We have seen increasing levels of activity from the SRA as part of their stated plans to further engage with firms. They appear to be paying particular interest in two areas, that is, financial stability and adherence to the SRA Accounts Rules 2011. With regard to financial stability, some firms are being asked to provide details of all current borrowings and financial arrangements within 14 days of being asked and to prepare themselves for a visit from the SRA to talk through current business plans and management accounts including budgets and cash-flow forecasts. It is important now more than ever that firms are able to demonstrate to the SRA that they are taking this seriously. The SRA is using Forensic Investigation and the threat of Regulatory Management in order to make firms comply.
In order for firms to meet their obligations under the Handbook and the Accounts Rules it is essential that firms have developed a COFA matter file review programme that demonstrates they are complying with this requirement and maintaining accurate registers of material and non-material breaches with a particular emphasis on clearing out residual balances. Financial Eye is able to offer an annual support package that provides the COFA with all of the tools required to meet their obligations to the SRA incorporating a COFA checklist and risk index and help them to develop and deliver a comprehensive COFA matter file review programme.
For more information, please contact Financial Eye.
David Thorpe – Financial Eye
10th November 2014