Accounts manual for accounts or finance team—law firms 2019
Accounts manual for accounts or finance team—law firms 2019

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

  • Accounts manual for accounts or finance team—law firms 2019
  • Appendix 1 [Office OR Business] account and general client account details
  • Appendix 2Payment of interest policy
  • Appendix 3 [TPMA procedure
  • Appendix 4Authorised signatories for client account withdrawals
  • Appendix 5Procedures for client account withdrawals
  • Appendix 6Requirements for joint accounts and client’s own account

  1. 1


  2. This document sets out our [accounting OR finance] systems and controls. Any person working in the firm’s [Accounts OR Finance] department must ensure they have read and understand the contents. There is a separate, shorter version of this document for use by fee earners and other, non-[Accounts OR Finance] staff.

  3. 2

    Basic principles

    1. 2.1

      We must safeguard money and assets entrusted to the firm by clients and others.

    2. 2.2

      We must at all times comply with the SRA Accounts Rules (the Accounts Rules). Except where the Accounts Rules provide otherwise, we must:

      1. 2.2.1

        keep client money separate from the firm’s money;

      2. 2.2.2

        keep client money safely in a bank or building society (in England and Wales) account identifiable as a client account of the firm;

      3. 2.2.3

        withdraw client money from a client account only:

        1. (a)

          for the purpose for which the client money is being held;

        2. (b)

          following receipt of instructions; or

        3. (c)

          on the SRA’s prior written authorisation or in prescribed circumstances

      4. 2.2.4

        account for a fair sum of interest on any client money the firm holds;

      5. 2.2.5

        establish and maintain effective accounting arrangements, systems and internal controls;

      6. 2.2.6

        keep accurate, contemporaneous and chronological records of our dealings with client money; and

      7. 2.2.7

        not provide banking facilities through