Paul and Roger
Roger asked his bank for business advice about his retail hardware business. He was concerned about his business model, marketing and location. The bank suggested he see Paul, an accountant and business advisor.
Paul analysed the accounting records in detail and found deficiencies. He recommended a stocktake so the current position could be established. Roger did this but got no further feedback from Paul except for an invoice for services to date. Roger refused to pay because he did not feel he had received any value. Paul’s solicitor recommended mediation at CJC.
At the mediation, it became clear that Roger and Paul had different ideas about what the expected work was. Roger explained he did not want a detailed financial analysis of the current situation; he wanted a forward-looking strategy for increasing his market share. He assumed the bank had briefed Paul about this. Paul explained the bank had not contacted him and that in any event he could not help with a strategy until the current position was established and accounting deficiencies remedied. He wanted to be paid for work done to date before he would proceed further.
Paul and Roger agreed that their differing expectations and assumptions about the bank’s role had not assisted them to develop a good working relationship. Roger did not want to change accountants and Paul agreed he wanted to continue with the work.
Paul offered to accept 60% of the amount claimed for work done so far on the condition Roger agreed on further necessary accounting work before the strategic plan was developed. Roger agreed and their business relationship was preserved.