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The changing role of the COFA

The increased focus on self-regulation and more flexible approach to client money proposed by the SRA will make the COFA’s duties more of a priority, explains Max Masters

14 February 2017

The proposed changes to the Accounts Rules which were outlined in the third phase of the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s review, as published in June 2016, aim to decrease the regulatory burden on legal professionals. The details of this consultation have previously been discussed in some detail.

It is, however, important to emphasise one of the more practical implications arising from the consultation: the changing role of the compliance officer for finance and administration. It is a role that will need to be taken increasingly seriously when considering the impending simplification of the rules and the increasing emphasis on self-regulation.

In our experience, the role of the COFA can be somewhat of an afterthought, particularly for sole practitioners and small partnerships, where the primary drive is generating fee income. For these small practices, it remains qu...

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