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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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This book is now Out of Print.
A new edition has been published, the details can be seen here:
Solicitors' Accounts Manual 13th ed isbn 9781784460150

Solicitors' Accounts Manual 12th ed

ISBN13: 9781907698194
New Edition ISBN: 9781784460150
Previous Edition ISBN: 9781853288081
Published: November 2011
Publisher: Law Society Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

On 6 October 2011 the biggest change to law firm regulation in decades will come into effect with the introduction of the SRA Handbook.

Significant changes have been made to the SRA Accounts Rules, a key part of the SRA Handbook that outlines the requirements in place to protect client money. Staff with financial responsibilities within solicitors’ practices will need to prepare in advance of implementation on 6 October to ensure compliance with the revised Rules.

The fully updated 12th Edition of the Solicitors’ Accounts Manual provides the text of the Rules, taking account of key changes made since June 2009 including:-

  • the stipulated appointment of a new role, the Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (CoFA)
  • the requirement for firms to have a written policy on the payment of interest to clients to ensure fair and reasonable procedures
  • clearer delineation between mandatory and explanatory guidance notes
  • the use of electronic signatures for withdrawals from client accounts and the signing and delivery of bills
  • greater emphasis on proper governance and the safe-keeping of clients’ money
  • the need for firms to have appropriate systems and controls in place for withdrawals from client accounts
  • permission for firms to obtain and retain electronic copies of bank statements rather than relying on paper statements
  • the move from reconciliation every 14 weeks to every 5 weeks.

Reflecting the advent of alternative business structures (ABSs), the Rules emphasise that their application is required for activities that are regulated by the SRA.

Legal Practice Management, Accounting
Part A: General (Rules 1-13)
Part B: Client money and operation of a client account (Rules 14-23)
Part C: Interest (Rules 24-28)
Part D: Accounting systems and records (Rules 29-33)
Part E: Monitoring and investigation by the SRA (Rule 34)
Part F: Accountants' reports (Rules 35-49)
Part G: Overseas practice (Rules 50-54)
Part H: Commencement (Rule 55)