What is the responsibility of an accounting office?
Clients who entrust accounting to accounting offices hope that they will no longer have to worry about settling taxes or other receivables. However, it may happen that they are the ones who will pay for any mistakes made by the accounting office. Let's check what is the responsibility of an accounting office?
What is the customer responsible for?
The help of accounting offices in the field of settlements is invaluable today, especially in the era of a pandemic, when a large number of employers were forced to work remotely. Although the computerization of accounting offices is progressing year by year, the current situation has significantly accelerated this process. Their online business saves entrepreneurs a lot of valuable time.
However, before using the services of an accounting office, you should find out who will be responsible for the consequences of any errors or omissions. Problems with accounting, failure to meet deadlines or incorrect tax calculations can be caused both by the carelessness of people working in the office and the omissions of clients, e.g. in the timely delivery of documents. Each client must be aware that he is responsible for almost all activities of the accounting office with which he has cooperated. It could seem that the accounting office is beyond all suspicion, but this is not entirely true - if the entrepreneur shows inaccuracies in the accounting conducted by the accounting office, he may demand compensation from him.
Often, however, it is the clients who are responsible for possible negligence, usually by failing to meet the agreed deadlines, and they must take into account the consequences of such omissions. Similarly, if the client does not provide complete documents or provides the accounting office with unreliable data, he, and not the office staff, is to blame for it, so the responsibility of the accounting office is limited in this case.
What can be done to protect against such accidents in the future? It will be helpful to formulate an appropriate contract with an accounting office - part of the responsibility or its entire scope can then be transferred to the office, and thus - any additional costs will be collected by the customer from the accounting office that made a mistake. This is a very important point that can save you a lot of unnecessary worry in the future.
What is the accounting office responsible for?
The accounting office is a contractor who fulfills the obligations imposed on it by the principal, i.e. the client. They include, among others
activities in the field of tax law, labor law and social security,
preparation of financial statements,
collecting and archiving accounting documents,
HR and payroll services,
representing the client before tax authorities,
preparation of loan applications,
consultancy in the field of tax law,
settlements and reports for ZUS.
The responsibility of the accounting office also includes providing the client with access to all documents prepared by the accounting department. At the same time, it cannot allow a situation in which the customer's data would be disclosed against his will or leaked from the system.
What affects the costs of the accounting service?
A good accounting office must keep up with market trends and the constantly changing scope of law. For this purpose, it is necessary to employ specialists in a given field, who are the showcase of the office. However, be careful when you see an accounting office that claims to know every aspect of the selected category.
Not every accountant will know tax or economic law, and the accounting office is not able to solve every client's problem. The red lamp should light up in the back of the entrepreneur's head when the prices for the services offered by the office and the help of their specialists are very low - we must know that the higher price, although not encouraging, usually guarantees a good and broad knowledge of the subject.
If a given issue or problem exceeds the knowledge of specialists and services provided by the office, it should refer the client to other specialists or a body in a given field that will help him solve the specific issue more effectively. When an accounting office knows everything and is valued very low, it can be assumed that it is not trustworthy.
Responsibility of the accounting office and the client
Badly kept by an accounting office, accounting can sometimes result in criminal liability. This happens when we are dealing with the recognition of a given aspect as a tax offense or crime. The penalty is then, of course, not the client of the office, but the accountant or the owner of a given branch. However, a penalty cannot be imposed on a person who cannot be clearly blamed for the committed act.
The responsibility of an accounting office also applies to the manner in which they keep books - in an unreliable manner - and to destroy or counterfeit documents. In extreme cases, the office may even be punished for not keeping accounting records.
Most of the responsibility for the omissions of the accounting office falls on the entrepreneur, but there are situations in which he can, and even should, assert his rights. Although not everything depends on the entrepreneur, in order to save themselves problems in the future, they should start with a review of their conduct and at the same time finalize all the details before starting cooperation with an accounting office.