Terms & Conditions
Financial & Investment Advisory
We have outlined below a summary of Ascendia Wealth Pty. Ltd. policies and conditions of service. We ask you to familiarise yourself with these and hope this summary is of assistance to you in considering our services.
1. Scope of Service
All financial and investment information and advice is provided specifically and only for the private use of the person or entity to whom it is provided.
This is because individual personal and business requirements and circumstances vary. Accordingly we ask that you maintain the confidentiality of your advice documentation and investment management records so that friends and colleagues do not act on such advice to their potential detriment.
In addition, all our advice is written, with all your questions answered and opportunity for further analysis and queries to be raised by you prior to any action being taken pursuant to advice. This is because the implications of advice can take some time to fully appreciate, and can involve matters you may not be initially familiar with. It is also a legal requirement.
Different dominant communication preferences of different clients is addressed through the provision of written documentation, verbal advice and comprehensive diagrammatic meeting presentation(s) of all advice - as required by individual clients.
No action is taken in relation to advice until a client fully understands and authorises action in writing. Variations from advice (client directions) are required in writing to ensure your requirements are fully understood and met and that you maintain total control of the process. Ascendia Wealth Pty Ltd. does not hold funds on trust.
Please refer to the Financial Services Guide for more detail regarding the services we are licenseed to provide.
Our service is provided in accordance with the requirements of the ASIC and FPA professional, legal and ethical requirements. We are members of the FPA: membership number 035064 and Financial Ombudsman Service: membership number 4970. The firm that provides advice is Ascendia Wealth Pty. Ltd: Corporate Authorised Representative number 251037. Our licensee, which is independently owned by the partners, is Ascendia Pty. Ltd., the AFSL number is 307308. All financial and investment advice is provided by Ascendia Wealth pty. ltd.
2. Continuity Of Our Service To You
It is a general term of our trade that if you supply, allow the supply, continue the supply, or do not remove our ongoing access to your financial records - that this is a request and authorisation to us to provide and continue to provide our services to you, and undertake and continue to uindertake work for you - in accordance with our terms unless you have notified us in writing otherwise.
You can appreciate that with such important matters pertaining investments and your reliance on us - if you want us to stop work - we need to be notified in writing.
3. Please Ensure You Keep Yourself Informed Of Our Terms
A general term of our trade is that you make yourself familiar with our terms and policies, including our Professional Services Engagment Letter(s), and including requesting one of these if you do not have one, by emailing us at at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have to change / update all of our terms and policies from time to time as a normal part of our business improvement process, as all businesses do.
As a result it is also a general term of our trade that you keep yourself up to date with any changes to our terms and policies that occur from time to time, by:
(a) reference to this web site, and
(b) by requesting updated Professional Services Engagement Letters from us via the abovementioned email address.
4. Ways You Can Access Our Terms
As a courtesy to you, from time to time we may provide you, in hard copy or by email, with the latest version of our Professional Services Engagement Letter (and thus relevant terms).
We have provided on this web page access to:
(a) Our Terms of Trade & Credit (summarised on this page and in the attached link)
(b) Our General Terms of Trade (on this page)
(c) Our Records and Information Management Policy and Terms (on this page)
We have also provided on this web page an explanation of our Professional Engagement Terms and how you can get a Proefssional Services Engagment Letter prepared for you. You can request a copy of a Professional Services Engagement Letter - which contains a number of professional terms of trade - by emailing us at email@example.com
We also provide you with a link to this web site on the footer of all our email correspondence for your convenience and review. You can access this Terms web page from the footer of every web page on this site.
5. Professional Service Engagement Letters
When you engage us to become your wealth manager we have considerable legal responsibilities toward you.
We have set out our obligations and what you can expect from us clearly in our engagement documents.
There are different documents that are needed depending on what sservice you require. If you want to engage us - please email or telephone us. We will prepare and forward you the appropriate engagement documents - which must be tailored to your situation (and include all relevant personal and private details including ABN's, ACN's full name and date of birth etc.)
