The complaints process does not investigate issues relating to fees. Fees charged by CPA Australia members are a commercial matter between the member and their clients and are outside of CPA Australia's jurisdiction.

Where a dispute regarding fees arises you should talk to the member about your concerns with the view to reaching a settlement. If this fails, consider contacting an organisation which mediates commercial disputes. There is usually a cost in using mediation services.

Be aware that if you choose not to pay the member they may raise a claim against you in a court of law which you will need to defend.

As the accountancy profession is not regulated, there is no schedule of fees for accountants, tax agents, financial planners or advisers. The marketplace determines rates and ensures fees remain competitive.

Fees will vary based on many factors, including number of employees, the service being provided and the practice's costs and overheads. Whenever you use the services of a CPA Australia member you should request a letter of engagement that clearly sets out the services to be provided and the basis on which fees will be charged.

The complaints process does not investigate issues relating to fees. Fees charged by CPA Australia members are a commercial matter between the member and their clients and are outside of CPA Australia's jurisdiction. Where a dispute regarding fees arises you should talk to the member about your concerns with the view to reaching a settlement.

Q. Can a CPA Australia member use a debt collector or sue me for outstanding fees which I dispute?
A. Yes, fees are a commercial matter and can therefore be recovered by legal means.

Q. Are CPA Australia members entitled to charge for a first visit?
A. Yes, unless otherwise stated or agreed, all time spent by a CPA Australia member or their employees attending to your matters is chargeable. This can include time taken to answer telephone enquiries.

Q. Can a CPA Australia member send me a bill if I no longer employ their services?
A. Yes, but only for work performed before you stopped employing their services and for which you have not already been charged.

Q. Can a CPA Australia member deduct their fees out of my tax return?
A. Yes, but only if you have authorised them to do so in writing and only if the CPA Australia member operates a trust account.

Q. What can I do if the fees I'm charged are higher this year for the same work?
A. Please refer to your letter of engagement as fees can increase each year due to increases in the consumer price index, professional indemnity insurance and other operating costs.

Q. Does CPA Australia have a schedule of fees for professional services?
A. No.

Q. Can a CPA Australia member keep my documents until I pay their fees?
A. This depends on each individual situation. When a CPA Australia member keeps your records until payment is received they are exercising a lien.

A lien is a form of security and is a common law right which permits A to retain B's property until B satisfies an outstanding claim to A. An accountant's right to exercise a lien over a client's documents is not always straightforward, particularly when trying to establish ownership of the documents.