On engaging us as your accountants and tax agents, you agreed that disputes and/or complaints would be handled in accordance with our firm’s dispute resolution process, which is laid out as follows:
1. In the event that a dispute arises relating to our services, fees or the terms of our engagement, or in the instance that you would like to make a complaint about any aspect of our business, we ask that you first put your grievance into writing so that we have an opportunity to give the matter the time and attention it deserves.
Please email email@example.com with the subject line DISPUTE or COMPLAINT and include the key details of your dispute or complaint, which may involve:
- Product/Service details;
- People and entities involved;
- A summary of any discussions had, or agreements made prior to the dispute/complaint arising; and
- The remedy or outcome you are seeking.
We ask that you please remain calm, polite and professional in your email to us and avoid any emotional or abusive language.
2. We will acknowledge receipt of your dispute/complaint email as soon as we read it, so that you know it has in fact been received by us. Then, within five (5) business days, we will invite you to meet with us to discuss your dispute/complaint either in person or via video chat.
We ask that you give us this time to respond so that we have time to first conduct a thorough review of the situation you’ve described and consider how we can effectively resolve the matter in a way that results in a win/win outcome for the both of us. We would appreciate it if you, too, in this time would consider ways in which we could both resolve the issue and move forward, productively.
3. At the time of our meeting (either in person or via video chat), we will listen carefully to what you have to say and provide you with any information we have gleaned as a result of our review of the situation. It is hoped that by the end of our discussion we will both have agreed to actions or remedies that will resolve your dispute or complaint and that enables us to maintain a productive professional relationship. As our client, you are important to us and we aim to provide the best service we can to you, including on the rare occasion we may not see eye-to-eye.
4. If, after our conversation, you are satisfied that we have worked out a resolution that resolves the problem at hand, fantastic! We will again respond to your initial dispute email to confirm our discussion, the agreed upon resolution/s and any action points that may have arisen.
5. On the other hand, if after our conversation we find that we are unable to agree on a remedy or resolution, we will seek third party assistance by way of the Government of Western Australia’s Small Business Development Corporation, the Australian Government Tax Practitioners Board, CPA Australia or any other unaffiliated third-party body most appropriate to the situation.
Please note that there may be fees attached to engaging third-party mediation/conciliation specialists.
6. If third-party mediation or conciliation still does not result in an outcome we are both agreeable to, it may be appropriate to escalate the matter to arbitration.
Taking a dispute to court can be a time-consuming, expensive and stressful process. Frankly, we would rather not and so we will do the best we can to be open to creative problem-solving and negotiation in order to resolve the dispute or complaint before it gets to this point.
Again, as one of our clients, you are important to us; our professional relationship matters, and we’d like to keep it positive and productive.