Reading time: 4 minutes

If you are a bookkeeper who contracts directly with your clients, there are several business risks which you need to consider. Having a professionally drafted Client Agreement, which includes a Proposal for your work with Terms and Conditions attached, along with a disputes policy, will help reduce your liability and protect your business interests.

A good Client Agreement should cover all the items outlined below.

Services and Scope

As a bookkeeper, it’s important for you to set out the services that you will provide and the scope of these services. Do you provide monthly bookkeeping services? Will you file their tax returns? Are you going to take care of your client’s payroll? Your client needs to know exactly what services you will provide and what you will not.

Fees and Charges

You need to set out clearly in your Proposal what your fees and charges will be for the services you are providing. You also need to set out what the payment terms will be.  You may seek regular upfront payments, or you may send regular invoices.  You need to inform your clients of the due dates and any rights you have to charge interest on invoices which are overdue or cease services.


Being a bookkeeper gives you access to the financial records of your client. This information is confidential. Your Terms and Conditions should reflect your commitment to keeping this information confidential. However, there may be circumstances which require you to disclose client information to third parties. This needs to be addressed in your Terms and Conditions.

Industry Standards

If you perform bookkeeping services in Australia, you must follow the Australian Accounting Standards. Addressing your adherence to such standards in your Terms and Conditions demonstrates your commitment to your professional standards and high quality customer service.

Limitation of Liability

You perform services for the client based on the information that has been provided to you by your client.  You rely on their information. It can be difficult for you to ensure that all the information is a true, complete and accurate reflection of their business. You are a bookkeeper and not an auditor. You should state in your Terms and Conditions that your client is responsible for providing complete and accurate information, and you will not be liable for any errors which arise from their failure to provide you with the correct information. Please note that you must follow the mandatory consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law which require you to give a refund or re-do services if there is a fault in your services.

Website Terms of Use

If your business has a website, you need a Website Terms of Use. These apply to every website visitor, protect your website and limit your liability for your website. The Terms claim your copyright and intellectual property rights, and set out permissible and prohibited uses of your website, including that competitors cannot use your website information.

Privacy Policy

If you collect, use and disclose personal information from customers, including using the information for direct marketing, you need a Privacy Policy, to assist you to comply with the Privacy Act.  The Privacy Policy is between you and each person that you collect personal information from. It sets out what personal information your business collects, how this information is used, and under what circumstances the information will be disclosed to third parties.

To conclude

A well-drafted Client Agreement will cover the fundamental aspects of your business and legal relationship with your clients. Regardless of whether you run your own bookkeeping business, or work as a contractor for a company, you should have a business lawyer draft strong Terms and Conditions to protect your business and have clear procedures to resolve any disputes between you and your client.


Redundancies and Restructuring: Understanding Your Employer Obligations

Thursday 7 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

If you plan on making a role redundant, it is crucial that you understand your employer obligations. Our free webinar will explain.
Register Now

How to Sponsor Foreign Workers For Your Tech Business

Wednesday 13 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Need web3 talent for your tech business? Consider sponsoring workers from overseas. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Advertising 101: Social Media, Influencers and the Law

Thursday 21 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how to promote your business on social media without breaking the law. Register for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Structuring for Certainty in Uncertain Times

Tuesday 26 July | 12:00 - 12:45pm

Learn how to structure to weather storm and ensure you can take advantage of the “green shoots” opportunities arising on the other side of a recession.
Register Now

Playing for the Prize: How to Run Trade Promotions

Thursday 28 July | 11:00 - 11:45am

Running a promotion with a prize? Your business has specific trade promotion obligations. Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

Web3 Essentials: Understanding SAFT Agreements

Tuesday 2 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Learn how SAFT Agreements can help your Web3 business when raising capital. Register today for our free webinar.
Register Now

Understanding Your Annual Franchise Update Obligations

Wednesday 3 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

Franchisors must meet annual reporting obligations each October. Understand your legal requirements by registering for our free webinar today.
Register Now

Legal Essentials for Product Manufacturers

Thursday 11 August | 11:00 - 11:45am

As a product manufacturer, do you know your legal obligations if there is a product recall? Join our free webinar to learn more.
Register Now

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing legal assistance through our industry-first membership.

By becoming a member, you'll have an experienced legal team ready to answer your questions, draft and review your contracts, and resolve your disputes. All the legal assistance your business needs, for a low monthly fee.

Learn more about our membership

Need Legal Help? Submit an Enquiry

If you would like to get in touch with our team and learn more about how our membership can help your business, fill out the form below.

Our Awards

  • 2020 Innovation Award 2020 Excellence in Technology & Innovation Finalist – Australasian Law Awards
  • 2020 Employer of Choice Award 2020 Employer of Choice Winner – Australasian Lawyer
  • 2020 Financial Times Award 2021 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2021 Law Firm of the Year Award 2021 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards
  • 2022 Law Firm of the Year Winner 2022 Law Firm of the Year - Australasian Law Awards