Terms & Conditions
(aka "the fine print")
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to provide our services. The following terms and conditions outline the nature and the limitations of the services. These terms and conditions are updated periodically to reflect changes in the services provided under VAST. We will inform you in writing of these changes as they occur.
The purpose of our engagement will be to provide a Virtual Accounting Services Team (VAST). VAST is a division of The CFO Group, Inc., a Nevada Corporation. VAST is a registered trademark of The CFO Group, Inc in the United States of America. The CFO Group is a licensed CPA firm in the State of Nevada.
The VAST engagement will include the accounting procedures outlined in the Menu of Services provided to you with this Welcome Kit. Any changes to the Menu of Services may result in a change to the fees and must be approved in advance by management of The CFO Group, Inc. Services outside of the basic VAST engagement are billed under our consulting and tax services as outlined below. The following is a list of some examples of projects that we are commonly requested to complete that would not be included in the VAST fixed fee engagement. This list is not intended to be all inclusive.
- Initial accounting cleanup and reconciliations in order to stabilize your accounting
- Catching up of delinquent reporting—i.e. sales tax, modified business tax, payroll taxes
- Researching and responding to IRS or state agency notices for payroll, income or other taxes
- Bank requests such as loan packages and review, changing banks, opening new accounts
- Personal property declarations
- Vendor and Independent Contractor Forms 1099
- Creation of special templates such as consolidations or commission calculations
- Income tax planning, preparation and estimates
- Budgets and proformas
- Accounts receivable collection calls
- Revising charts of accounts
- Additional payroll processing outside of a scheduled payroll
We process client payroll through an outsourced payroll service. The cost of this service is in addition to your VAST monthly fee. We traditionally recommend one of two payroll services although we reserve the right to recommend a different payroll service based on your company’s needs. Any charges for payroll service are your responsibility and deducted from your checking account by the service provider.
In addition, we charge a one-time set up fee (usually from $150-$400) to implement outsourced payroll for your company if you are not already using an outside service.
The objective of our engagement will be to prepare financial statements in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America based on information provided by you or gathered during our bookkeeping work within your company. We will not express an opinion or provide additional assurance on the financial statements as discussed below.
This engagement to prepare financial statements for your company qualifies as a “Financial Statement Preparation” per Section 70 of Statements on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS 21) promulgated by the Accounting and Review Services Committee of the AICPA. The financial statements will not be accompanied by a report. As such, we are required to denote on each page of the financial statement package that no assurance is being provided on the financial statements being prepared. This is to clarify to the reader of the financial statements that we have not been engaged to perform nor are we performing an audit, review or compilation of the financial statements. Additionally, you agree that any cover letter or other transmittal accompanying the financial statements we have prepared will clearly indicate that no assurance is being provided on them.
Services such as audits, reviews and compilations are considered higher levels of services performed by certified public accountants. In those engagements, financial statements are accompanied by respective reports denoting the level of service performed and varying degrees of assurance or opinions on those financial statements. These services include very specific procedures that include, among other things, confirming balances with outside parties, observing physical counts of inventories, performing analytical procedures and testing internal controls. These additional services can be very costly and while small businesses can sometimes require the additional reporting to comply with requirements imposed by banks, regulatory bodies or other outside parties, you and we have discussed your company’s needs as they relate to a preparation of financial statements. You have not indicated to us that you require the additional levels of service outlined above. If you require an additional or alternate form of assurance on the financial statements, please contact us immediately so that we can work with you to engage the proper professionals to provide this additional service.
We will conduct our engagement in accordance with SSARS 21 and will comply with the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct, including the ethical principles of integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care. You are responsible for management decisions and functions, for designating a competent employee to oversee our engagement with your company and for evaluating the adequacy of the services performed.
These services are scalable based on the needs of your company. The pricing provided is based on the size in revenues, employees, etc of your company at the time of engagement. If your company changes materially, we reserve the right to adjust these fees to properly reflect the level of services required. If you would like to add or remove any specific services not included here, please feel free to contact us so that we may adjust the engagement to meet your company’s needs.
Unrelated Professional Services
Our team is extremely skilled in accounting and services related to accounting. Because we are not licensed in the following fields, we cannot and will not advise on the matters listed below. However, we are more than happy to provide references to professionals in the following fields.
- Legal matters
- Human resources
- Investment advisory services
Routing of Information and Documentation
As part of your VAST engagement, we will work with you to train your staff on scanning and submitting documents to us electronically. This can be done either through our secure portal or through a shared drive on our cloud servers.
Timeliness and Accuracy of Information Provided by You
If we find that you are not, in a timely manner, providing the accurate information we need to complete our services and meet the deadlines we are responsible to meet under this engagement, we will be forced to resign from this engagement. Also, additional time spent on correcting or redoing information, reports or processes that were done incorrectly as a result of incorrect information provided by you will be billed at our standard hourly rates (this includes receipt of conflicting information from multiple parties within your organization).
