Standard Terms and Conditions

The following standard terms of business apply to all engagements accepted by Morris Crocker.  All work carried out is subject to these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.

  1. Professional obligations

    1.1.We will observe and act in accordance with the by-laws and regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales together with their code of ethics.  We accept instructions to act for you on this basis.  In particular you give us authority to correct errors made by HM Revenue & Customs where we become aware of them.  We will not be liable for any loss, damage or cost arising from our compliance with statutory or regulatory obligations.

  2. Directors and senior staff

    2.1. Martin Southern FCA – Director
    Paul Underwood FCCA – Director
    Pete Farrier FCCA – Director
    Stuart Mackie FCA – Director
    Sally Sidaway FCCA– Client Director
    Duncan Gardner FCA – Client Director

    The term “Client Director” should not be construed as indicating that the team member is performing Director Duties as defined within Section 171 to 177 of the Companies Act 2006.  Any reference to a Client Director means an employee of Morris Crocker Limited with equivalent standing and qualifications to a Statutory Director.  A list of Statutory Directors of Morris Crocker Limited is available from Companies House.

  3. Investment services

    3.1. Since we are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority then we may have to refer you to someone who is authorised if you need advice on investments.  However, as we are licensed by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, we may be able to provide certain investment services that are complementary to, or arise out of, the professional services we are providing to you.

    3.2. For example, we may:
    advise you on investments generally but not recommend a particular investment or type of investment;
    • refer you to a Permitted Third Party (PTP) (an independent firm authorised by the FCA), assist you and the PTP during the course of any advice given by that party and comment on, or explain, the advice received (but not make alternative recommendations).  The PTP will issue you with his own terms and conditions letter, will be remunerated separately for his services and will take full responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000;
    • advise you in connection with the disposal of an investment, other than your rights in a pension policy or scheme;
    • advise and assist you in transactions concerning shares or other securities not quoted on a recognised exchange;
    • assist you in making arrangements for transactions in investments in certain circumstances; and
    • manage investments or act as trustee (or as donee under a power of attorney) where decisions to invest are taken on the advice of an authorised person.

    3.3. We may also, on the understanding that the shares or other securities of the company are not publicly traded:
    • advise the company or existing or prospective shareholders in relation to exercising rights, taking benefits or share options, valuations andmethods of such valuations;
    • arrange any agreements in connection with the issue, sale or transfer of the company’s shares or other securities;
    • arrange for the issue of new shares; and
    • act as the addressee to receive confirmation of acceptance of offer documents, etc.

    3.4. 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.

    3.5. We are not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.  However, we are included on the Register maintained by the Financial Conduct Authority so that we can carry on insurance mediation activity, which is broadly the advising on, selling and administration of insurance contracts.  This part of our business, including arrangements for complaints or redress if something goes wrong, is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.  The register can be accessed via the Financial Services Authority website at:  http://www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/register/index.shtml.

    Financial promotions
    3.6. To enable us to provide you with a proper service, there may be occasions when we will need to contact you without your express permission concerning investment business matters.  For example, it may be in your interests to sell a particular investment and we would wish to inform you of this.  We may therefore contact you in such circumstances but would only do so in our normal office hours of 0900 to 17.30.  We shall of course comply with any restrictions you may wish to impose which you notify to us in writing.
    Pension Scheme Services
    3.7. To assist our clients, we sometimes introduce pension advisers or signpost to particular providers. Morris Crocker does not accept any liability in respect of these matters and it is for our clients to ensure that they are satisfied with the terms and conditions agreed with the specific adviser or provider

  4. Commissions or other benefits

    4.1. In some circumstances, commissions or other  benefits may become payable to us in respect of transactions we arrange for you, in which case you will be notified in writing of the amount and terms of payment.  You consent to such commission or other benefits being retained by us without our being liable to account to you for any such amounts.

  5. Client monies

    5.1. 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 the firm’s funds.  The account will be operated and all funds dealt with in accordance with the Clients’ Money Regulations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    5.2. In order to avoid an excessive amount of administration, interest will only be paid to you where the amount of interest that would be earned on the balances held on your behalf in any calendar year exceeds £25.  Any such interest would be calculated using the prevailing rate applied by NatWest Bank for small deposits subject to the minimum period of notice for withdrawals.  Subject to any tax legislation, interest will be paid net of UK income tax.

