The SRA has reviewed and changed several of its policies as of late, but this regulatory body still seems to be seeking further ways to streamline current systems. Following significant adjustments such as the recent plans to redefine the duties of the COLP and COFA, the SRA is now looking to cut the burden of up to 5,000 qualified accountants in terms of their reports, which could obviously make a significant difference to the running of many firms across the UK.
Revising Qualified Reports
As of last month, reports only needed to be sent to the SRA if they had first been qualified by an accountant, but according to Legal Futures this development still means that around half of all firms would need to send such reports. Should these new changes be implemented, a number of fairly big alterations would soon become apparent. The SRA mainly receives reports from accountants in order to adequately safeguard client money, but the standard complaint at present is that qualified reports tend to reveal very little in terms of a risk to the relevant monies.
‘Substantively Comply with Rules’
The worry is that most accountants ‘are not able to exercise their professional judgement’ in this area, instead only being able to notify the SRA of ‘significant areas of concern’. To combat this, work is being proposed on a sample basis, and accountants will be required to evaluate whether or not firms have accurately divided the office money from the client money. Described as a ‘more robust’ system, the hope is that such measures will offer a greater level of protection against fraud.
A lot of the current emphasis is being placed upon ‘proportionate’ dealings. This was a major issue with the aforementioned COLP and COFA situation, as many thought that having such offices in place within excessively small firms was simply counterproductive. In a very similar manner, ‘proportionate burdens and costs’ are now falling upon more firms, but the end goal is always going to be the same; to ensure that compliance is maintained.
Whenever we hear stories about the need to comply with SRA regulations, we are always reminded just how useful it is to attain Lexcel accreditation. Not only does Lexcel exponentially improve your firm’s reputation, but it also guides you through the processes of maintaining compliance at every turn too, so you’ll always be well prepared no matter what standards the SRA decides to enforce. If you’d like to learn more about our in house Lexcel consulting, please contact us today by calling 01939 262502 or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.