If you choose to do a simple engagement letter instead of a contract, here are 5 things to include:
1. Scope of work – Describe your services: bill pay, accounts payable, accounts receivable, controller work, budgeting, etc.
2. Length of contract – How long will the project/work take? Is it ongoing? How will it end? What if client still owes you money? Put a statement like, “ In the event that this Agreement is terminated, CLIENT’s financial obligation to COMPANY will be for payments already made under this Agreement and for a prorated portion of payment accrued but not yet paid.”
3. Compensation – What is your rate-hourly, project based, flat rate or retainer? Do you charge by minute or in 15 minute increments? When do you expect payment- within 10 days, 30 days? What about out of pocket expenses?
4. Liability- A ‘hold harmless clause’ is often a good idea. Something like, “CLIENT shall hold COMPANY free and harmless from any obligations, costs, claims, judgments, attorney’s fees, or attachments arising from, or growing out of, the services rendered to CLIENT pursuant to the terms of this Agreement.” Be sure and check your own state for particular laws.
5. Confidentiality clause- State that you will hold in confidence all financial matters and materials of sensitive nature.
Clear expectations make happy clients!