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Chairs Message Sept/Oct 2018

Well, here we are approaching the Autumn and we have our annual Conference and AGM coming up in November. We have a great line up of speakers for the Conference, including Chris Handford, Director of Policy for the SRA, so we will be hearing all about the up to date plans for the new SRA Accounts Rules. We also have Keith Markham speaking. Keith is an expert on GDPR and will be reviewing where we are 6 months on from its introduction.

I shall be stepping down at the AGM and Darren Whelan, our Vice Chair, will be taking over as Chair. This is therefore my last Chair’s message, the next one will come from Darren. Many of you will know Darren as our VAT expert and trainer – his courses are very popular! Darren is also going to be one of the speakers at our conference in November, so you’ll have a chance to meet him if you’re coming to the conference.

We will also be looking to appoint some new Executive Council members at our AGM, so if you are interested in joining us, please contact the office and they can provide you with some information on eligibility and the process of applying.

This year is the 40th anniversary of the ILFM (previously the ILCA, of course) and I am delighted to announce that we are holding a series of events to celebrate the anniversary in October. We will be coming to Bristol, London & Manchester (see details in the magazine) and would be delighted if you are able to join us. Just register for this free event via our website to let us know you’re coming.

In this edition we have a great article telling us how beneficial plants are to an office environment. Apparently they act as mini air filters, adjusting and cleaning the air and they absorb pollutants into their leaves. I always thought plants in a workplace were just for appearance, but the article claims that they give benefits such as reducing stress, reducing sickness, cleaning the air, reducing noise levels and boosting creativity! I might need to consider investing in a plant, although I know plants I get at home don’t usually survive all that long!

Executive Council member, Andy Harris has written an article in “The View” regarding advice issued by the SRA on whether firms are providing banking facilities to their clients. Providing banking facilities is a breach of Rule 14.5 and the SRA are actively prosecuting solicitors and firms for breaching this rule. This an important area, so do have a look at Andy’s article and follow through to the SRA advice.

This edition’s “COFA Corner” focusses on bank reconciliations and the COFA’s role in reviewing the monthly client reconciliations. If it’s not you checking the bank reconciliations for your firm, you might like to show this article to the person who is responsible for reviewing them, they might find it useful.

One of our members, Thomas Pearson from NewLaw in Cardiff has written an article about creating an internal finance dashboard, something he has been developing to improve the effectiveness of internal controls to help reduce certain types of breaches of the Accounts Rules.

I hope to see many of you at one of our 40th Anniversary events in October, do come along if you can, we’d love to see you. My very best wishes to Darren for his two year period as Chair.

http://www.ilfm.org.uk/site/publications/legal-abacus/