Terms of our engagement


The following are our standards terms of engagement. While we acknowledge some of our standard terms may not be relevant to your specific engagement, this will not limit the application of the remaining terms to your engagement.

By engaging AIM S Australia Pty Ltd (“AIM S AUSTRALIA”, “we”, “our”), you agree to be bound by the terms of engagement as set out below unless these are expressly altered in writing by both parties. Likewise, AIM S AUSTRALIA agrees to be bound by the terms of engagement as set out below unless these are expressly altered in writing by both parties.

AIM S AUSTRALIA will provide accounting and taxations services, which will be conducted in accordance with the relevant professional and ethical standards issued by the Accounting Professional & Ethical Standards Board Limited (APESB), including APES 110 Code of Ethics (Code), APES 220 Taxation Services and the Code of Professional Conduct pursuant to Tax Agent Services Act 2009. 

Based on our scope of work, you give us authority to:

  • use Online Services for Agents
  • undertake other Tax Agent Online Services for Agents related activities;
  • where applicable and with your express consent, engage an external consultant or expert; and
  • where applicable and with your express consent, engage an overseas services provider,

for the purposes of managing and meeting your taxation and Superannuation lodgement obligations. The extent of our procedures and services will be limited exclusively for this purpose only. As a result, no audit or review will be performed and, accordingly, no assurance will be expressed. 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 come to our attention.

Our Promise

We will perform procedures (guided by the APES suite of standards) required that are directly related to the engagement consistent with our Fundamental Principals of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, professional behaviour, and identifying, avoiding and dealing with conflicts of interest.

We will seek to understand your requirements and provide you services confidentially and professionally.

We will document sufficient and appropriate records of the procedures performed for the terms of engagement, which may be subject to Best Practice Program assessment by CPA Australia under APES 320 Quality Control for Firms.


Our Responsibilities

We are obliged to consider whether our clients create any threats to compliance with our Fundamental Principles and where we cannot reduce the risk to an acceptable level, we are obliged to cease the Terms of Engagement under the Code (section 320) to decline or cease the client engagement.

We have a duty to act in your best interests, unless this duty is inconsistent with our duty to act in the public interest.

We have a duty to inform you if we have identified a conflict of interest that may impact your engagement.

We will inform you:

  • Of your rights and obligations available under Australian taxation law, including any rights that might be available to seek a private ruling and the lodging of objections and appeals against adverse positions adopted by revenue authorities; and
  • Of any possible penalties and other legal tax consequences under Australian taxation law to enable you to make an informed decision.

We will not inform you of your rights, obligations, possible penalties and other legal tax consequences under the laws of any country other than Australia, except where we have otherwise agreed in writing with you to do so or engaged a third party to do so.

We are responsible for maintaining records for a period of at least 5 years unless otherwise required by legislation.

Your Responsibilities

You will be responsible for maintaining and regularly balancing all books of accounts, and the maintenance of an adequate accounting and internal control system. You also acknowledge that it’s your responsibility to provide and maintain reliable, accurate and complete accounting records and that you have disclosed all material and relevant information to AIM S AUSTRALIA.

Our involvement in this type of engagement will not disclose fraud, defalcations or other irregularities which may occur. However, any material weaknesses in the accounting or internal control systems which come to our notice will be drawn to your attention.

Please be aware that:

  1. you are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided in relation to utilising our taxation services, as well as any consequence that results from providing those particulars and information to a revenue authority;
  2. any advice given to you is only an opinion based on our knowledge of your particular circumstances and the information you have provided;
  3. a taxpayer has obligations under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of accurate returns;
  4. you must retain paperwork for a period of five years after the assessment in instance of an Australian Taxation Office review;
  5. you are responsible for checking the assessment before submission to ensure its accuracy and that you have the full and proper records in order to support the accuracy of the assessment;
  6. in the event you engage AIM S AUSTRALIA to coordinate, engage or otherwise communicate with an overseas service provider on your behalf in a country other than Australia;
    • you are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of the particulars and information provided to AIM S AUSTRALIA and/or the overseas service provider;
    • where the engagement relates to the tax laws of another country, you are responsible for seeking independent advice in relation to the taxation law of the country and your tax obligations and requirements under that law;
    • where the engagement relates to the tax laws of another country, you must retain all records and paperwork in accordance with the law of that country and, where applicable, the laws of Australia; and
  7. you have a duty to inform us immediately if you have identified a conflict of interest that may impact our engagement.

Any information acquired by us in the course of our engagement is subject to strict confidentiality requirements. Information will not be disclosed by me to other parties except as required or allowed for by law or professional standards, or with your express consent.  Our files may, however, be subject to review as part of the quality control review program of CPA Australia which monitors compliance with professional standards by its members. We advise you that by signing this letter you acknowledge that, if requested, our files relating to this engagement will be made available under this program. Should this occur, we will advise you. The same strict confidentiality requirements apply under this program as apply to us.