  6. Fees

    6.1. Our fees are computed on the basis of time spent on your affairs by the principals and our staff and on the levels of skill and responsibility involved.  Our charge-out rates are reviewed annually each 1 April for inflation.  Disbursements represent travel, accommodation and other expenses incurred in dealing with your affairs.

    6.2. We would like to point out that it is in your interests to ensure that your records etc are completed to the agreed stage as any additional work carried out by us will involve additional fees.

    6.3. Our terms relating to payment of amounts invoiced and not covered by standing orders, are strictly due on presentation.  We reserve the right to add an interest charge at a rate of 1½% per month simple interest (after as well as before Judgement) on any bills remaining unpaid thirty days after presentation.  Compensation for recovery costs will also be added where applicable.

    6.4. In consideration of our credit facility to you in respect of our fees, the signatories of the accompanying engagement letter accept joint and several personal liability for any of our fees not settled within 60 days of the invoice date.

  7. Retention of and access to records

    7.1. 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 the completion of your financial statements and returns.  You should retain these records for 6 years from 31 January following the end of the tax year to which they relate.  You should retain them for longer if HM Revenue & Customs has enquired into your Tax Return.

    7.2. Whilst 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 consider to be of continuing significance.  If you require retention of any document you must notify us of that fact in writing.

  8. Conflicts of interest and independence

    8.1. We reserve the right during our engagement with you to deliver services to other clients whose interest might compete with yours or are or may be adverse to yours, subject to section 8 below.  We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting you unless we are unable to do so because of our confidentiality obligations.

    8.2. If a conflict of interest should arise, either between two or more of our 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 would be guided by the code of ethics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales which can be accessed at http://www.iceaw.com/regulations.

  9. Confidentiality

    9.1. 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 statements relevant to our engagement.

    9.2. We may, on occasions, subcontract work on your affairs to other tax or accounting professionals.  The subcontractors will be bound by our client confidentiality terms.

  10. Quality control

    10.1. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically subject to an independent regulatory or quality review.  Our reviewers are highly experienced and professional people and are, of course, bound by the same requirements of confidentiality as our principals and staff.

    10.2. When dealing with HM Revenue & Customs on your behalf we are required to be honest and to take reasonable care to ensure that your returns are correct.  To enable us to do this, you are required to be honest with us and to provide us with all necessary information in a timely manner.  For more information about ‘Your charter’ for your dealings with HM Revenue & Customs see www.hmrc.gov.uk/charter/index/htm.  To the best of our abilities, we will ensure that HM Revenue & Customs meet their side of the Charter in their dealings with you.

    10.3. We will take account of the steps and checks suggested by HM Revenue & Customs in their ‘Agents toolkits’.  While use of the Toolkits is voluntary, we will ensure that our quality control procedures match or enhance the suggestions in the toolkits so that, in the unlikely event that HM Revenue & Customs consider any of your tax returns with which we assist to be inaccurate, we will be able to help you demonstrate to HM Revenue & Customs that reasonable care has been taken in the preparation of the return, thereby significantly reducing the possibility of an inaccuracy penalty being imposed.  To further reduce the possibility of an inaccuracy penalty, you will remain responsible for maintaining good quality supporting records for each return, for providing us with all relevant information and explanations and for acting on any advice that we give you.

  11. Help us to give you the right service

    11.1. If at any time you would like to discuss with us how our service to you could be improved, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving, please let us know by contacting Paul Underwood or Martin Southern on 023 9248 4356.

    11.2. We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you.  If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction you may of course take up the matter with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

    11.3. In order for us to provide you with a high quality service on an ongoing basis it is essential that you provide us with relevant records and information when requested, reply to correspondence in a timely manner and otherwise follow the terms of the agreement between us set out in the Standard Terms of Business and associated engagement letters.  We therefore reserve the right to cancel the engagement between us with immediate effect in the event of:
    your insolvency, bankruptcy or other arrangement being reached with creditors;
    • failure to pay your fees by the due dates;
    either party being in breach of their obligations where this is not corrected within 30 days of being asked to do so.

  12. Applicable law

    12.1. This engagement letter is governed by and construed in accordance with English law.  The courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any claim, dispute or difference concerning this 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 an inappropriate forum, or to claim that those courts do not have jurisdiction.

