As the Compliance Officer for Finance & Administration (COFA) for your practice, you’re responsible for ensuring your finances are managed in compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules. These rules exist for the important purpose of protecting client monies, including outcomes-focused provisions on authorising withdrawals from client accounts and accounting for interest.
Any incidents of non-compliance must be recorded and reported to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) but the type of systems and controls is not prescribed.
Despite the non-prescriptive format of the outcomes-focused regulation regime, don’t underestimate your compliance responsibilities. The SRA adopts a zero tolerance approach to non-compliance, with further investigation, enforcement action or, in extreme cases, removal from practice resulting from non-observance with the SRA Accounts Rules.
You need a robust structure in place to satisfy mandatory SRA regulations and administer your new risk, compliance management and reporting obligations.