Share this content
0
1041

Agreement for accountant to use with a bookkeeper

Do you have an agreement in place with outsourced bookkeepers?

An accountant I'm mentoring is about to engage a subcontractor to perform bookkeeping work for clients (the relationship will be between the accountancy firm and the subcontractor, as the accountant will keep the client relationship).

My client knows he needs an agreement/contract and certainly a confidentiality agreement with the sub contractor. This is especially important now in the light of the obligations imposed by the GDPR.  His engagement letters with clients already anticiapte that he may choose to outsource work beyond his employed workforce.

I've been asking other accountants I work with if they have such agreements in place but most of them only engage employed staff or use outsourcers. The few who do engage subcontratcors have yet to formalise the arrangements - a situation I am now advising they rectify.

Would anyone in the AccountingWeb community be willing to share a proforma agreement you use with subscontractors - whether they are doing bookkeeping, accounting or tax work for you?

Many thanks

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

08th Mar 2019 16:03

It looks like employment to me. How is it not?

Thanks (0)
to johngroganjga
08th Mar 2019 17:03

Mark has asked me to thank you for the proforma, John ;)

Thanks (0)
to johngroganjga
08th Mar 2019 18:28

johngroganjga wrote:

It looks like employment to me. How is it not?


Eh? Since when are all arrangements between accountants and bookkeepers employment in nature?

When an accountant takes on work - whether bookkeeping, accounting or tax, they can either do the work themselves, delegate it to an employee, arrange for an outsourcing company to do it or for an outsourced, independent contractor to do it. As indeed, many do.

Thanks (0)
avatar
to johngroganjga
08th Mar 2019 19:46

johngroganjga wrote:

It looks like employment to me. How is it not?

As long as the subcontractor is allowed to do the work without being restricted to set hours, using their own tools (ie computer) then I don't see an issue.

Thanks (1)
avatar
08th Mar 2019 19:49

There is a template provided by my professional body (AAT), don’t know if other bodies also provide templates to use.

Thanks (2)
09th Mar 2019 09:53

There's also MLR to consider as well, of course. It's all so hideously complicated that I'd always have an employee doing this work, but there are just as many other issues with that route.

Thanks (0)
to Moonbeam
09th Mar 2019 14:43

Moonbeam wrote:

I'd always have an employee doing this work, but there are just as many other issues with that route.

Eh? There are far more issues to address when you employ staff - including all employment legislation and PAYE obligations. Neither of which are relevant when you engage self employed contractors to help you out.

There are other considerations of course and different accountants will prefer one suite over the other. That’s fine. Each to their own.

Indeed my client has a number of full time and part time staff on his payroll.

He has found an independent bookkeeper who can help out as and then required. He simply wants to put in place an appropriate agreement without creating an employment arrangement. He (and I) are well aware that the facts and what happens in practice are crucial here.

It is very unlikely that an employment relationship will develop. Neither party wants to operate on such terms.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By Matrix
09th Mar 2019 15:49

Mark, I would probably google a Contract for Services template and amend to include, in addition to the usual terms:

- this is not an employment contact, service provider is responsible for their own income tax/NI and no recourse
- service provider uses own equipment, has own insurance, ICO reg, software etc
- clause re poaching clients
- clause re our GDPR policy and how to ensure back ups etc are kept and security, sending confidential info/confidentiality etc
- rates, time sheets, billing, deadlines, respective responsibilities etc

I don't see why they would have to be registered for AML for this work and I also don't see why everyone thinks they have to be an employee if it is a service contract.

My bookkeeper has started engaging with my clients directly apart from one client for about an hour a month and we don't have a contract, just a verbal agreement. I just don't like reviewing bookkeeping and VAT returns (for which I would have to charge a fee) so would rather not sit in the middle.

Also watch out for the off payroll rules, maybe put some IR35 friendly clauses in there since the risk will fall to your client to assess from April 2020 should the bookkeeper operate through a limited company. And ensure the day to day working patterns align with the contract and are documented.

Thanks (1)
avatar
12th Mar 2019 10:39

hi Mark
I use an independent bookkeeper for my payroll and short term bookkeeping jobs, although if the bookkeeping goes beyond 2 years i prefer they contract direct with the client. I created a standard sub-contractor contract with appendices for confidentiality and client retention. I'm happy to email or send a copy via linked in if thats easier

Thanks (3)
to Gillian Mill
12th Mar 2019 15:46

Many thanks Gill. Appreciated you sending that over. Very kind. Perfect.

Thanks (0)
Share this content