    12.2. If any provision in this Standard Terms of Business or any associated engagement letter, or its application, are found to be invalid, illegal or otherwise unenforceable in any respect, the validity, legality or enforceability of any other provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired.

  13. Changes in the law

    13.1. We will not accept responsibility if you act on advice previously given by us without first confirming with us that the advice is still valid in light of any change in the law or your circumstances.

    13.2. We will accept no liability for losses arising from changes in the law or the interpretation thereof that occur after the date on which the advice is given.

  14. Internet communication

    14.1. Unless you instruct us otherwise we may, where appropriate, communicate with you and with third parties via email or by other electronic means.  However, internet communications are capable of data corruption and therefore 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 email 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 relating to your business are borne by you.  If you do not agree to accept this risk, you should notify us in writing that email is not an acceptable means of communication.

    14.2. It is the responsibility of the recipient to carry out a virus check on any attachments received.

  15. Data Protection

    15.1. Our privacy notice, as set out in a separate appendix to these terms of business explains how we process personal data in respect of the various services that we provide.

  16. Contracts (Rights of Third Parties)

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

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

  17. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007

    17.1. In common with all accountancy and legal practices, the firm is required by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 to:
    • Maintain identification procedures for clients and beneficial owners of clients;
    • Maintain records of identification evidence and the work undertaken for the client; and
    • Report, in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.
    • You agree that, on occasion where no other identification evidence has been made available, we may conduct on-line searches, etc asnecessary to obtain the required level of assurance.

    17.2. We have a duty under section 330 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to report to the National Crime Agency (NCA) if we know, or have reasonable cause to suspect, that another person is involved in money laundering.  Failure on our part to make a report where we have knowledge or reasonable grounds for suspicion would constitute a criminal offence.

    17.3. The offence of money laundering is defined by section 340(11) of the Proceeds of Crime Act and includes concealing, converting, using or possessing the benefits of any activity that constitutes a criminal office in the UK.  It also includes involvement in any arrangement that facilitates the acquisition, retention, use or control of such a benefit.  This definition is very wide and would include such crimes as:
    • deliberate tax evasion;
    • deliberate failure to inform the tax authorities of known underpayments or excessive repayments;
    • fraudulent claiming of benefits or grants; or
    • obtaining a contract through bribery.
    Clearly this list is by no means exhaustive.

    17.4. We are obliged by law to report any instances of money laundering to the NCA without your knowledge or consent.  In consequence, neither the firm’s principals nor staff may enter into any correspondence or discussions with you regarding such matters.

    17.5. We are not required to undertake work for the sole purpose of identifying suspicions of money laundering.  We shall fulfil our obligations under the proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in accordance with the guidance published by the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies.

  18. General limitation of liability

    18.1. We will provide services as outlined in this letter with reasonable care and skill.  However, to the fullest extent permitted by law, we will not be responsible for any losses, penalties, surcharges, interest or additional tax liabilities where you or others supply incorrect or incomplete information, or fail to supply any appropriate information or where you fail to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us (or the tax authorities).

    18.2. You will not hold us, our principals and staff, responsible, to the fullest extent permitted by law, for any loss suffered by you arising from 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 the services we provide to you against any of our partners or employees personally.

    18.3. Our work is not, unless there is a legal or regulatory requirement, to be made available to third parties without our written permission and we will accept no responsibility to third parties for any aspect of our professional services or work that is made available to them.

  19. Use of our name in statements or documents issued by you

    19.1. You are not permitted to use our name in any statement or document that you may issue unless our prior written consent has been obtained.  The only exception to this restriction would be statements or documents that in accordance with applicable law are to be made public.

  20. Draft/interim work or oral advice

    20.1. In the course of our providing services to you we may provide advice or reports or other work products in draft or interim form, or orally.  However, final written work products will always prevail over any draft, interim or oral statements.  Where you request it, we will provide you with written confirmation stated orally.

  21. Interpretation

    21.1. If any provision of our engagement letter or terms of business is held to be void, then that provision will be deemed not to form part of this contract.  In the event of any conflict between these terms of business and the engagement letter or appendixes, the relevant provision in the engagement letter or schedules will take precedence.
 Our Privacy Notice can be found here

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REF: MC/NL/1.2