Bookkeeping (Accounting) Services Agreement

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Updated Jul 12, 2023
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A bookkeeping contract is a legally binding agreement between an individual or company and the person providing bookkeeping services. It clearly outlines all parties' responsibilities and protects everyone’s legal rights. Complete this legal template on Lawrina and get a complete PDF document suitable for your needs.
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Template Description

table, people talking at the desk, pen, calculator, paper titled "Bookkeeping (Accounting) Services Agreement"

If you offer bookkeeping or accounting services, a complete and editable bookkeeping services agreement template will help you make a professional contract with your clients.

This bookkeeping services agreement template shows the key parts of the deal. You will have options for services, payment terms, confidentiality, and the roles and responsibilities of both parties.

With the bookkeeping services agreement form, you will get a basic structure that can be changed to fit the company, client, and service provider. It makes payment and responsibilities clear for everyone involved.

Remember that templates are a great place to start, but every bookkeeping services agreement should be unique. If you need help revising a template to comply with particular state laws and regulations, consulting with a lawyer is a good idea.

What Is a Bookkeeping Services Agreement?

A bookkeeping services agreement is a legally binding contract between a bookkeeping or accounting service provider and their customer. This bookkeeping format dramatically impacts a business partnership's financial aspects and records.

A bookkeeping services agreement template should clearly explain what service is being provided and what the payment is. This agreement ensures the books are balanced, checks that the accounting system is correct, and creates financial records.

In the bookkeeping services agreement, both parties agree on the duration of their partnership.

Parties of the Bookkeeping Services Agreement

There are two main parties to the bookkeeping services agreement:

Service Provider

This party is the one who does the bookkeeping or accounting. It can be a person or a business that does professional bookkeeping. 

The service provider is responsible for maintaining a few things, including: 

  • Accurate financial records; 
  • Reconciling accounts; 
  • Financial statement preparation;
  • There are other related bookkeeping chores that are the service provider's responsibility. 

Client

In a bookkeeping services agreement, someone who hires a bookkeeper to handle their financial matters qualifies as a client. 

The client is reliant on the provider's accounting expertise. It is a beneficial decision since it helps people make wise financial choices. Tasks like record-keeping, analysis, and report-writing are part of this process. 

The deal must be signed by all parties who have a stake in the financial plans. The bookkeeping services agreement spells out in great detail what each party has to do. In case of a dispute, there is a list of each team member's duties, pay, and chain of command.

Key Terms

  1. Duration: It tells you when the deal begins and when it finishes. It also tells you if it's a one-time task or an ongoing job.
  2. Termination: It explains how to end the bookkeeping services agreement for both parties. For example, the minimal notice period and acceptable reasons for termination for both parties.
  3. Scope of services: The term specifies what the service provider will perform for the client regarding data input, account balance, financial reporting, and tax preparation.
  4. Compensation: It is the total cost of the services, which includes any hourly rates, flat fees, or other expenses that may apply. This section will also lay out the payment structure - whether the fee will be paid all at once or over multiple payments.
  5. Confidentiality and Data Security: It outlines specific steps to protect data security and underlines the need to keep the client's financial information private.
  6. Responsibilities of Parties: It describes how each party must fulfill its obligation. The customer must provide the required information, even if the service provider is responsible for maintaining accurate records.
  7. Intellectual Property: Ownership and usage of all service provider-created tools, software, and procedures are addressed here.
  8. Governing Law and Disputes: It describes how disagreements will be settled. For example, whether they will be solved through mediation, arbitration, or in court. It also says which jurisdiction's laws will apply to any disputes.
  9. Amendments and Modifications: It details the procedure for gaining both parties' approval of any proposed amendments or changes to the agreement.
  10. Liability and Indemnification: It reduces the service provider's responsibility for mistakes and extra costs. Suppliers may also talk about how much they have to pay for customer losses in refund agreements.
  11. Assignment of Rights: It checks whether the parties can give their rights and responsibilities to a third party under the deal.
  12. Force Majeure: It sets up a plan for what to do if something makes it difficult or impossible for one or both sides to keep their promises under the bookkeeping services agreement.

The bookkeeping services agreement is a complete set of terms that we have discussed above. Their purpose is to defend both parties' interests, clarify responsibilities and tasks, and foster a constructive and honest working partnership.

Why Is a Bookkeeping Services Agreement Important?

A signed bookkeeping services agreement is important because it explains the terms and conditions of bookkeeping services. It helps the seller and the client trust and talk to each other more easily.

Here are the reasons:

  1. The agreement clearly explains the services that the provider will offer.
  2. Parts of the bookkeeping services agreement focus on protecting the client's financial data.
  3. The agreement outlines each party's rights and duties. The law protects both the service provider and the client from contract breaches.
  4. The agreement specifies who is liable for mistakes and financial losses.
  5. The provider's professionalism is shown in a well-written contract.
  6. The agreement details the procedures for termination by either party.
  7. The parties' respective responsibilities for any miscalculations or financial losses are laid out in detail.
  8. This agreement will be governed by and construed by the laws of the state specified.
  9. When it comes to maintaining a bookkeeper's bind properly, a dispute resolution clause can help.
  10. A well-written agreement may be modified to fit the requirements of all parties.
  11. This bookkeeping services agreement memorializes the terms upon which the parties have settled.

What To Include in Bookkeeping Services Agreement?

Every business relationship depends on good communication, and a well-written bookkeeping services agreement is a good place to start. 

Here are some essential things to include in the bookkeeping services agreement:

Introduction and details of the parties

  • Names of both parties should be clearly listed in the agreement.

