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Rules versus principles

There is scope for many different interpretations of the draft rules on client money, which could cause difficulties for COFAs, explains Hannah Davis

14 August 2017

Over the past few years, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has been working towards a more streamlined set of rules in respect of client money. This has led to a new focus on “principles” and “professional judgement” as opposed to the rules-based approach which has been adopted for many years.

The results of the consultation have recently been published, and as the draft rules proposed by the SRA have been heavily reduced from 52 to 13, it is very clear that this new approach is to have a significant impact on the way in which reporting accountants carry out examinations.

The more ambiguous nature of a principles-based approach means that it is more important for firms to have a recorded set of strong systems and controls, and that these should be implemented consistently across the firm.

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