By Sam Snelson
On 15 July 2015, the Solicitors Regulation Authority announced further changes to the format of accountants' reports for solicitors' practices, with the aim of making the requirements on the submission of accountants' reports more relevant.
Assuming these SRA rule changes are approved by the Legal Services Board, they will come into force on 1 November 2015.
A key change will be that accountants can focus on risks to client money, rather than having to qualify reports for trivial breaches of the rules.
We welcome these changes to the rules, and look forward to receiving further clarity and detail. The reduction in red tape will give us more scope to use our professional judgement and advise our law firm clients of potential risks. Our focus will be on the key issues when ensuring that firms are conforming to SRA rules and appropriately safeguarding client money.
Further ahead, the SRA has confirmed that it will look at simplifying the Accounts Rules themselves. We await these further developments with interest.
With greater emphasis being placed on the judgement of accountants, it seems even more important for law firms to ensure their accountants have extensive professional firm expertise.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues, please email me or call on 020 7490 7766.
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