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Changes to the filing SRA qualified reports

Updated 16 October 2020: Janet Taylor, Director and SRA expert at PKF Francis Clark, explains how qualified reports will need to be filed via mySRA after 30 September 2020.

As the 30 September deadline approaches, reporting accountants should be aware of a change to submissions of qualified accountants’ reports. Traditionally, qualified accountants’ reports were submitted via email to the SRA in the form of a completed AR1 and any appendices. However, the SRA has recently changed their system for filing qualified reports, which should now be submitted through a mySRA account.

Representatives from the ICAEW Solicitors Advisory group and the Audit and Assurance Faculty recently met with the SRA to discuss practical issues and to clarify several concerns regarding these recent changes. 

The new system requires the individual submitting to select the rules which have been breached and to provide information on each individual breach. The SRA confirmed that this should include the same level of detail previously provided with the AR1 and any appendices relating to the breach. There is no need, for example, to append copies of ledgers, statements etc. The system allows users to generate a printable copy of the submitted form, including confirmation of which documents were uploaded, as well as the declaration made by the submitter. 

While it remains the responsibility of the law firm to file the report, in the past, reporting accountants have often filed these reports on their behalf. The SRA still allows for this in the future and clarified that reporting accountants can set up mySRA accounts to submit qualified reports on behalf of law firms. 

The SRA have clarified that the AR1 may continue to be used by accountants, for unqualified and qualified reports. When a report is qualified the AR1 should be uploaded to mySRA, by either the reporting accountant or the law firm. This should be attached to the declaration. You can access the AR1 form and the SRA’s guidance here.

The ICAEW Solicitors Advisory group is aware that some reporting accountants have encountered difficulties in making submissions under the new system. Due to these issues, reporting accountants who intend to submit reports for the 30 September deadline are encouraged to take time to familiarise themselves with the new system in advance. 

However, for submissions for the 30 September deadline, the SRA has agreed to an interim solution for those encountering issues with submitting on mySRA. The SRA will continue to accept AR1s submitted via the email address sraaccountantsreports@sra.org.uk for the 30 September deadline.

We anticipate that users may be expected to submit through the new system for October filings. The ICAEW Solicitors Advisory group will update the community regarding this further as more information is known.

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