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Accounting for solicitors

Accounting for solicitors and legal professionals is a specialist area that requires an understanding of rules and regulations in the sector. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to Solicitors' Accounts Rules, practical guidance and background information.

What's on this page?

  • ICAEW support and guidance
  • Solicitors' Account Rules
  • Online articles
  • Books and articles from the library

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

ICAEW support and guidance

Solicitors Community
The community provides practical support to chartered accountants within the sector. It offers news updates and technical guidance, as well as conferences and seminars.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules: Guidance for reporting accountants following the 2019 changes (TECH 3/20 AAF)
Audit and Assurance Faculty, January 2020
Guidance for reporting accountants providing an accountant’s report under the SRA Accounts Rules effective from 25 November 2019. It discusses the Accounts Rules and form of the accountant's report, the role of the reporting accountant, practical implications for reporting accountants and law firms, and examples of potential conclusions on the qualification of an accountant's report

SRA accounts rules
Technical Advisory Service, December 2019
Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members identify appropriate sources of guidance and support when undertaking the role of Reporting Accountant under the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Accounts Rules. It highlights SRA warning notices that identify key areas of concern regarding client accounts.

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules: Interim guidance for reporting accountants following changes to the accountant's report requirements (TECH 16/15AAF)
Audit and Assurance Faculty, December 2015
This interim guidance has been prepared for ICAEW members involved in the preparation of an Accountant's Report on behalf of law firms following an announcement by the SRA of changes to the form of the Accountant's Report and the background under which Reporting Accountants are undertaking their role.

Solicitors' Accounts Rules

England and Wales

SRA Accounts Rules
Full text of the current guidance for accountants issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in effect from 25 November 2019. The rules set out requirements for client money and client accounts, dealing with other money belonging to clients or third parties, and accountants' reports and storage and retention of accounting records.

Standards and Regulations resources: Accounts Rules
Key guidance produced by the SRA to help professionals adapt to the new Accounts Rules. The guides cover the accountant's report and the exemption to obtain one, operating a client account, keeping accurate client accounting records, joint accounts and record keeping,planning for and completing an accountant's report, third-party managed accounts.

SRA Accounts Rules 2011
Previous version of the Accounts Rules that were in effect from October 2011 to November 2019. The SRA Handbook was superseded by the SRA Standards and Regulations from 25 November 2019. Previous resources for the 2011 Accounts Rules are still available online.

Northern Ireland

Solicitors Accounts Regulations 2014
Full text of the regulations issued by the Law Society of Northern Ireland in 2014. A guidance note is available.

Solicitors Accounts Regulations 1998
Full text of the regulations as published by the Law Society of Northern Ireland in 1998.


Rules and guidance
Online version of the Law Society of Scotland rules, including a section covering accounts, account certificates and money laundering.

Other resources

Law Management Section
The Law Society community for partners, leaders and practice managers in legal businesses. The community runs an annual Financial Benchmarking Survey, recognised as the financial health check for small to medium-sized firms.

Review of the Regulatory Framework for Legal Services in England and Wales
Archived website to support the review of the regulatory framework for legal services (often referred to as the Clementi report). Chapter F of the final report, published on 15 December 2004, looked at Alternative Business Structures including Multi-Disciplinary Practices.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use. 

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

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