Our committees

Finance and Audit Committee

Members

Terms of reference

Purpose

  • To advise the Board on matters relating to the effective management of SRA resources, with respect to financial controls and capital expenditure.
  • To advise the Board on the effectiveness of the systems of internal control and operational risk management.
  • To advise the Board on the SRA’s budget and on the integrity of the management accounts.

Duties

Financial matters and controls
  • To advise the Board on setting the SRA’s financial plans and budgets (including scrutinising the draft annual budget and Net Funding Requirement).
  • To monitor the overall financial status of the SRA, including funding and expenditure against budget.
  • To ensure there is an effective financial control environment, including systems for financial management, accounting policies and processes.
  • To approve SRA spend of above £5 million and up to £25 million on behalf of the Board. SRA spend over £25 million is for approval by the SRA Board.
  • To monitor major capital programmes, and to provide assurance around business cases, executive governance and benefits realisation.
  • To advise the Board on the setting, and level, of Compensation Fund contributions to be made by regulated individuals and firms.
  • To advise the Board on matters relating to the administration of the Compensation Fund and of monies held on Statutory Trust, and to provide assurance on the related accounts and financial statements.
Group audit committee and external audit arrangements
  • To report to the Board any matters arising in the SRA’s systems of financial control or elsewhere which are relevant to Law Society Group Audit Committee’s responsibility to provide assurance to the Council on the Society’s accounts and financial statements.
  • To review, and recommend to the Board, the annual report to the Group Audit Committee on the operation of the SRA’s systems of financial control, risk management and internal audit, including how these operate on shared services and common systems.
  • To advise the Board on those sections of the TLS Group annual report and audited financial statements which relate to the SRA.
  • To consider and advise the Board on those sections of the external auditor’s management letter which relate to the SRA and monitor implementation of agreed actions arising from the letter.
Risk management and Internal Controls
  • To review and monitor the SRA's strategic risk register covering risks relating to SRA’s ability to deliver its strategic objectives. NB: regulatory risk is a matter for the Policy Committee
  • To assess the processes in place to provide assurance that:
    • strategic risks are appropriately captured, together with appropriate internal control measures; and
    • effective mechanisms for the management of risk are in place.
  • To provide assurance to the Board that effective systems of risk management and internal control are in place, including reviewing any financial and risk management related policies the Committee considers appropriate.
  • To review the SRA’s whistleblowing policy and consider reports made under the policy.
  • To ensure effective arrangements are in place for a proper and independent investigation of financial impropriety, and appropriate follow up.
Internal Audit
  • To ensure effective internal audit arrangements are in place and that the internal audit programme supports, as necessary, the work of the external auditors.
  • To approve the internal audit coverage and plan.
  • To review all internal audit reports relating to the SRA, and monitor implementation of agreed actions arising from such reports.
  • To ensure the internal auditor has direct and – where appropriate – private access to the committee.

Quorum

Two Board members

Frequency of meetings

Approximately four to six times a year

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