The SRA Accounts Rules 2019

The SRA Accounts Rules 2019

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The implementation date for the new SRA Accounts Rules is set for 25 November 2019. On that date the current 52-rule SRA Accounts Rules 2011 will be replaced by the less prescriptive 13-rule SRA Accounts Rules 2019. https://beta.sra.org.uk/accounts-rules

On 4 July 2019, the SRA updated their guidance on the rules. This is broken down into six sections 

The purpose of this guidance is to help firms understand when the exemption to obtaining an accountant's report applies and to provide assistance on how to assess whether those criteria have been met.

  • Do I need to operate a client account?

https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/guidance/ethics-guidance/Do-I-need-to-operate-a-client-account-.page

This is a set of questions and answers for SRA authorised firms that receive and hold client money in the form of fees and disbursements and want to rely on the exemption not to operate a client account.

The SRA Accounts Rules require you to keep and maintain accurate, contemporaneous, and chronological records to show your dealings with client money (rule 8.1). This information helps you to understand ways in which you might comply with these obligations, as well as providing wider best practice advice.

  • Joint accounts and record keeping

https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/guidance/ethics-guidance/Joint-accounts-and-record-keeping.page

This advice will help you think about the types of joint accounts that you may operate and the records which you need to keep in order to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules.

This instruction is designed to help:

  • Plan what work might need to be undertaken and how to assure that client money is properly safeguarded
  • Assess what factors might lead the accountant to decide that the report should be qualified and therefore submitted to the SRA for further consideration of the risks posed
  • Third party managed accounts

https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/guidance/ethics-guidance/Third-party-managed-accounts.page

This direction explains:

  • What steps you should take when you want to engage a third party manager account (TPMA) provider
  • The type of TPMA you can use
  • What you should do to make sure your client understands how their money is being held
  • What you should tell us as your regulator

Further guidance notes are expected to be issued in the run up to the implementation of the new rules. MHA Larking Gowen will be presenting a course on the new rules in October. Details will follow when the date and venue are confirmed.

In the meantime, if you require any further assistance, please contact our Legal team on 0330 024 0888 or email enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk

Richard Betts

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