Taxpayer Obligations

A taxpayer is responsible under self-assessment to keep full and proper records in order to facilitate the preparation of a correct return. Whilst the Commissioner of Taxation will accept clAIM S Australia made by a taxpayer 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 up to 5 years after tax becomes due and payable under the assessment. Furthermore, where there is fraud or evasion there is no time limit on amending the assessment. Accordingly, you should check the return before it is signed to ensure that the information in the return is accurate. If you are late in providing information, we will do our best to meet the time limits, but we will not be responsible for any late lodgement penalties or interest charges you may incur.

Where the application of a taxation law to your particular circumstances is uncertain you also have the right to request a private ruling which will set out the Commissioner’s opinion about the way an Australian taxation law applies, or would apply, to you in those circumstances. You must provide a description of all of the facts (with supporting documentation) that are relevant to your scheme or circumstances in your private ruling application. If there is any material difference between the facts set out in the ruling and what you actually do the private ruling is ineffective.

If you rely on a private ruling you have received, the Commissioner must administer the law in the way set out in the ruling, unless it is found to be incorrect and applying the law correctly would lead to a better outcome for you. Where you disagree with the decision in the private ruling, or the Commissioner fails to issue such a ruling, you can lodge an objection against the ruling if it relates to income tax, fuel tax credit or fringe benefits tax. Your time limits in lodging an objection will depend on whether you are issued an assessment for the matter (or period) covered by the private ruling.

Involvement of Others

Where, as part of our engagement, the services of an external consultant or expert are required, an estimated cost and timeframe and involvement will be provided to you for your approval.


We currently use the following outsourced service providers:

  • Balance Accounting Group, LLC located at 1225 E Sunset Drive, Suite 145 PMB 1105, Bellingham, WA 98226, USA to provide professional accounting and taxation services to our expat clients.

Where, as part of our engagement, the services of an outsourced service provider are required, we will notify you in writing that we intend to use an outsourced service provider and will provide the name and details of the outsourced service provider, an estimate cost and timeframe and involvement prior to engagement.

Where, as part of our engagement, the services of an outsourced service provider are required, we agree to the following:

  1. AIM S AUSTRALIA will only disclose your personal information to the outsourced service provider:
    • if you have instructed us in writing to provide the information to the outsourced service provider;
    • if you have commenced the engagement after we have notified you in writing that the services of an outsourced service provider are required; or
    • if we are otherwise required to by law,

and will only provide the personal information AIM S AUSTRALIA deems relevant to the outsourced service provider performing the work for which it is engaged.

  1. AIM S AUSTRALIA is satisfied the outsourced service provider is competent in the field in which they are engaged and will ensure there are adequate supervisory and review arrangements in place to allow AIM S AUSTRALIA to satisfy itself of the continued competency of the outsourced service provider.
  2. AIM S AUSTRALIA will take reasonable care to ensure:
    • any communications between AIM S AUSTRALIA and the outsourced service provider accurately reflect the information provided by you and our understanding of your particular circumstances;
    • any individual purporting to act for an outsourced service provider has the skills, experience and qualifications necessary to provide the services for you; and
    • will take all other reasonable steps to ensure the services provided by the outsourced service provider are competent and reasonable in the circumstances.
  3. AIM S AUSTRALIA holds adequate professional indemnity insurance for the purpose of engaging outsourced service providers.
  4. AIM S AUSTRALIA will otherwise comply with the Tax Agent Services Act 2009 (TASA) and its successor legislation, as well as the Code of Professional Conduct (Code) and its successor, in relation to the engagement of an outsourced service provider.

Cloud Computing

In providing our services to you, we utilize Xero accounting, tax and practice management software and other occasional cloud computing programmes.  Data generated on these cloud computing platforms are held on servers in Australia, United States, Ireland and other countries.

Acceptance of our services in conjunction with this engagement document indicates your acceptance of the use of outsourced services and cloud computing programmes as described.

Agreement for Electronic Communication

You permit us to communicate with you using electronic mail (email) system and our online Client Portal. The electronic communications have the same effect to written communication.

Standard Fees


AIM S AUSTRALIA may ask you to pay in advance. Credit card payments will incur a surcharge of 2.5%.

AIM S AUSTRALIA also requires you to make “top-up payments” into its account for further work as requested.


We generate our revenue through selling our time and expertise to clients. However, when we provide a service, you are not only just buying a professional’s time, but rather utilising the significant wealth of accumulated knowledge and experience of the practice and its people. Each fee-earning professional in our practice maintains accurate time records and clients are generally billed based on the actual time spent on their behalf.

