10 things you should have done as COFA!
The introduction of the Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (COFA) and more crucially the reporting duties that are incumbent on the role, has seen firms adopt a shift in focus away from past tendencies to reactively remedy breaches to the more proactive prevention of breaches.
Acting after the event puts COFAs in the potential hot seat of reporting a material breach to the SRA. With responsibility for recording every breach of Accounts Rules, there should be no more crossing of fingers at audit time and hoping that certain files aren’t picked. With the COFAs reporting obligations for material breaches along with the likelihood that Reporting Accountants will ask to review breach registers, in addition to the possibility that the SRA might require sight of the firm’s breach register at any time, in the current climate there is no escaping breach reporting (irrespective of the criticisms about the SRAs obvious lack of resources for handling a large volume of material breaches reported).
Here are a few suggestions (in no particular order) as to the areas that those (lucky) COFAs in conjunction with the firm’s management team should have in hand by now as we head towards the first anniversary of the role: