Following a Board meeting earlier this week, the SRA has announced a u-turn over its plans to scrap the annual Accountant’s Report.
Instead, the SRA has decided that practices will only need to submit an Accountant’s Report if it has been qualified by their accountant.
The SRA has also announced that firms that receive 100% of their fees from
Legal Aid work will not need to have an audit at all. This is expected to benefit just 1% of practices.
It is pleasing to see that the SRA have listened to the many different constructive arguments put forward during the consultation period, in particular the need to update the Accounts Rules. The plan is now for a new version of the Accounts Rules to be put in place by April 2016. In advance of this the SRA will be issuing a revised Accountant’s Report format at some point in the next 6 months.
We have noticed over the last 6 months that when the SRA does make contact with practices in connection with their financial stability review, they are taking the opportunity to discuss the contents of the Accountants Report and therefore it is really important that all responsible individuals review the Report and understand the findings and in particular how improvements can be made.