The Law Society has indicated that they plan to conduct more frequent monitoring visits of solicitor practices with the aim that each firm will be reviewed at least every 3-4 years. This may be in part due to the increased instances of heavy losses incurred by the law Society due to practice closures where the subsequent investigation found that compliance controls in place were inadequate.
Crowe has assisted many solicitor practices in planning for inspections, helping firms put in place the necessary controls and procedures that will be expected by the investigating accountant. Also, should any issues arise that require a follow up, we can also guide the solicitor firm in the appropriate response to the Law Society
In advance of the inspection the solicitor firm should:
On the day of the inspection the firm should have the following to hand:
The key matters which will be examined during the inspection are as follows:
Whilst the above might appear onerous for some firms with limited resources, it is the minimum that would be expected on a monitoring visit. But by acting now, any future visit should go smoothly with minimal disruption encountered.
Crowe has a dedicated team specialising in the requirements of legal firms with detailed expertise in the area of compliance with the Solicitors Accounts Regulations. We can advise and assist you in preparing for an upcoming inspection or monitoring visit and can recommend an appropriate accounting package suitable for your firm. Contact Neil Davitt, partner with our audit department to find out more