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Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules: Accountant’s Reports for full reporting periods after 25 November 2019 (TECH 01/21 AAF)

Author: ICAEW, Audit and Assurance Faculty

Published: 04 Mar 2021

This Technical Release is published by ICAEW’s Audit and Assurance Faculty. It provides practical guidance for accountants reporting to the SRA under the SRA Accounts Rules effective from 25 November 2019.

SRA sets Accounts Rules for solicitors handing client money. These aim to keep client money safe, by establishing rules, as well as principles and codes of conduct for firms and solicitors. Solicitors must have systems and controls in place to protect client money.

This Technical Release provides guidance for reporting accountants on how to perform these engagements. This guidance provides the know-how to help reporting accountants to scope and perform their work to meet their professional responsibilities.

The Technical Release has been developed with input from the SRA and is intended to help promote consistency in approach.

TECH 01/21 AAF replaces the following previous technical releases:

Technical Release 03/20 AAF Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules: guidance for reporting accountants following the 2019 changes (TECH 03/20 AAF); and

Technical Release 16/15 AAF Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Accounts Rules: interim guidance for reporting accountants following changes to the Accountant’s Report requirements (TECH 16/15 AAF).

The Accounts Rules are now significantly shorter and focused on principles, rather than prescriptive rules for law firms. The detailed requirements and approach to be taken by the reporting accountant have also been taken out of the Accounts Rules and moved to SRA guidance.

TECH 10/21 AAF includes background to the Accounts Rules, the role of the reporting accountant and practical implications for reporting accountants, including suggested language for letters of engagement. The appendix provides examples of potential further considerations and conclusions on example scenarios that reporting accountants may face.

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