Missing SRA Accountants Reports deadline
Please see SRA response: We expect solicitors and law firms to do everything they reasonably can to comply with our Accounts Rules and to keep clients' money safe and separate from the firm's own money. We require certain firms to obtain an independent accountant's report to confirm that these overarching objectives are met.
However, these are exceptional circumstances and we would take a pragmatic and proportionate approach to any delay in preparation of an accountant's report. If there are good reasons for a reporting accountant needing longer to prepare a report because of the impact of the coronavirus - which takes a firm outside of the six months window - we would not take any subsequent disciplinary action.
If a firm has delayed getting their accountant's report because of the coronavirus, we would not view that as a serious breach that needs to be reported to us by the COFA. You should, however, clearly document the reasons for any delays and the approach you and your reporting accountants have taken.