Effective Residual Account Management
The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) - regulator of solicitors and law firms in England and Wales - sets out a number of rules and regulations for law professionals to follow; the increasing pressure and enforcement of compliance often proving somewhat of a pain-point for discerning law firms dedicated to maintaining industry standards and best practices. especially surrounding the subject of residual client account balances and consequent management.
Residual Client Account Management
Fundamental to most solicitors’ practices is the need to hold money for clients - for such events as buying or selling a property or business or receiving compensation following an accident.
However, regardless of how carefully law firms and solicitors manage client accounts, there will always be some cases where a residual client balance is left behind as, whilst the majority of client funds held by the solicitor will be used, some funds will inevitably be left over. In any usual dealings, these excess funds must be returned to the client as soon as possible; in fact, as soon as a transaction or matter has been completed, any funds left held by the solicitor must be returned to the client once there’s no longer a need for the solicitor to retain them.
And, although this may seem straightforward, the reasons for residual client account balances can be vast and, sometimes, client whereabouts may be unknown or even residual balances unknown, causing problems for both the solicitor or law firm responsible and the client in question.
Of course, different SRA rules apply depending on the circumstances and the amount still held by the solicitor - for example, there are specific rules for funds of under £50 and over £50 - which, however understandable, can prove challenging to navigate, especially where the circumstances are somewhat unique.
The CreditForce SRA RCAB Compliance Controller
The CreditForce SRA RCAB Compliance Controller provides an exceptionally effective and easy-to-use solution to enable the administration of the Solicitors Regulatory Authority requirement to be automated, enabling the time and risk associated with its compliance to be minimised.
We created the SRA RCAB Compliance Controller to provide an automated workflow solution that effectively streamlines the process, reduces the amount of Fee Earner time and ensures robust compliance within law firms.
Features of the Compliance Controller include, but are not limited to:
Compliance with SRA RCAB rules
Automate communications with clients; providing details of balances, and reason(s) why if still held after 365 days
Operate with Client Account Balances held in currency bank accounts
Automate production and saving of all documents needed in the process
Provide maintenance and saving of checklists as well as details of how you attempted to locate the owner of the client funds in question if greater than £500, prior to donating to charity
Making it a comprehensive and full solution to Residual client account management in compliance with SRA regulations.