Once you have engaged us we have an obligation to provide a level of service in accordance with the various regulatory requirements as well as consistent with the professional standards of the professional associations to which we are affiliated.
As a result regardless of whether you sign off on the specific Professional Services Engagement Letters we may send you - these engagement letters and their terms also apply. We are not able to provide service on any other terms.
It is a general term of our trade that you take responsibility to familiarise yourself with our Professional Services Engagement Terms and / or Letter(s) that we may send you - in respect of any professional service supplied to you.
You can do this by:
- Reviewing the Professional Services Engagement Letter we have supplied and forwarded to you already - or if we have not done this,
- By requesting a Professional Services Engagement Letter be forwarded to you, and by reviewing it.
If you have not received a Professional Services Enagement Letter you should contact us and advise us of this at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will prepare and send you a relevant Professional Services Engagement Letter as applicable accordingly.
If you have any questions about a Professional Services Engagement Letter you have received, you should contact us by email at email@example.com and outline your questions. We will answer any questions including the reasons for any of the terms in the relevant Professional Services Engagement Letter applicable to your services if you would like this.
We may continue to undertake service without your sign off on an updated Professional Services Engagement Letter which we may provide you.
Nevertheless we only provide services in accordance with:
- Our latest / updated professional task engagement letter (available on request)
- Terms of Trade and Credit (available in this site
- Our Records and Information Management Policy and Terms (available on this site
- The General Terms of Trade outlined on this web page.
Termination Of Our Engagement
We are not obliged to take your business and in some circumstances we may have to decline to assist a prospective client. This is consistent with our professional ethics and regulatory duties.
You are able to terminate our engagement in writing at any time. A written privacy release from you is also required for us to be able to release client records to your new advisers.
We are also able to terminate the engagement in writing at any time. This is very rare and has only occurred in unusual circumstances, such as failure to pay accounts, behaviour that we regard as extremely rude or aggressive behaviour by clients or of course requests for or undertaking of suspected unethical or illegal behaviour.
6. What Are Your Terms of Payment and Credit?
Professional Fees & Charges
Our fees for all services are based on professional charge out rates that change from time to time. We are not obliged to restate these to you after you have engaged us. We do provide new engagement each year for your assistance that includes our latest professional rates at this time. Our rates are consistent with those outlined by the professional associations.
Rates applicable also vary depending on the level of work required. Our rates are all published in our engagement letters that you will see when you obtain them from us (by email or telephone contact). Our principals can provide information about expected costs in discussion with you about the work required.
We are able to provide estimates of fees however our charges are based on the time it takes to do a professional job to the standard required by the regulatory environment. We will communicate clearly and quickly with you if and as soon as we become aware that a job is going to take longer than expected. We will provide you with alternatives where available at that time.
In the past we have received, and from time to time we although less and less due to our no commissions services receive commissions and brokerages relating to our wealth management services. These are fully disclosed and agreed to by our clients in advance where applicable. Please refer to a copy of our latest Financial Services Guide for more information about this.
Standard Payment Terms
Our standard payment terms are payment on delivery of service completion and prior to lodgement of your tax returns.We do not lodge your tax returns unless we have received payment of your account in full.
- Personal Cheques
- Bank Cheques
- Visa Card
- Master Card
- EFT transfer
If you choose not to make payment on delivery of the service our standard terms and conditions of credit apply. By choosing not to make payment at the time of completion you are choosing to apply for credit from us on our terms of credit. We will automatically accept your application unless we advise otherwise within 5 working days.
Terms and Conditions of Credit - Your Alternative to Paying Straight Away
If you do not wish to agree to these terms and conditions of credit simply ensure you make payment at the time the service is provided / at completion of the job.
If you choose not to pay at the time the service is provided we will treat this as a credit application by you - on our standard terms and conditions of credit - alternatively you can pay us at the time we provide the service. Where we choose to extend our credit to you this serves as our acceptance of your application, in accordance with our terms and conditions of credit.
For all clients, including those who have used our credit, we still require payment of all outstanding invoices prior to the lodgement of tax returns, as this represents the end of our work period for you for that year, and the beginning of another years work. This has been our policy since 2010.
Our clients benefit from our extension of credit until their lodgement date each year. We currently do not charge interest or account fees on our credit accounts.
We are able to charge interest and late charges at our discretion - up to a reasonable limit outlined in our terms of credit details - which are linked to this page as a .pdf file. We use this discretion where acocunts are overdue substantially. We will give you advance warning if we are intending this and you will have the opportunity to pay out your account in this event.
We have summarised these terms below and also provided a full copy of these terms for your information and convenience. These conditions are the same terms and conditions that you will encounter in many situations where you require and are provided with credit.
- These terms and conditions provide 14 days for payment to you for normal use of Ascendia Wealth Pty. Ltd. credit.
- In addition with our standard terms of credit we will provide an additional service at our discretion - this may include an account statement at the end of the month where invoices are unpaid, reminders of payments overdue and warnings on your statement when payments are beyond acceptable credit timeframes.
- We understand that when you have a busy life accounts can inadvertently be left - and so our reminder process is designed to assist you. When you make payment in accordance with the terms of credit there are no credit charges or interest charges.
- Obviously if we have bad debtors we refer these to our debt collection agents and solicitors. We are entitled under our terms and conditions to recover credit charges and interest once we have overdue debts owed to us - to assist us to recover the cost associated with this. We are also entitled to make recovery at debtors’ expense - in accordance with our standard credit terms and conditions. These are posted here for your convenience. Alternatively you can either phone or email us for a copy which we will email to you.
- We reserve the right to withdraw our credit and credit services at any time at our discretion. In these circumstances we will advise you of payment terms in writing.
- We may require, in respect of some work we may agree to undertake that we be paid in advance or partially in advance for such services (that a deposit be paid). We will explain this to you if this occurs. It is your choice of course whether to use our services if this occurs. It can occur for instance if we have considerable outlays in respect of the service provision.
7. What Is Your Policy On Client Communication & Privacy
Client Communication & Privacy
Your personal or business information is private and confidential and we take very seriously our obligation to maintain it's confidentiality. This is not just an issue of privacy any more but one of substantial financial security due to the increasing incidence and substantial consequences of identity fraud.
We have summarised below some of the measures we take to ensure and maintain the confidentiality of your information:
- We maintain mail-in and mail-out registers to allow us to track correspondence and enable us to ensure correspondence is sent in a timely fashion and that where correspondence is lost by Australia Post or Couriers we can prove and identify it's last ascendia location to these providers.
- We undertake regular coaching and training of our professional and administrative staff to ensure that they understand and implement behaviours that are necessary to protect the privacy and confidentiality of clients. This extends to not providing contact details of clients, or confirming the fact of a person or entity being a client - unless already authorised by an authorised person such as the client or a person they have authorised.
- We require written privacy / information releases to be signed by clients before divulging information to third parties (persons other than our professional and administrative staff).
- Correspondence from ascendia may contain confidential and/or privileged information. We use registered and express mail where appropriate to assist in maintaining security. In addition we provide clients the option of picking up and delivering their information personally, we notify them and ensure their information is provided only to them or their authorised representative.
- We issue disclaimers on our correspondence, physical and electronic, that makes clear the legal obligation of a mistaken recipient to notify ascendia immediately and destroy or return the information as appropriate. We also include clear explanation that any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material that may be received by a mistaken recipient is strictly forbidden and constitutes a breach of the Privacy Act and may result in the unauthorised distributor or copier being fined and / or imprisoned.
- Staff have stringent confidentiality provisions in their employment agreements that they must agree to before becoming employees of ascendia. We have in the past enforced these provisions strictly and will continue to do so. Staff are for instance not authorised to divulge information about clients to any other person, including other staff who may not be working on your affairs and may not need to know.
- Email and information storage and copying of files is strictly monitored by our IT infrastructure. We track and monitor all email communication and information transfer into and out of the ascendia information technology infrastructure. This facilitates enforcement of our policies designed to protect you. Evidence is thus able to be supplied to enable damages to be obtained and law enforcement achieved. The privacy act contains strict criminal provisions.
