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.

COVID-19 Business Survey
LegalVision is conducting a survey on the impact of COVID-19 for businesses across Australia. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and all responses are anonymous. We would appreciate your input. Take the survey now.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.

The majority of our clients are LVConnect members. By becoming a member, you can stay ahead of legal issues while staying on top of costs. For just $199 per month, membership unlocks unlimited lawyer consultations, faster turnaround times, free legal templates and members-only discounts.

Learn more about LVConnect

Ursula Hogben
Need Legal Help? Get a Free Fixed-Fee Quote

If you would like to receive a free fixed-fee quote or get in touch with our team, fill out the form below.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails from LegalVision and can unsubscribe at any time. See our full Privacy Policy.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Our Awards
  • 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn 2019 Top 25 Startups - LinkedIn
  • 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards 2019 NewLaw Firm of the Year - Australian Law Awards
  • 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500 2020 Fastest Growing Law Firm - Financial Times APAC 500
  • 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review 2020 AFR Fast 100 List - Australian Financial Review
  • 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards 2020 Law Firm of the Year Finalist - Australasian Law Awards
  • Most Innovative Law Firm - 2019 Australasian Lawyer 2019 Most Innovative Firm - Australasian Lawyer
Privacy Policy Snapshot

We collect and store information about you. Let us explain why we do this.

What information do you collect?

We collect a range of data about you, including your contact details, legal issues and data on how you use our website.

How do you collect information?

We collect information over the phone, by email and through our website.

What do you do with this information?

We store and use your information to deliver you better legal services. This mostly involves communicating with you, marketing to you and occasionally sharing your information with our partners.

How do I contact you?

You can always see what data you’ve stored with us.

Questions, comments or complaints? Reach out on 1300 544 755 or email us at info@legalvision.com.au

View Privacy Policy