Scope of services

  • Specifics about the bookkeeping work that will be done.
  • Details about the jobs, duties, and results.
  • Specify which services are not available.

Compensation

  • Explain how you will be compensated (by the hour, a flat charge, a retainer, etc.).
  • Mention the total price and any other associated costs.
  • Set the payment method and plan.

Termination and duration

  • Specify if this is a one-time deal or a recurring one.
  • Explain what allows a company to terminate the agreement early and what kind of notice is required.

Responsibilities

  • The duties of the service provider and the client must be written in detail.
  • Describe the client's role in providing complete and up-to-date financial info.

Confidentiality and security

  • Discuss the importance of confidentiality and outline how that will be accomplished. 

Liability and indemnification

  • Inform the service provider how much you want them to pay if they make a mistake.
  • Explain how you will be paid if the provider is responsible for financial losses.

Governing law and dispute resolution

  • Name the state or jurisdiction’s laws that will apply to the deal.
  • Describe what should be done when the parties disagree. For example, mediation or arbitration.

Amendments and rights

  • Clarify the process for making and approving any amendments to the Agreement.
  • Specify whether each party can assign its rights and duties to a third party.

Force Majeure and signature

  • Talk about what happens when things don’t go as planned, making it hard to keep the deal.
  • Add a place for each person to sign and date to show that they have read and agree to the terms.

Where To Use a Bookkeeping Agreement

A bookkeeping services agreement is what you need if you need help with your business or personal accounting.

Use this deal to set clear rules when hiring a bookkeeping firm to keep financial records, balance accounts, and do other related tasks.

Common Use Cases

When an individual or a company needs assistance with keeping track of their money and creating financial reports, they might use a bookkeeping services agreement. Common parties that use one include:

  • Small businesses: These businesses usually need help, as they can’t afford to have their own finance department. They bring in outside bookkeepers to help keep track of trades, accounts, and financial records.
  • Startups: They often hire professionals to handle their accounting so they can concentrate on their primary business and maintain accurate financial records.
  • Freelancers: Remember that you can easily find a solid freelance bookkeeping contract template. Many freelancers sometimes hire bookkeepers to handle their financial records and taxes.
  • Large firms: Big corporations may use a financial bookkeeping company.
  • Nonprofit organizations: Nonprofits engage specialists to keep accurate financial records for transparency and accountability.
  • Real estate: Bookkeeping services help real estate brokers manage payments, receipts, and finances.
  • Financial audits: Before financial audits, companies use this to verify their records for the organization.

When Not To Use the Bookkeeping Services Agreement

A bookkeeping services agreement may not be suitable in certain situations. They are:

  • A written agreement may not be required if you handle your personal accounts yourself and do not use a third-party bookkeeper.
  • A bookkeeping services agreement may not be necessary in situations where the nature of the relationship does not necessitate the maintenance of financial records.
  • Among extremely close friends or relatives, a written agreement is optional.
  • A formal bookkeeping services agreement may be unnecessary if the project is a one-time job.
  • Confidentiality provisions in an agreement may be unnecessary if the material being handled is already public knowledge or does not warrant protection.
  • A written bookkeeping services agreement may not be necessary where there is already established mutual trust between the involved parties.
  • A traditional employment contract may outline the parameters of the relationship if the bookkeeper were a full-time employee. In this case, you won’t need this agreement.

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Please note that Lawrina does not provide any legal services. The information on Lawrina’s Site and its downloadable content, including legal articles and templates, shall not be considered legal advice and is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, and up-to-date. If you require legal advice on your issue, we recommend you contact a qualified attorney licensed in your state. You personally assume full responsibility for any consequences, damages, and costs associated with your use of any content of Lawrina Services available on Lawrina’s Site. 

By using Lawrina’s Site you agree with mentioned above and give your irrevocable consent to comply with and to be bound by the provisions of Lawrina Service terms. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do bookkeepers always need to write a bookkeeping services agreement?

While not all bookkeeping jobs require a written bookkeeping services agreement, it is advisable to have one. Bookkeeping contracts might be necessary based on the services provided, the customer's goals, and how much risk the customer perceives.

 

Formal bookkeeping services agreements make things better by providing clear terms, legal protection for both parties, a defined scope, and a professional setting. Having a written agreement is a helpful way to maintain open communication, prevent errors, and sustain a professional relationship.

 

It is very important for big projects, ongoing agreements, or situations where you need to share personal financial information.

What details are required in a contract for bookkeeping services?

For the safety of both parties, a bookkeeping services agreement must have some required terms. Having these important facts in the contract makes it easier for both parties to understand, reduces the chances of a dispute, and creates a solid basis for accounting services. Key elements to include are:

  • Names and addresses of the parties involved
  • Payment plan and salary structure
  • Description of services
  • Duration of the agreement
  • Confidentiality measures
  • Shared responsibilities
  • Termination conditions
  • Clauses on liability and compensation
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Governing law and jurisdiction
  • Amendment process
  • Signatures from both parties
Is anything else required once my bookkeeping services agreement is created?

After drafting a bookkeeping services agreement template, there are a few more things to think about:

  • Make sure that it is clear and accurate.
  • Inform the customer and have a conversation about it.
  • Collect signatures from each party.
  • Keep a safe copy for future reference.
  • Do the services that were decided upon.
  • Write down any changes or additions.
  • Evaluate your options for continuing or quitting.

 

The terms of a simple accounting services agreement might change as the needs of your business and your client change. For the relationship to work, keep everything in order, talk to each other, and follow the agreement.

How long does it take to draft a bookkeeping services agreement?

Depending on several factors, making a bookkeeping services agreement can take a few hours to a few days.

If you want a good deal, you have to spend time and energy on the little things.

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