Chartered Accountants

Terms of Business

The following terms of business apply to all engagements accepted by Bryars & Co.  All work is carried out under these terms except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.

The information required to be provided under the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 is displayed on our website,

To download a PDF of our terms, please see: Terms of Business

We would draw your attention to the information provided in our Privacy Notice, found on the website  In particular, we obtain personal data about clients, directors and partners to help us identify clients when deciding whether we can act.

  1. Professional rules and practice guidelines
    1. Our standard terms of business and our agreement with you to carry out services are governed by English law.  Any claim or dispute between us will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and you waive any right to claim that those courts provide an inappropriate forum or do not have jurisdiction in relation to any claim or dispute.  
    2. 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 the light of any changes in the law or in your circumstances.  We accept no responsibility for losses arising from changes in the law or its interpretation after the date on which the advice is given.
    3. We will observe and act in accordance with the bye-laws, regulations and Code of Ethics of ICAEW including Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation and will accept instructions to act for you on this basis.  In particular, you give us the authority to correct errors made by HMRC if 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.   The detailed requirements are available at
  2. Investment advice
    1. We are not authorised to provide advice on investments.

  3. Commissions or other benefits
    1. Although unlikely, in some circumstances we may receive commissions or other benefits for introductions to other professionals or transactions we arrange for you. In this case we will notify you in writing of the amount, the terms of payment and receipt of any such commissions or benefits. The fees you would otherwise pay as described below will be reduced by such amounts.

  4. Clients' money regulations
    1. We no longer hold client money or have any client bank account or means of holding client moneys.  Please discuss matters with us if this causes a problem.
  5. Retention of records
    1. During our work we will collect information from you and others acting on your behalf and will return any original documents to you following completion of the relevant work. You should retain them for 7 years from the end of the period to which they relate. This period can be extended if the H M Revenue & Customs enquire into your tax return.
    2. Whilst certain documents may legally belong to you, unless you tell us not to, we intend to destroy correspondence and other papers that are more than seven years old except, subject to our opinion, documents we think may be of continuing significance. You must tell us if you wish us to keep any document.

  6. Conflicts of interest and independence
    1. We reserve the right to act during our engagement with you for other clients whose interests are or may be adverse to yours, subject to 7 below. We confirm that we will notify you immediately should we become aware of any conflict of interest involving us and affecting you.
    2. Notwithstanding our above rights, 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 viewed at  During and after our engagement we reserve the right to act for other clients whose interests are or may compete with, or be adverse to, your subject, of course, to our obligations of confidentiality. 

  7. Confidentiality
    1. Unless we are authorised by you to disclose information on your behalf, we confirm that if you give us confidential information we will, at all times during and after our engagement by you, keep it confidential except as required by law or as provided for in regulatory, ethical or other professional pronouncements applicable to us or our work for you.
    2. You agree that, if we act for other clients who are or become your competitors, to comply with our confidentiality it will be sufficient for us to take such steps as we think appropriate to preserve the confidentiality of information given to us by you, both during and after our work.
    3. In addition, if we act for other clients whose interests are or maybe adverse to yours, we may have to cease to act for one of the clients involved.   In general, we will cease to act for the newer client.
    4. We may, on occasion, subcontract work on your affairs to other tax or accounting professionals.  The subcontractors will be bound by our client confidentiality terms.   
    5. We will inform you of the proposed use of a subcontractor before they commence work, except where your data will not be transferred out of our systems and the subcontractor is bound by confidentiality terms equivalent to an employee.
    6. We use cloud based systems for most of our work.  We will ensure confidentiality of your information is maintained when using such systems.
  8. Data Protection and Anti-Money Laundering 
    1. To enable us to discharge the services agreed under our 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. We confirm when processing data on your behalf we will comply with the relevant provisions of the Data Protection Act 2018 as amended by the Data Protection, Privacy and Electronic Communications (Amendment etc) (EUExit) Regulations 2020
    2. We will be a data controller.  Details of our procedures are contained under the Privacy Notice available on our website,
    3. In common with all accountancy and legal practices the firm is required by law to:
      • have identification procedures for all new clients;
      • maintain records of identification evidence; and
      • report in accordance with the relevant legislation and regulations.

  9. Quality control
    1. As part of our ongoing commitment to providing a quality service, our files are periodically reviewed by an independent regulatory or quality control body. The reviewers are highly experienced professionals and, of course, are bound by the same rules for confidentiality as this firm.
    2. When dealing with HMRC 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 all the necessary information in a timely manner, disclosing any and all information which may be relevant to our work.
  10. Help us give you the best service
    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 we could improve our service, or if you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving please let us know by contacting Martin Bryars on 01264 513040 or by email to
    2. We will look into any complaint carefully and promptly and do all we can to explain the position to you. We will acknowledge any letter or email within 5 days of its receipt and endeavour to. deal with your complaint within eight weeks. 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 are entitled refer the matter to our Institute.
    3. We would remind you that, although we will enquire into matters where we believe that you have given us insufficient information based on our previous dealings with you or from information we hold about you, it is the client's responsibility to make sure that all matters are disclosed to us to enable us to prepare complete accounts, tax returns or other outputs.
    4. We will always endeavour to complete work and make filings on a timely basis and in particular avoid penalties arising for late filings. We do however expect that clients will co-operate by providing information on a timely basis. We will not accept responsibility for any penalties or other costs or losses which may arise as a result of delays or late filing in those cases where papers and information have been provided to us less than two months before the related filing date.

  11. Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999
    1. Only someone who is a party to this Agreement has the right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any of its terms. This clause does not affect any right or remedy that exists independently of the Act.
    2. The advice we give you is for your sole use and not constitute for 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.

  12. Fees
    1. Our fees are calculated on the basis of the time spent on your affairs having regard to the levels of skill or responsibility involved. Our fees will be billed at least annually, usually on completion of accounts or tax returns, but may be more frequent where the scale or nature of the work warrants. All fees are due for payment immediately when issued. Our scale rates are reviewed on 1st July in each year.  As from 1st 2023, Martin Bryars basic hourly rate is £215 per hour plus VAT.  For certain specialist work, this hourly rate may be increased by up to 20%.
    2. If we need to do work outside the responsibilities agreed between us, we will advise you in advance. This will involve additional fees. Accordingly it is in your interest to ensure that your records etc are completed to the agreed stage.
    3. If the level of work undertaken is substantial, or occurs over a protracted period, we reserve the right to submit fees more frequently than annually, and we will notify and discuss this with you. The ability to levy such fees remains within our total discretion, and such fees are due on the terms noted above.
    4. We reserve the right to charge interest on overdue accounts at the current rate under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. We also reserve the right to terminate our engagement and cease acting if payment of any fees billed is unduly delayed.
    5. Payroll fees are calculated on a different basis which can be found under Payroll on our website.

Have a question?

See our FAQs that will help you choose the right accountant for your needs
View our FAQs
Copyright © 2024 Bryars and Co  |  All Rights Reserved
Bryars and Co
Houghton Down
SO20 6JR

01264 513 040