Paperless office & L of E

burgburg Experienced MentorGloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,436
Right so with a move of office happening in August I have decided to be paperless before the move.

All is going well and made some good progress today.

I have a question regarding 'Letters of Engagement' though. As they contain the clients signature and potentially may need to be used in a court of law do I need to keep the original?

Not such a problem if I do but I don't want to destroy originals if it's going to come back and haunt me.

May be one for the AAT to give a definitive answer on though?
Regards,

Burg

Comments

  • payrollpropayrollpro Trusted Regular Hampshire/SurreyRegistered, Working Together with HMRC Posts: 415
    Hi Ian,

    We are just starting and are considering the same issue, because each partner is working from a separate place we have a remote server there is a need for each one of us to be able to access practice and client files, wherever we are.

    I am creating L'soE in word and then publishing them as pdf's before sending them to clients. The client will agree the agreement by e-mail and this will be on the server for each one of us to see.

    As far as I am concerned the agreement in an unchangeable format plus the e-mails from us and from the client creates an enforceable contract. The law recognises this as an electronic signature as long as you can directly associate the pdf with the e-mails.

    What i would not do is get rid of any existing paper agreements because I think it will come back and bite you one day. Why not scan in the original and get an e-mail from the client agreeing that this is the original agreement they put their signature to.

    Ian
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,436
    Thanks Ian,

    I have been in touch with the AAT on this issue today. The suggestions put forward by them are somewhat in-line with yours and my initial thoughts.

    Basically that to keep them in an un-editable format such as a pdf (which I do) and keep emails relating to the agreement of the terms.

    The only additional possibilities they suggested were adding the fact that the agreement will be kept electronically and that a electronic signature or a copy of a hand written signature will be used as the agreement to the terms and will be allowable as a signature should a disagreement arise.

    They advised against destroying any current L of E's that are on paper and that if I wished for them to be in an electronic format to get the client to agree either that it can be converted or to a new agreement.

    Thanks for the response though, most helpful.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,069
    burg wrote: »
    The only additional possibilities they suggested were adding the fact that the agreement will be kept electronically and that a electronic signature or a copy of a hand written signature will be used as the agreement to the terms and will be allowable as a signature should a disagreement arise..

    Genuis.
    Wish we'd thought of this before we just issued brand new LoEs to all our clients :D

    Ah well, you live and learn!

    Off my tangent for a minute, yes I think electronic is fine but the above is even better.
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