Decision-making criteria

This set of criteria was replaced on 5 October 2011 by Accountant's report, decision to waive requirement to deliver.

Accountant's report, decision to waive requirement to deliver

Principles of regulatory decision-making, approved by the SRA Board, provide a set of standards applicable to decisions. The principles are supported by guidelines.

The reasons given by a decision-maker will normally include specific criteria applicable to the decision. SRA Policies relevant to decision-making are reflected in the criteria.

Scope of this document

This document applies to decisions to waive the requirement to deliver an accountant's report to us.

The relevant rules are:


When determining an application, the following criteria are relevant but are not exhaustive:

  • Any risk to the public in not having the report delivered.
  • Any previous disciplinary record and history relating to the delivery of accountant's reports.
  • Any outstanding complaints against the firm.
  • Any hardship caused to the firm by requiring delivery of a report.
  • Any correspondence or evidence sent in support of the application, in particular copies of bank statements for the relevant period.
  • The amount of money held and the number of transactions conducted during the relevant period.


The example below is illustrative and does not set any type of precedent. Each matter is considered on its own facts and merits.

Mr R is a recognised sole practitioner at TR Solicitor. He has been in practice as a sole practitioner for 10 years and has regularly delivered his accountant's report on time. The reports have always been unqualified.

Over the last couple of years Mr R has stopped dealing with probates/trusts and conveyancing transactions so that the turnover on his client account has reduced dramatically.

His next report for the year to 31 January 2011 is due to be delivered by 31 July 2011. On 10 February 2011 he applied to the SRA for a waiver from the requirement to deliver the report for the year to 31 January 2011.

Mr R produces copies of his client account bank statements which indicate that the balance on the account never exceeded £10,000 and that there were no more than 8 transactions per month.

Mr R has no adverse regulatory history and there are no complaints outstanding in respect of him or his firm.

In such circumstances the SRA may well consider waiving the requirement for Mr R to deliver an accountant's report for the year ending 31 January 2011.