The SRA have confirmed all COFA nominations must be finalised by 31st July.
The COFA and COLP roles are designed to be in the interests of the client and aim to protect both them and the Solicitors.
The role of the COFA is to:
– Take all reasonable steps to ensure compliance with the SRA’s accounts rules
– To record all failures to comply. Also to report any such failures to comply to the SRA as soon as reasonably practicable, although in the case of non-material breaches, the firm will still be deemed compliant if they are reported as part of the Information Report required under Rule 8.7 of the Authorisation Rules.
In order to be in a position to discharge their role fully, the COFA will need to consider whether they:
– Have access to all accounting records
– Carry out regular checks on the accounting systems
– Carry out file and ledger reviews
– Ensure that the reporting accountant has prompt access to all the information needed to complete the accountants report
– Take steps to ensure that breaches of the SRA Accounts Rules are remedied promptly
– Can report all breaches, which are material either on their own or as part of a pattern, to the SRA and can monitor, review and manage risks to compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules.
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