Basic account procedures 2011 [Archived]
Basic account procedures 2011 [Archived]

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

  • Basic account procedures 2011 [Archived]
  • Keeping client money safe
  • Requirements
  • Systems and controls
  • Receiving client money
  • Requirements
  • Systems and controls
  • Client account withdrawals
  • Requirements
  • Systems and controls
  • More...

This Practice Note sets basic accounts procedures firms are expected to implement and is drawn from:

  1. the SRA Accounts Rules 2011 (SRA AR 2011)

  2. SRA Guidelines on Accounting Procedures and Systems at Appendix 3 of the SRA AR 2011

You may be required to justify any departure from the guidelines

Keeping client money safe


The over-arching objective of the SRA AR 2011 is to keep client money safe. Except when the rules provide otherwise, you must:

  1. keep other people's money separate from your money

  2. keep other people's money safely in a bank or building society account identifiable as a client account 

Systems and controls

You should have clear policies, systems and procedures to control access to computerised client accounts by determining who should have 'write to' and 'read only' access.

Passwords should be held confidentially by designated personnel and changed regularly to maintain security.

Access to the system should not unreasonably be restricted to a single person nor should more people than necessary be given access.

Unused client account cheques should be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access. Blank cheques should not be pre-signed. Any cancelled cheques should be retained.

Receiving client money


Client money must be:

  1. paid into a client account without delay, ie on the day of receipt or on the next working day

  2. held in a client account, except when the rules provide to the contrary

Only client money may be paid into or held in a client account, except in one of the

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