Magazine article The CPA Journal

Alternative Dispute Resolution for CPAs

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Alternative Dispute Resolution for CPAs

Article excerpt


By James John Jurinski, JD, CPA American Management Association, $171 ($139 for AICPA members)

Review by Philip Zimmerman, CPA

Whether in public practice or industry, CPAs are accustomed to hearing about disputes with employees, customers, and suppliers. Opportunity costs-those incurred through time-consuming litigation or through loss of valuable, long-term relationships with clients or suppliers enmeshed in litigation-can be even greater than the cash costs.

The AICPA and the American Management Association have developed a self study course designed to help CPAs understand the inner workings of alternative dispute resolution. Author James John Jurinski is a tax and business law professor and a mediator and arbitrator for the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). He also maintains a law practice in Portland, Ore.

The book is a complete, understandable, and sensible course on almost everything a CPA needs to know about mediation and arbitration as distinct processes in relation to litigation. The book contains much to recommend it but lacks a discussion of the principles and good practices of negotiation and the specifics on the practice opportunities for CPAs as neutrals in negotiations.

The fastest and least costly way to resolve a dispute-even more so than mediation-is negotiation. Even CPAs comfortable with negotiation would benefit from an explanation of better negotiation techniques, such as is found in Fisher and Ury's Getting to Yes or "The CPA Negotiator: The Next Step" by Hanan Isaacs, Esq. (The CPA Journal, September 1999).

A new chapter on the CPA as a neutral would encourage CPAs, who as Jurinski says, have the most important qualities of a good mediator-"integrity and the ability to instill confidence in the participants"-to become more involved in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceedings. …

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