Accounts compliance failures—regulatory requirements, systems and controls
Accounts compliance failures—regulatory requirements, systems and controls

The following Practice Compliance guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Accounts compliance failures—regulatory requirements, systems and controls
  • Key terms
  • Duties
  • Systems and controls
  • Reporting compliance failures to the SRA

The compliance officer for finance and administration (COFA) is responsible for recording and reporting failures to comply with the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 (SRA AR 2011). This obligation is imposed by the SRA and it is important that the COFA implements robust systems and procedures to ensure compliance.

Key terms

ABS alternative business structure regulated by the SRA—characterised by the involvement of non-lawyer owners and/or managers
COFA compliance officer for finance and administration
COLP compliance officer for legal practice
firm solicitor practice or ABS
solicitor practice sole practice, partnership, LLP or company wholly owned and managed by lawyers
SRA Solicitors Regulation Authority

Duties

The COFA has three core functions:

  1. internal implementation of compliance systems

  2. external reporting of failures to the SRA

  3. maintaining records of compliance failures

Internal compliance function

The COFA must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the legal practice, its managers and its employees comply with any obligations under SRA AR 2011. The COFA is not responsible for general regulatory compliance.