Fee Mediation

Fee mediation is provided at no cost, on written request from both parties. Before requesting the service, the parties should make a genuine attempt to settle the dispute themselves. Where this is not possible, a mediator will be appointed to resolve the dispute informally.

The Client's Role

A client wishing to use the fee mediation service should make a request in writing. The Fee Mediation Form may be used, or a separate letter may be sent if preferred. In either case, the information required includes the following:

  • a request that CPA Alberta appoint a mediator,
  • the name of the Chartered Professional Accountant(s) with whom there is a dispute,
  • an outline of the actions taken to resolve the dispute (briefly, please), and
  • a confirmation that, to the client's knowledge, the matter is not before the courts. If this confirmation cannot be given because legal action has commenced, it is sometimes possible to postpone legal action until mediation has been attempted. In such a case, there must be consent to the postponement, in writing, from all the parties concerned, and a copy of the written consent given to CPA Alberta.

The Chartered Professional Accountant's Role

After being advised of the complaint, the Chartered Professional Accountant will inform CPA Alberta if he/she wishes to use the service. If the service is to be requested, the CPA should send a letter to CPA Alberta which will include the following:

  • a request that CPA Alberta appoint a mediator,
  • an outline of the problem, naming the client, stating the service rendered, the amount of the fee in dispute, and the problems as the CPA sees them,
  • an outline of actions taken to resolve the dispute, and
  • a confirmation that, to the CPA's knowledge, the matter is not before the courts. If this confirmation cannot be given because legal action has commenced, it is sometimes possible to postpone legal action until mediation has been attempted. In such a case, there must be consent to the postponement, in writing, from all parties concerned, and a copy of the written consent given to CPA Alberta.

Procedures to be Followed by CPA Alberta

If the CPA is not willing to use the fee mediation service, CPA Alberta will so advise the client, and CPA Alberta can take no further action.

If the CPA agrees to use the mediation service, the matter is referred to the Chief Executive Officer of CPA Alberta or designee who may either:

  • appoint one or more persons to mediate the matter, or
  • recommend to the client and the CPA that they apply for arbitration, if the Chief Executive Officer feels the dispute should go directly to arbitration.

The person appointed to mediate the matter will discuss the problems with each party and attempt to resolve the dispute.

If mediation cannot resolve the dispute, the person conducting the mediation will attempt to obtain a commitment from both parties to pursue formal arbitration.

A written mediation report will not be made available to either the client or the CPA.

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