be informed.  This means that we must tell you how we use your data, and this is the purpose of this privacy notice;
  • the right of access.  You have the right to access the data that we hold on you.  To do so, you should make a subject access request;
  • the right for any inaccuracies to be corrected. If any data that we hold about you is incomplete or inaccurate, you are able to require us to correct it;
  • the right to have information deleted.  If you would like us to stop processing your data, you have the right to ask us to delete it from our systems where you believe there is no reason for us to continue processing it;
  • the right to restrict the processing of the data.  For example, if you believe the data we hold is incorrect, we will stop processing the data (whilst still holding it) until we have ensured that the data is correct;
  • the right to portability.  You may transfer the data that we hold on you for your own purposes;
  • the right to object to the inclusion of any information.  You have the right to   object to the way we use your data   where we are using it for our legitimate interests;
  • the right to regulate any automated decision-making and profiling of personal data.  You have a right not to be subject to automated decision making in way that adversely affects your legal rights.

More information on these is available on the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) website, and can be viewed at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/

12.0

Identification procedures

12.1

As with other professional services firms, we are required to identify our clients for the purposes of the UK anti-money laundering legislation.  We may request from you, and retain, such information and documentation as we require for these purposes and/or make electronic searches of appropriate databases.  If we are not able to obtain satisfactory evidence of your identity, we will not be able to proceed with the engagement.

12.2

If you undertake business that requires you to be supervised by an appropriate supervisory authority to follow anti-money laundering regulations including if you accept or make a high value cash payments of €10,000 or more (or equivalent in any currency) in exchange for goods you should inform us.

12.3

Any personal data received from you to comply with our obligations under The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer for Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) will be processed only for the purposes of preventing money laundering or terrorist financing.  No other use will be made of this personal data unless use of the data is permitted by or under enactment other than the MLR 2017, or we have obtained the consent of the data subject to the proposed use of the data.

13.0

Quality control

As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically subject to an independent regulatory or quality control review.  Our reviewers are highly experienced, professional people and, of course, are bound by the same requirements for confidentiality as our partners, directors and employees.  Unless advised, we will assume your authorisation to release papers for independent review.

14.0

Help us to give you the best service

14.1

We wish to provide a high quality of service at all times.  If at any time you would like to discuss with us how our service could be improved or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving please let us know by contacting your usual partner, director or employee contact or Edward Furse the Managing Partner of Burton Sweet Partnership, and Managing Director of Burton Sweet Ltd on 01749 342255.  If the complaint is about the Managing Partner/Director you should contact Joshua Kingston on 0117 9738441.

14.2

We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and to do all we can to explain the position to you.  If we have given you a less than satisfactory service we undertake to do everything reasonable to put it right.  If you are still not satisfied you may of course refer the matter to the ICAEW.

15.0

Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

15.1

A person who is not a party to this agreement shall have no right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of this agreement.  This clause does not affect any right or remedy of any person, which exists or is available otherwise than pursuant to that Act.

15.2

The advice, which we give you, is for your sole use and does not constitute advice to any third party to whom you may communicate it.  We accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.

16.0

Limitation of liability

16.1

We will provide our professional services with reasonable care and skill.  However, we will not be responsible for any losses, (penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities) arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect or incomplete information, or your or others’ failure to supply any appropriate information or failure to supply information in a timely manner or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us (or the tax authorities).

16.2

You agree to hold harmless and indemnify us, our partners, directors and employees, against any misrepresentation (intentional or unintentional) supplied to us orally or in writing in connection with this agreement.  You have agreed that you will not bring any claim in connection with services provided to you by the firm against any of our employees on a personal basis.

16.3

If applicable, we have discussed with you the extent of our liability to you in respect of our professional services as agreed in a separate letter. Otherwise, having considered both your circumstances and our own, we have agreed that this firm’s aggregate liability to you, of whatever nature, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, of this firm for any losses whatsoever and howsoever caused arising from or in any way connected with this engagement or related matters shall be limited to the fullest extent permitted by law to not exceed the greater of £8,000 or eight times our fee for the work, unless otherwise agreed in writing.

16.4

We acknowledge that the limit in respect of our total aggregate liability will not apply to any acts, omissions or representations that are in any way criminal, dishonest or fraudulent on the part of the firm, its principals or employees.

16.5

Unless otherwise agreed in writing we will not accept any responsibility whatsoever to any third party arising from the advice we give to you.  Any third-party receiving details of our advice to you does so at its own risk and should be made aware of this clause.

17.0

Fees

17.1

Unless a fixed fee is agreed, our fees are computed on the basis of the time spent on your affairs and on the levels of skill or responsibility involved.  Our fees will be billed as work progresses and will be due within thirty days of the invoice date unless otherwise agreed in writing.  Fees are calculated on time spent and not whether a matter is completed.

17.2

If it is necessary to carry out work outside the responsibilities agreed we will advise you in advance as it will involve additional fees.  Accordingly, it is in your interest to ensure that your records etc are completed to the agreed stage.

17.3

We are pleased to agree a fixed fee for an agreement which will be confirmed in writing with you.  Fixed fee plans will be assumed to uplift by 5% at the anniversary date unless we agree an alternative in writing. We reserve the right to increase our hourly rates on 1 April annually and at other times if appropriate.  VAT will be applied to all fees as required.

17.4

It is our normal practice to request that clients make arrangements to pay on account of their fee on a monthly direct debit.  These direct debits will be applied to fees arising from work agreed for the current and ensuing years.  We also accept payment by Visa and MasterCard.

17.5

We reserve the right to charge interest at the rate for the time being applicable under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 in the case of overdue accounts.  We also reserve the right to terminate our engagement and cease acting if payment of any fees is unduly delayed.  It is not our intention to use these rights in a way which is unfair or unreasonable.

17.6

Insofar as permitted, we reserve the right to exercise a lien over all funds, documents and records in our possession relating to all engagements for you until all outstanding fees and costs are paid in full.

18.0

Applicable Law

These terms shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, English Law.  The Courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning the engagement letter and any matter arising from it. Each party irrevocably waives any right it may have to object to any action being brought in those Courts, to claim that the action has been brought in any inconvenient forum, or to claim that those Courts do not have jurisdiction.

19.0

Communicating with you

19.1

E-mail may be used to enable us to   communicate with you in accordance with your communication preference.  As with other means of delivery e-mail carries with it the risk of inadvertent misdirection or non-delivery.  It is the responsibility of the recipient to carry out a virus check on attachments received.

19.2

Internet communications are capable of data corruption.  We do not accept any responsibility for changes made to such communications after their despatch.  It may therefore be inappropriate to rely on advice contained in an e-mail without obtaining written confirmation of it. 

We do not accept responsibility for any errors or problems that may arise through the use of internet communication and all risks connected with sending commercially sensitive information are borne by you.  If you do not accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that e-mail is not an acceptable means of communication.

19.3

Your spouse/partner is legally responsible for their own tax affairs and should be dealt with independently.  However, if you both sign in agreement, you agree that we can disclose to your spouse/partner such details of your financial affairs as are required to consider your combined tax position.

19.4

We provide a client portal for the exchange of personal and confidential data and will invite you to use this for all such communications.

20.0

Professional Indemnity Insurance

In accordance with disclosure requirements our professional indemnity insurer is:

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s (Canopius Syndicate) – 22.50%

AXA XL Insurance Company UK Limited – 17.50%

Amtrust Europe Limited – 22.50%

SiriusPoint International Insurance Corporation UK – 15%

Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality SE – 22.50%

The territorial coverage is worldwide excluding professional business carried out from an office in the United States of America or Canada and excludes any action for a claim brought in any court in the United States of America or Canada.

Subsequent changes to our professional indemnity insurer will be published here.

The contact details of our insurer are as follows:

Aqueous Underwriting is a trading name of Aqueous Management Limited (AqML), an appointed representative of Davies MGA Services Limited, a firm authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under Firm Reference Number (FRN) 597301 to carry on insurance distribution activities.
AqML is registered in England and Wales. Company Number 09634781.
Registered Address at 10th Floor, 5 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HU.

21.0

Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI), including FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Unless covered by a separate engagement letter or another schedule to this letter, we will not be responsible for compliance with the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015, produced as a result of AEOI.  However, if required to do so, we can provide advice on requirements under these Regulations. We can also provide advice on setting up the appropriate systems to identify and report on your clients or beneficiaries affected by AEOI.

22.0

Fair Tax Pledge or other similar initiatives

Unless you have advised us before engaging us that you have signed up to the Fair Tax Pledge or other similar initiative, we will not be obliged to    advise you of any additional obligations imposed by the terms of the pledge.  If you subsequently wish to sign up to the Fair Tax Pledge, you must inform us so that, if appropriate, we may agree appropriate variations to these terms of engagement.  Unless we are informed, we shall be entitled to assume that you have not signed up to the Fair Tax Pledge and unless a variation is specifically agreed with us in writing, our terms of engagement will remain in full force.

23.0

Equality and Diversity

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all of our dealings with clients, third parties and our employees. The Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

Your right to cancel

You have the right to cancel this contract within fourteen days without giving any reason.  The cancellation period will expire after fourteen days from the day of the conclusion of the contract, i.e. when we receive your written agreement to this engagement.

To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us of your decision to cancel this contract by a clear statement, for example a letter sent by post, fax or e-mail to the address/fax number above.

To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.

Effects of cancellation

If you cancel this contract under your right to cancel, we will reimburse to you all payments received from you, subject to any agreed services already undertaken as instructed.

We will make the reimbursement without undue delay, and not later than fourteen days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel this contract.

We will make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the reimbursement.

Note for the purposes of this act:

A consumer is an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession.  In practice this includes:

• private clients, trustees and individuals administering deceased’s estates; and

• where the Practitioner provides services such as personal Tax Return preparation either

to directors of company clients or to sole traders or partners, the individuals for whom the Practitioner prepares the Accounts or partnership Tax Returns.

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