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Accounting for solicitors

Published: 12 Apr 2016 Updated: 21 May 2024 Update History

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.

We maintain a separate page on accounting for limited liability partnerships (LLPs) as well as a business and industry guide on the legal services sector.

ICAEW guidance and support

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 Accounts Rules: Accountant’s Reports for full reporting periods after 25 November 2019 (TECH 01/21 AAF)
Audit and Assurance Faculty, March 2021
Practical guidance for accountants reporting to the SRA under the SRA Accounts Rules effective from 25 November 2019.

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' Accounts Rules

England and Wales

SRA Accounts Rules
Full text of the current rules issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in effect from 25 November 2019. The rules, part of the SRA's Standards and Regulations, 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. The blue information icon for each rule provides access to further information including guidance and a glossary of terms.

SRA Guidance: Accounts and Finance
Guidance produced by the SRA in relation to the Account Rules for use by firms and reporting accountants. Areas covered include 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, improper use of a client account as a banking facility, taking money for a firm's costs and authorisation for withdrawing residual client balances.

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.

Scotland

Rules and guidance
Online version of the Law Society of Scotland rules, including a section on Accounts, Accounts Certificate, Professional Practice and Guarantee Fund (Rule B6).

Featured resources

Croner-i Audit and Accounting Sector Guides

Croner-i publishes a Solicitors Sector guide that includes information on practice structures, funding options, management information, accounting and reporting requirements and example accounts.

To find out more, please contact the Library enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com. Access to this resource is for ICAEW members and students only.

Croner-i Solicitors and Other Client Money Programmes

The Solicitors and Other Client Money Programmes manual, published by Croner-i, provides guidance and work programmes for the audit of client money in a number of sectors including solicitors under the SRA Accounts Rules.

To find out more, please contact the Library enquiry team on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or at library@icaew.com. Access to this resource is for ICAEW members and students only.

Useful links

Leadership and 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.

eBooks

The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Online articles

The library provides access to a range of articles in full text from leading business, finance and management journals. Access to articles is provided to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Articles and books in the ICAEW Library collection

The collection of the ICAEW Library & Information Service includes a number of articles and books on accounting for solicitors. Use the links below to see some of the titles available to request in our Library catalogue (Libcat).

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to borrowing books.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.

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