The syndic offers a conciliation service for professional fees. The Office of the syndic receives complaints about CPA fees and attempts to bring the two parties together through conciliation.
An application to lodge a disciplinary complaint against a CPA may be filed at the same time as an application for conciliation, providing the following conditions have been satisfied:
- the account must not have been paid, or if it has been, either in full or in part, the application for conciliation must be presented within 45 days of receiving the invoice or after a decision of the Disciplinary Council that expressly calls into question the quality or relevance of a professional act that has been billed. In the case of progress billing or of an account payable in several instalments, the deadline runs from the date of receipt of the most recent statement of fees or from the most recent instalment due date;
- no other legal proceeding (before small claims court, for example) may be underway.
The application respecting a statement of fees must be filed in writing with the syndic and include the invoices and any other relevant voucher. In the case of a succession, the application is made by the liquidators.
The syndic informs the CPA involved within three days of receiving the application for conciliation. From that moment on, the CPA may not undertake any other legal proceedings. The syndic then gathers the information relevant to the application.
If an agreement is reached following the conciliation process, it is recorded in writing. The ensuing payment is sent to the Order and then forwarded to the CPA.
If no agreement is reached at the end of the conciliation process, a report is submitted to the person who requested the conciliation. The report mentions arbitration as a possible recourse and may include a suggestion from the syndic regarding the amount of fees.