8. What is Our Policy On Client Records and Information Management?
We have clear Records & Information Management Policies hich you should familiarise yourself with.
Records & Information Management
Most of the records we retain are records we have created which are our property. However we also always have some original client records that we have - that are due for return to clients.
Our policy is to copy and return your records to you as soon as possible. In many cases we will only take a copy and return the originals to you immediately.
At the latest we will return original documentation to you after we have completed a job for you or at a predetermined and agreed time. For instance where we are providing wealth management services it is our normal policy to return substantiation documents relating to your investment portfolio at the end of the financial year.
Additional Client Records Back-Up and Portfolio Reporting Services
We offer an online account that enables you to view and retain back-up of your portfolio (up to date daily reporting by us) and / or your business records or personal tax substantiation documentation.
Taking Your Records with You If You Leave
We can, if you subsequently leave our firm, provide you with the following, in accordance with the ethical, professional and legal standards:
- All original documents that we may have retained and not yet returned
- Copies of the latest financial reports, income tax returns and financial and investment reports we have recently provided - in electronic form for your convenience.
- Search and review of all our archives to ensure that all original records and reports that may have been prepared for you and not yet provided are in fact provided to you. We retain archives for 7 years as required.
We do charge a fee for search and retrieval of records - to ensure we can resource this to a professional standard and that all your records are properly provided.
Ascendia Wealth Pty. Ltd. Records
For our commercial and quality assurance purposes, in accordance with the professional and ethical standards of the professional associations to which we are affiliated, and in accordance with the law, we retain copies of client records. These are copies only and are ascendia records.
They represent an audit trail and it is mandatory that we retain them. These records are confidential ascendia records. Because we provide all clients with originals they do not represent any records that you do not already have.
In addition we generate a substantial number and type of records that are integrally representative of our tools, templates and calculation methods and schedules that we have developed or purchased to be able to provide the range and level of services that we provide you. These records clearly indicate our business processes that we have developed and purchased at considerable expense. Many of these business processes are critical to enabling our business to provide a wide range and high quality of services. They are integral to our intellectual property and are like the farm land of a farmer - inseparable from our firms’ value.
As a consequence we are able to deny access to these types of records at our discretion (other than to regulators). These types of records are strictly confidential ascendia records.
We are also not able to provide these to a client even if asked if a client leaves the firm - we are under legal duty not to release such records - with a range of firm stakeholders including creditors, owners and insurers.
Referral to New Advisers Where Required
If you have left our firm, for instance to relocate to a new geographical area where we currently do not service, you may come across some advisers who will ask their new clients to obtain confidential advisers records from an adviser that the client has left.
This is especially the case when the new adviser is not familiar with the area of work, or may not have sufficient professional ability to understand the financial accounts without the prior work papers, or simply may be trying to save themselves time after having taken on a job that is bigger than they initially expected.
Unfortunately we cannot release confidential Ascendia Wealth Pty Ltd records as outlined above. We can of course release your records as outlined above at "taking your records with you". We do not ask for confidential accountants records ourselves.
If this occurs to you after leaving our firm, if you would like we can often refer you to an alternative operator who will undertake their own preparations and due diligence in taking on and undertaking your work (we have affiliations in other locations and states with reputable advsiers and investment managers).
When starting a new client there are a lot of work papers and background calculations that may be required. We often have to rebuild this type of information ourselves when taking on new clients. This is in fact a positive process where an investment manager builds their own working papers - it ensures they understand and review your affairs properly rather than relying on the previous advisers work. It is the new advisers cost in taking on a new client.
Ascendia Records Management
The Ascendia Wealth Pty. Ltd. IT infrastructure is fully firewalled and backed-up regularly. We employ an IT specialist who has experience working for large financial institutions in the UK and understands our industry and related requirements.
We maintain clear and accurate records in our paper based files in filing rooms in our offices which are all are maintained in full security alarmed and 24 hour monitored offices.
If you have any questions about this please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .