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SRA launches further consultation on accountants' reports

We have launched a second consultation on accountants' reports today, Tuesday 18 November.

We have already made some changes to accountants' reports as part of our Regulatory Reform programme. Firms now only have to deliver a report to us if it is qualified, while firms that receive 100 per cent of their fees from Legal Aid work do not need to obtain a report at all.

This next phase consultation looks at redefining the circumstances in which accountants' reports are qualified, and amendments to the format of the reports. It also considers which pose a low risk to clients' funds could be excluded.

Annette Lovell, Director of Regulatory Policy, said: "The underlying purpose of obtaining accountant’s reports is to ensure client monies are properly protected. We are proposing that the rules are changed to give greater importance to the professional judgement of the reporting accountant in identifying significant risks to the proper handling of clients’ funds. This was something raised in our first consultation and we revisit this issue in the new consultation.

"We also look at the redesign form which should make it easier for accountants to decide what checks and tests they need to confirm, both to us and the firms concerned, that client monies are safe.

"We are also seeking views about whether some firms - only those presenting a low risk to client monies - should be required to obtain a report at all. We welcome views from all those who will be affected by these proposals."

The consultation can be accessed here:

Go to the consultation

It closes on 28 January, 2015. 

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