Hourly rates

Hourly rates are generally set in the engagement stage. Our engagement letter to you specifies which members of our practice are engaging with you and how much their hourly rates are. A standard hourly rate is set for each fee-earning professional member based upon the criteria of experience and ability, and also incorporates the continuing education requirements of our professional bodies, particularly in the area of taxations law. If no extenuating circumstances exist, clients are billed using standard hourly rates multiplied by the actual hours worked. It is not uncommon, however, to adjust the fees so determined to recognise:

  • Additional time spent on an unfamiliar area; or
  • Higher hourly rates due to the unavailability of appropriately skilled staff to perform some tasks;
  • The value to the client of the service provided.

Hourly rates vary substantially among staff members – currently from $140 to a high of $400 in our practice. It, therefore, follows that the effective use of appropriate staff to perform routine accounting functions results in the most cost-effective solution for the client. Upon negotiation with the engaging director or partner, a fixed fee can be arranged to incorporate all the above factors.

Telephone calls and emails

Due to the extensive amount of consulting work done by our practice through the use of the phone and email, each telephone call and an email sent out are treated in the same way as any time spent on a client’s behalf. If matters of substance are discussed, the time is charged and billed to the client. Personal calls and emails of a non-business nature are not charged to clients.

Out of pocket expenses

Anything spent specifically on behalf of a client is charged to them. This category includes travel, courier and above normal postage costs, photocopying, facsimiles, emails and STD telephone calls. Basic overhead costs are included in the hourly rates.

If accounting software subscription fee required for the benefit of the business, we require the payment of the fee by your business. If the software fee is increased by the software company or your business upgrades to the higher version, we have the right to increase the amount of software fee without signing any further contract with your business.

Third party fees

As part of our engagement, we may engage an external consultant, expert or outsourced service provider on your behalf. In the event this occurs, you will either:

  • On our instructions, pre-pay the external consultant, expert or outsourced service provider directly for the work to be undertaken; or
  • On our instructions, pre-pay AIM S AUSTRALIA for the external consultant, expert or outsourced service provider directly for the work to be undertaken which AIM S AUSTRALIA will then transfer to the relevant party at a time agreed between AIM S AUSTRALIA and the relevant party.

Losses from Unauthorised Cyber-Activity

We will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that any electronic data that contains your private information is securely stored and that any email transmissions are protected and are not able to be intercepted by third parties. However, we cannot be held liable for any loss you might incur as a consequence of any third party intervention that accesses, procures or copies any data that contains your private information from any medium or device we use to store or transmit such information.

In the event that, despite our firm having taken reasonable precautions to securely store your private information, you suffer any losses arising from the unauthorized cyber-activity, you agree to forever release us from any claim for your losses.


Our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information (PI) may be subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cwth) and accordingly we will only collect PI about you that relates to the terms of engagement.  We may disclose PI about you with your implied consent for the primary purpose of this term of engagement, or to third parties by express consent or as required by law. This PI may be stored overseas in overseas servers (Google server locations and as detailed above).  If you would like to access any PI we might hold about you, please contact us on

We may collect PI about you, your representatives, your clients and others when we provide services to you.  If we do, you agree to work with us to ensure that we both meet our respective obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).  Your obligations may include ensuring your privacy policy and contracts include a reference to your collection practices, how you will use the PI and that you may disclose the PI to an agent for public accounting services.

Where an outsourced service provider requires the disclosure of PI to an overseas recipient, we will take reasonable steps to ensure, by contract or otherwise, the recipient complies with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Your PI may be disclosed to CPA Australia Ltd and its service providers (if requested) for the purpose of conducting a CPA Australia Best Practice Program assessment on the services provided, which is aimed at maintaining high industry professional standards. CPA Australia Ltd will handle your personal information in accordance with the CPA Australia Privacy Policy.


We have an ethical duty of confidentiality, which means we must not share or disclose your details of this terms document to anyone, except as otherwise specified in this clause, without your consent unless required to by law.

We may disclose details and records of the services provided to you to CPA Australia Ltd, (if requested) for the purposes of conducting CPA Australia Best Practice Program assessment aimed at maintaining high industry professional standards.

Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)

We hold professional indemnity insurance of at least the minimum amount prescribed in the CPA Australia Ltd By-Laws or as required by law.  Our PII cover at the time of this Terms of Agreement is $2,000,000 for any one claim.

Ownership of Documents

The final Financial Statement, Income Tax Returns and any other documents which we are specifically engaged to prepare, together with any original documents given to me by you, shall remain your property. Any other documents brought into existence by us including general journals, working papers, the general ledger, draft financial statements, Other supporting documents and copies of tax returns, will remain our property at all times, subject to any statutory obligations.

Lien on Documents

In relation to any subsequent termination of our services, you are advised that we shall be entitled to retain all documents belonging to you and any related parties we act for until payment is received in full for all outstanding fees.

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:

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