Accountancy advice for solicitors

Legal practices face a unique set of challenges to ensure they provide efficient, compliant and secure services for their clients.

It's essential for solicitors to maintain compliance with the principles set out by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and that's why internal audits are so crucial.

No business looks forward to the auditing process, but the benefits of increased productivity and streamlined services mean it should be regarded as a positive experience.

The SRA Code of Conduct requires that firms must:

  • Have appropriate systems and controls in place to achieve and comply with all principles, rules, outcomes and other requirements of the handbook.
  • Identify, monitor and manage risks to the achievement of all outcomes, rules, principles and other requirement of the handbook, and take steps to address issues identified.
  • Ensure compliance with all reporting and notification requirements. An Accountants Report must be submitted every 12 months.

Regular auditing can identify any areas of weakness or protocols that are failing to meet the required standards. Objective reviews of working practices, policies and procedures can help to highlight areas that require additional input. These can include general risk prevention and ensuring that all staff are meeting compliance requirements.

Audits can highlight issues such as billing fraud, inefficiencies and poor case management. Identifying and resolving these weaknesses with regular audit checks ensures businesses are compliant and that reputations are maintained.

They can also review the firm's technical performance and look at productivity, cost-effectiveness or time recording in more detail. Effective scoring and reporting mechanisms can then be introduced, and reports created to identify trends, both good and bad.

Audit results can also form part of the COLP (Compliance Officers for Legal Practice) annual declaration, and give them an understanding of the firm's risk profile. Professional Indemnity Insurers (PII) will welcome firms that use auditing as part of their overall risk management strategy.

Here at Perrys our highly-qualified specialist team has a detailed knowledge of the legal sector and the experience to interpret its ever-changing rules and complex regulations.

For more information or to arrange a free initial consultation, please contact Declan McCusker onĀ mccusker@perry-company.co.uk.