SAR report - structure and checking; what we need and what we do

Proposed removal of the SRA�s �Accountants Report�
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has launched a consultation proposing to remove the mandatory requirement that firms must submit an annual accountant�s report together with other regulatory proposals.
If these proposals are implemented The SRA does not expect that firms whose reports are due after October 2014 will need to submit them.

Phase 1 the Structure

  • Planning.
  • Basic details setup or update.
  • Review of the accounting system.
  • Bank accounts;
  • completion of this section will depend on receiving replies to bank letters, which can take five weeks.
  • If an AR1 Accountant's report form is completed before the bank replies are received it needs to be qualified for this.
  • The alternative is to apply to SRA Information Directorate for an extension of time limits to avoid this qualification.
  • We recommend that the examination is started within three months of the year end which leaves three months before the deadline.

Phase 1 the Checking

  • What we need:
  • What we do:
  • All bank statements, client and office:
  • Copy pages relevant to the reconciliations.
  • Make a sample selection.
  • Make a cheque sample selection.
  • Obtain copies of a sample of paid cheques.
  • All monthly three-way-bank-reconciliations:
  • Select dates; two or more.
  • Take copies relevant to the dates.
  • Confirm balances with banks.
  • Working copy of the client cashbook (s):
  • Check the sample to the cashbook.
  • Collate the sample by matter
  • Make a list of matters relevant to the sample.
  • All client ledger accounts:
  • Copy pages relevant to the sample.

Phase 2 the Structure

  • Client ledger.
  • Client files.
  • Interest on client money.
  • Accounts subject to limited record keeping.

Phase 2 the Checking

  • What we need:
  • What we do:
  • Matter files relating to the sample:
  • Check the underlying transactions to the sample.
  • The assistance of the solicitor will speed this process.

Sample size:

  • A sample size is determined by the accountants' assessment of the risks at the start of the work.
  • This is likely to be 20% or more of the transactions on the client bank accounts.
  • Giving rise to examination of the underlying ledger records and client files.
  • Many of the client files will have been archived as being up to 18 months old.
  • Samples are also selected from the office bank accounts.


Checking - what we need and what we do. Help us keep your fee down.