The SRA Handbook is no longer in effect. It was replaced by the SRA Standards and Regulations on 25 November 2019.
Form of accountant's reportBack to version 21
Version 16 of the Handbook was published on 01/04/2016. For more information, please click 'History' Above
Rule 44: Form of accountant's report
The accountant must complete and sign his or her report in the form published from time to time by the SRA.
The current form of the accountant's report under rule 44 requires the accountant to confirm of he/she has found it necessary to qualify the report. If so, the report must be delivered to the SRA - see rule 32A.1(b) and guidance notes to that rule.
Separate reports can be obtained for each principal in a partnership but most firms choose to obtain one report in the name of all the principals. In either case, the report must be delivered to the SRA if it is qualified - see rule 32A.1(b) and the guidance notes to that rule. For assistant solicitors, consultants and other employees, see rule 32A, guidance notes (vii) and (viii).
An incorporated practice will obtain only one report, on behalf of the company and its directors, or on behalf of the LLP and its members - see rule 32A.1. The report must be delivered to the SRA if it is qualified - see rule 32A.1(b) and the guidance notes to that rule.
Although it may be agreed that the accountant will send a qualified report direct to the SRA, the responsibility for delivery is that of the firm. The form of report requires the accountant to confirm that a copy of the report (whether qualified or unqualified) has been sent to the COFA on behalf of the firm to which it relates. The COFA should ensure that the report is seen by each of the managers of the firm.
For direct reporting by the accountant to the SRA in cases of concern, see rule 35 and guidance note (i) to that rule.