The key operational changes to make
At an operational level, the 2019 rules require you to document your own systems and look at what’s reasonable for your firm. This should be particularly helpful for small firms as it will allow you to respond in line with your own specific situation.
These are the top five ‘operational’ tweaks to make to take advantage of the increased flexibility in the rules:
1. Define timeframes to suit you e.g. promptly could be ‘within the finance manager’s next two working days’ as opposed to ‘the same or next day’.
2. Move away from the use of cheques and adopt a fully online banking approach.
3. Ditch the traditional ‘slips’ and implement a fully electronic payment/ receipt request process.
4. Use email or Adobe sign to electronically evidence review processes (rather than physical signatures/ slips); e.g. for COFA reviews of bank reconciliations.
5. Raise bills and send them to clients as soon as possible to allow for swifter client to office transfers to cover your costs.
There are a number of ways in which you can make the most of the increased flexibility in the SRA Accounts Rules and these will be different for each firm. It is important to take the time to put together specific policies and procedures to suit your firm and ensure these are tailored to your needs and capabilities, always remembering to ensure safeguarding client monies is at the forefront.