SRA confirms November launch for new regulatory model
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have announced that the new SRA Accounts Rules 2019 will come into effect from 25th November 2019 whereby the current 52 rules will be reduced to 13.
The SRA believe these new rules will allow solicitors greater flexibility in the way that they deal with client money.
The new SRA Accounts Rules are designed to be, shorter, more outcome focused and targeted than the existing rules. The SRA state the new rules will continue to focus on the protection of client money but with the freedom for solicitors to use professional judgement in considering how the standards are met, by applying simpler accounting rules that focus on principles rather than technicalities.
To view the main changes between the existing and new rules set out by the ICAEW please click here.
Firms will need to ensure that their written internal controls and procedures are adequate and up to date to ensure compliance. These internal controls and procedures are important for ensuring that accounts staff, fee earners and partners are aware of the firm’s policies and procedures and that they are complied with. They are also important the Reporting Accountant, who will be using these as a basis for our Accounts Rules testing.
The new rules also explicitly set out that each manager (partner in a partnership, member in a LLP or director in a company) in the firm has joint and several liability for compliance with the rules.
The SRA have promised guidance and toolkits on the new rules and their implementation. These will be available in due course on the SRA website - https://www.sra.org.uk
In addition to the new rules November will also see the SRA Digital Badge becoming a mandatory requirement for all regulated firms who run a website. Further details regarding this requirement can be found on the SRA website - https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/resources/transparency/digital-badge.