Institute of Certified Bookkeepers
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Conflict of interest vs client conflict

  • Member in Practice
  • Practice Certificate
  • 1 post
  • # 118594

Hi group.  A few years ago the managing director of a company, which is my major client, left that company. That director retained the physical building which houses the business and therefore became the landlord of the company to which they previously belonged.  Both parties, the company and the landlord, asked me to continue as their BAS agent and bookkeeping support with the understanding I would be mindful of conflict of interest issues.  Everything has worked fine with me being involved in both sided of the lease transaction processes. 

Now we have COVID-19 and the company revenue has ceased and they are trying to negotiate a temporary rent reduction which the landlord does not agree to. The next step is for them to seek mediation through the COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Centre.  My dilemma is:  Now that there is a conflict between my 2 clients would I be in breach of my ICB Code of Conduct (and my own code of conduct) by continuing to work for both sides as they both want me to be involved in the processing and they both want to become the point of contact for both parties, which I am not comfortable doing despite the consent of both parties.

I refer to this item in the ICB Code of Conduct:  A member should not undertake work for a client in which the member has a significant pecuniary interest or where the interests of the member and their client conflict, without prior written consent of all relevant parties.

What is the consensus?

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