Alternative Business Structure (ABS) Applications


You cannot outsource the responsibility or accountability of the COFA, however you can put in place as much support as you need. That’s where we come in.

Burden of accounts compliance

It is no longer sufficient just to comply with the Solicitors Accounts Rules; you must actively monitor all aspects of your financial compliance. In 2014 the SRA is likely to extend the COFA role to encompass all of Principle 8, which is to:

“run your business or carry out your role in the business effectively and in accordance with proper governance and sound financial and risk management principles”

This will place a significantly higher burden of responsibility on the COFA. Still want the job?

Without the proper understanding or experience of working with the Accounts Rules you can easily find minor breaches occurring which if left to continue can form a material breach which, in turn is reportable to the SRA.

If you don’t dedicate enough time to getting on top of your compliance issues both you and your firm could find yourselves with a case to answer to the SRA. There is no need for this to happen, with the necessary tools set up to stay compliant and varying levels of support packages from Jonathon Bray to suit your requirements, this can be avoided.

Levels of Service

1. COFA Set Up

We will:

  • Carry out a Health Check
  • Offer support to your COFA
  • Provide a diary of scheduled COFA tasks for the year ahead
  • Create a bespoke Accounts Manual
  • Give Helpline Support

2. Monthly COFA-help (light)

We will provide all of the above services together with:

  • Monthly monitoring and analysis of your breach register and bank reconciliations
  • Maintain your breach register and ensure any trends are brought to the attention of the COFA. Should there be any reporting requirements we will offer assistance with the SRA reporting process
  • Annually we will visit and carry out further procedural health checks to ensure all systems are still adequate for purpose

3. Monthly COFA-help (full)

We will provide all of the services of the Set Up and Level 1 together with:

  • Client balances review and trouble shooting
  • All monthly/quarterly compliance checks
  • Financial Stability testing as required (dependent upon circumstances)
  • WIP Lock-up Analysis as required (dependent on circumstances)

4. Bespoke offering

We can also carry out “one off” COFA projects e.g.:

  • Do you have ancient client balances that you just don’t know what to do with? Our accounts expert can help you clear these quickly and painlessly, reducing the risk of an SRA investigation.
  • Fee earners need educating on the Accounts Rules? Let us provide some training on the rules and why your procedures are so important.

Contact us to discuss how we can help support you.

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