COFA: The role of the COFA
The final issue within our series reviewing the key issues around new SRA Account Rules that come into effect on Monday 25 November 2019 is the role of your firms COFA.
It is clear from the SRA’s guidance that the COFA’s level of oversight going forward will be increased, or at least the documentation of that oversight will need to be increased. Documentation is always the key with these matters, therefore firms should consider what the best way to achieve this is. One solution is to put an item as a standing item on the partners’ meeting agendas – for example documenting the review of the residual balances listing and the breaches register.
This way there is evidence that these reports have been circulated to all partners for review and action, with highlights being discussed in more detail in the meeting. Alternatively, smaller firms may wish to include these on their bank reconciliation review coversheet so that it is documented that these areas have been considered regularly. The SRA is also putting emphasis on firms taking action on issues arising from the accountant’s report.
Following each annual SRA Accounts Rules review, Moore Kingston Smith issues a Post SRA Accounts Rules review management report which documents our findings. We recommend that each year this report is discussed as a partnership (or subcommittee as appropriate) and changes.
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