The following Practice Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
This Practice Note sets out the requirements of the SRA Accounts Rules 2019 (the 2019 Rules), in force from 25 November 2019, together with supporting guidance published by the SRA. For background information on the consultations preceding these Rules, see Practice Note: Looking to the future: SRA review of the accounts rules [Archived].
The 2019 Rules form part of the SRA Standards and Regulations. They focus on the key principles of:
keeping client money separate from the firm's money
returning client money promptly at the end of a matter
only using client money for its intended purpose
proportionate requirements for firms to obtain accountants' reports
The Accounts Rules 2019 are much more concise than the 2011 Rules, comprising just over six pages of rules plus a three-page glossary. This does mean a lot of detail is lost, but some of this has been incorporated into guidance—see below: Supporting guidance. Generally, however, the 2019 Rules are written in clear language that is easy to understand.
The Standards and Regulations are accompanied by case studies and guidance in a variety of formats, such as Q&As, warning notices, decision trees and ‘topic guidance’.
In relation to the Accounts Rules, the SRA has published the following guidance:
Do I need to operate a client account?
Helping you keep accurate client accounting records
Accountant's report and the exemption to obtain
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