Authorized Signers on Your Accounts
Because approval of accounts payable check runs initiates processing of payments, all check runs or payments that we process must be approved by an authorized signer on the account being debited. VAST is not responsible for verifying actual signors on signature cards. We will assume that the individuals that you authorize to approve check runs are approved signors on the accounts.
Stop Payment Fee and Returned Check Fees
Any requests for a stop payment to be placed on a check will result in a $35 per check stop payment fee.
If a payment on your account is returned by our bank due to insufficient funds or other issues, we will charge a $25 returned check fee.
VAST Monthly Fee Agreement
Our fees for VAST are billed at an agreed upon set monthly fee and will be debited from your account in advance on the first of each month.
The VAST monthly fee is reviewed and revised periodically to account for changes in volume or complexity of your company’s accounting. Any changes to your VAST fixed fee will be communicated to you in writing in advance.
Technology Fee Agreement
We maintain the accounting system for our VAST clients using QuickBooks, which is updated to the newest version each year. All of our client QuickBooks files reside with an Intuit Authorized Commercial Host and cloud-computing provider. Hosting of your Quickbooks file is provided free of charge while you are a VAST client and also includes continuous (every 30 minutes) backup of your data.
For an additional fee, you can choose to also access your file as part of your VAST engagement. The fee is $54.99 per month per concurrent user. This includes a $5 per user per month hosting fee paid directly to Intuit. You are responsible for maintaining adequate QuickBooks licenses for any users that you wish to add as having access to your files. Your data is accessible from any laptop, Mac or mobile device.
The cloud providers also offer highly competent technical support should you experience any issues with their service. If you have multiple company files, you can access all of them through one logon.
Consulting and Tax Agreement
We are also happy to provide our consulting and tax services to you, which can include services such as budgets, loan packages to banks, assistance with changing banks, tax estimates, etc. that are not included in the scope of the VAST engagement.
Any consulting services will be billed per our standard hourly rates for this type of work and are due within 15 days. Our standard hourly consulting rates range from $85 to $295 per hour based on the consultant performing the services and the level of services performed. Fees for tax preparation are billed to you at a flat amount based on these hourly rates and are due upon release of the return. This flat rate does not include responding to IRS notices, representing you in an audit or interim tax planning. We also charge a processing fee of $50 per return.
Interest at 1.5% per month (18% per year) will be added to all invoices not paid within 30 days. These services will be provided to you on an on-going basis and are cancelable at any time by either party.
To best serve your interest, we reserve the right to decide on staffing most appropriate to meet your needs and expectations. We sincerely value our relationships with our clients and are dedicated to our client’s benefitting from our value-added services. Therefore, we ask that you let us know promptly if any questions arise about the services provided to you by anyone at our firm or regarding any billing that you receive from us, so that we may act appropriately.
The above rates will be applied to services performed at the discretion of management of VAST or The CFO Group, Inc. You will also be billed for any out-of-pocket costs including travel expenses and travel time. Our billing rates and charges are periodically revised due to inflation, advancement in the experience levels of our staff, and other economic conditions. We will advise you of any changes in your rates as they occur.
Termination of Services
These services may be terminated at any time by either party. VAST engagements terminated mid-month will not be eligible for a refund for that month’s payments.
Because accounting services are most commonly performed after a date on data from a previous period, in the event we or you cancel the services under this engagement, our responsibility to perform services ends on the calendar date that we mutually agree upon. We accept no responsibility to perform services subsequent to that date that are for reconciliations of transactions before that date.
Upon termination of services, we will not be responsible for converting any of your files to any previous versions or to any other editions or software programs. If you have been set up to access your files on our cloud partners Swizznet or Novel Aspect, you can continue to maintain your account without interruption. If you choose or at our discretion, we will update the payment of your service to be paid directly by you and no longer bill you through VAST. This will not change your per user fee. If you have not opted to access your file, you will be provided a backup of the most current version of your file and you will be responsible for making arrangements to restore that file elsewhere. Any time spent assisting with a move to another accounting service will be billed at our standard hourly rates.
Failure to Make Payment
If the Company fails to meet its payment obligation per these terms and conditions, The CFO Group, Inc. may immediately (i) cease performance of services (ii) revise the payment schedule, such that the Company must pay The CFO Group, Inc. in advance or (iii) terminate the engagement. If we decide to end our services due to failure to pay, the services will not continue until your account is paid as agreed. In the event that we resign for non-payment, we accept no responsibility should you subsequently fail to meet any deadlines, including those imposed by the Internal Revenue Service. Alternatively, if services are suspended due to nonpayment, the Company will be obligated to pay The CFO Group, Inc. for any time spent and expenses incurred through the date of suspension regardless of the status of the project.
In regard to any and all of our services, The CFO Group, Inc.’s liability shall never exceed the fees it receives hereunder for the portion of the work giving rise to liability. The CFO Group, Inc. will not be liable for any special, consequential, incidental or exemplary damages or loss (nor any lost profits, taxes, interest, tax penalties, savings or business opportunity). Because of the nature of the information provided by the Company to The CFO Group, Inc. with respect to The CFO Group, Inc.’s ability to perform the services, the Company releases The CFO Group, Inc. and its partners, principals and employees from any liability, costs, fees, expenses, and damages (including legal fees) related to our services, which are attributable to any information provided by the Company and its related parties that is not complete, accurate, or current.
The Company acknowledges that this engagement will include analysis, judgment and other performance where the Company and others are necessarily involved, where information is not certain or verifiable in advance and where facts and available information may change over time. With this in mind, The CFO Group, Inc.’s performance of its services shall be based solely on its conformance with any standards or specifications expressly stated in this engagement letter and all applicable professional standards. It is agreed that unless both parties agree otherwise, in writing, The CFO Group, Inc. will have no responsibility to update any of its work after completion.
It is possible that unforeseen circumstances arise and The CFO Group, Inc. may determine that we cannot complete our services. If such a circumstance arises, we may resign from this engagement prior to completion without incurring any liability to the Company. The CFO Group, Inc. reserves the right to decline to perform services if The CFO Group, Inc. receives information regarding the Company’s violation of applicable law, regulations or standards or in a conflict of interest, or to suffer damage to its reputation.
We may from time to time, and depending on the circumstances, use third-party service providers in serving your account. We may share confidential information about you with these service providers, but remain committed to maintaining the confidentiality and security of your information. Accordingly, we maintain internal policies, procedures, and safeguards to protect the confidentiality of your personal information. In addition, we will secure confidentiality agreements with all service providers to maintain the confidentiality of your information and we will take reasonable precautions to determine that they have appropriate procedures in place to prevent the unauthorized release of your confidential information to others. In the event that we are unable to secure an appropriate confidentiality agreement, you will be asked to provide your consent prior to the sharing of your confidential information with the third-party service provider. Furthermore, we will remain responsible for the work provided by any such third-party service providers.
During the course of our work with your company, we may use email to transmit information to each other or to outside parties that are approved by you to receive certain information. By signing these terms and conditions, you agree to the use of email to transmit information.
The VAST Affiliate Program Commissions
At VAST, we love to reward our connections for their referrals. The VAST Affiliate Program is designed to pay commissions to approved affiliates for their referrals to VAST. All affiliates are screened and approved for admission into the affiliate program. They are then provided with a short video and additional information on VAST so that they can be well informed of how VAST’s products work and how their referrals can benefit from our services.
Recruiting a VAST Employee / Placing Accounting Personnel
We spend a great deal on our employees to ensure that they remain current on important issues and are able to provide superior services to our clients. Should an employee accept an offer for employment with your company, you agree that the employee will work for you via our company at our consulting rates for no less than eight weeks from their start date with your company. Also, you agree to pay a placement fee to The CFO Group equal to 30% of the first year salary of that employee. This requirement is not waived following a break in service by the employee from our company.
Additionally, firm policy prohibits past employees of The CFO Group from soliciting to current or past clients of the firm. However, if such solicitation occurs, our employment contract with our employees requires payment to us of 30% of any billings paid by your company directly to the employee subsequent to their employment with The CFO Group unless other arrangements are agreed to in writing by management of The CFO Group. Therefore, you agree to notify us in writing of your intent to contract with any past employees of The CFO Group prior to their work commencing so that we may properly account for this referral fee.
Through our work with our clients, we often have the opportunity to place accounting personnel within our client companies. Should we place accounting staff with your company, the placement fee for the individual would be $5,000 for staff with annual gross salaries less than $50,000 and $7,500 for staff with annual gross salaries equal to or greater than $50,000. This placement fee only applies to personnel not previously employed directly by The CFO Group.
Legal Resolve and Domicile
Notwithstanding anything contained herein both client and The CFO Group agree that regardless of where the client is domiciled or where this agreement is signed, this agreement shall be deemed to have been entered into at The CFO Group’s physical offices located at 50 Washington, Suite 101, Reno, NV 89503 the location of which will serve to dictate the exclusive jurisdiction for resolving disputes related to this Agreement.
In the unlikely event that differences concerning our services or fees should arise that are not resolved by mutual agreement, the Company and The CFO Group, Inc. agree that the matter would be decided more equitably by a judge hearing the evidence without a jury. Thus, you and we agree to waive any right to a trial by jury in any action, proceeding or counterclaim arising out of or relating to our services and fees for this agreement.
If any part of this is held to be invalid, all of the remaining parts shall stay in effect.