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Accounting for solicitors

Accounting for solicitors and legal professionals is a specialist area that requires expertise and an understanding of 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.

SRA accounts rules
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. Published in December 2018. 

Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules: Interim guidance for reporting accountants following changes to the accountant's report requirements (TECH 16/15AAF)
This interim guidance, published in December 2015, 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 2011
Full text of the guidance for accountants issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The latest version was published in December 2018. The new SRA Standards and Regulations, which include the SRA Accounts Rules, will replace the SRA Handbook on 25 November 2019.

Evaluating our reforms: Accountants' reports
Report published in May 2018 setting out changes to the accountant's report requirements and the impact of those changes so far. It explains how accountants can improve the quality of reports submitted to the SRA, sets out the type of information that a good report includes, and offers guidance on how to explain reportable breaches.

Guidance on completing the annual accountant's report (AR1 form)
Guidance from the Solicitors Regulation Authority updated in August 2017. The document covers what accountants need to consider in their report, factors that might lead to the report being submitted to the SRA and examples of the types of checks that may be undertaken by the accountants.

Resources: SRA Accounts Rules 2011
Guides and frequently asked questions on topics covering all aspects of preparing, completing and delivering accountant's reports, including for overseas practices.

Solicitors' Accounts Rules: Previous Accounts Rules
Older versions of the rules, including versions from 2007 and 2008, are also available.

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 covering accounts, account certificates and money laundering.

Other resources

Law Management Section
Website for the Law Management Section of the Law Society. The section focuses on various aspects of practice management including accounting, finance and tax issues for practices. For a number of years the LMS has published an annual LMS Financial Benchmarking Survey, which is currently prepared by accounting firm Hazlewoods LLP.

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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