The protection of client money is a priority risk in the SRA Risk Outlook 2018/2019 and it is essential that anyone who works in the finance department or deals with the accounts in a law firm has good knowledge and understanding of the rules. The cost of getting it wrong in relation to the SRA Accounts Rules can be devastating!
This year will see the SRA introduce a new set of SRA Accounts Rules – the first major update for over 20 years. The new rules will be simpler with only 13 rules but they will have lengthy guidelines to follow with them. They will allow you to make some considerable changes to the way you work.
This course will guide you through both set of rules comparing the differences along the way.
This course will cover the following:
- Setting the scene – a history of the accounts rules and an update of the SRA Risk Outlook and the SRA Financial Stability Programme
- The SRA Handbook and Outcomes-Focused Regulation (OFR)
- What makes accounting in law firms so different
- Double entry book keeping principles
- Why do we have a client and office account?
- Which accounting entries go into each account
- Key definitions in the SRA Account Rules
- What are disbursements and professional disbursements? How should they be billed and when and how should they be paid?
- The key rules including:
- The principles
- Rules 1 – 12 General Rules including:
- Overarching objective and underlying principles
- Persons governed by the rules
- Principals’ responsibility for compliance
- Duty to remedy breaches
- Categories of money
- Rules 13 – 21 Client money and the operation of the client account including:
- Client accounts
- The use of a client account
- Client money withheld from the client account
- Receipt and transfer of costs
- Receipt of mixed payments
- Withdrawals from the client account
- Rules 22 – 25 interest rules
- Rules 26 – 30 accounting systems and records
- Rules 31 – 52 monitoring and investigations by the SRA and the Accountants Report
- Rules that are most frequently breached
- What is a non-material and material breach
- Recording and reporting of breaches to the COFA
- The new SRA Accounts Rules 2018 in more detail – what the changes may mean to you