The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
Rule 43A: Work to be undertakenBack to version 21
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Rule 43A: Work to be undertaken
The accountant should exercise his or her professional judgement in determining the work required for the firm they are instructed to obtain the report on in order to assess risks to client money arising from compliance with these rules. This should cover the work that the accountant considers is appropriate to enable completion of the report required by the SRA at the date the report is commissioned (referred to in Rule 44 below).
The purpose of the accountant's report is to enable a proportionate degree of oversight by the SRA over risks to clients' funds. It may also help the firm identify any improvements in its control systems that are required. The form of the report that the accountant is required to complete is intended to provide assurance that client funds are properly safeguarded. If the accountant forms the judgement that these Rules have not been complied with such that the safety of client money is at risk, then the accountant is required to "qualify" the report and set out in the report details of the areas where risks have been identified. Rule 32A.1 sets out which firms are required to obtain a report but only qualified reports have to be delivered to the SRA within the time frame set out.
The types of work that the accountant is required to undertake will depend on a number of factors including the size and complexity of the firm, the nature of the work undertaken, the number of transactions and amount of client funds held. The accountant may also want to consider the firm's existing systems and for example, the numbers and types of breaches of these Rules that the firm's COFA has recorded under his/her reporting obligations. Separate guidance as to the work that might be considered as part of a work programme has been issued by the SRA and will be updated from time to time; see the SRA's "Guidance to Reporting Accountants and firms on planning and completion of the annual Accountants' Reports, under Rule 32A of the SRA Accounts Rules 2011"