Changes in the Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR)
As you will no doubt be aware there has been numerous changes in the Solicitors Accounts Rules (SAR) sine the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) released its policy statement ‘Approach to regulation and its reform’. As a consequence only qualified reports will be submitted to the SRA. These changes took effect from 1 November 2016.
As part of the consultation the SRA sought to redefine the qualification criteria meaning the Reporting Accountant would have to adopt the approach they take to SRA assignments. The headline changes include:
- The removal of lower risk firms to obtain an Accountants Report where the firms average client balance is less than £10,000 and a maximum account balance of £250,000
- Removal of the detailed requirements of Rule 39 enabling accountants to exercise their judgement when determining the work to perform and the change in criteria to allow the accountant to determine judgement and only report material breaches or significant weaknesses in the firm’s systems and controls.
When you delve deeper into the changes, the vast majority of the SRA accounts rules remain the same meaning solicitors will have to continue to follow their specific and detailed requirements however, certain rules have been amended or in fact deleted so care should be taken to understand those changes.
There is no change in the fact that the reporting accountant and the work undertaken is intended to provide assurance that clients funds are properly safeguarded.
If you would like to discuss any of the points further or any of the changes implemented contact us on 01753 888211 or email email@example.com