A report of the Investigation and Monitoring Unit of the Law Society covering a
7 month period, found after undertaking:
1,916 Monitoring visits of which
1,451 concerned accounts; and
465 investments that;
Compensation Fund payouts were 'limited to' £10,700,000
Referrals to the unit in respect of fraud, increased by 28%
Inspections revealed breaches in the Accounts Rules of 43%
Monitoring Inspections revealed breaches in the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1996
Before you become a statistic, take advice from someone who knows your
We have been involved in providing solutions to in-house accounting
difficulties, without contemporaneous disruption to day to day operations, for
the long term benefit of clients.
Some of our solutions have included redesigning stationery, such as
requisitions. Or targeting computer operating instructions for each type of
user (fee earners, cashiers and so on). Not everyone in the firm needs to
labour through a two inch manual.
We maintain a careful watch on changes in Law Society rules and practise. All
obligations placed upon our clients devolving from the Solicitors' Accounts
Rules and other regulations are met both in substance and form.
Our clients benefit from having accountants with an in-depth knowledge of the
processes at every level of a legal practise.
For several years a growing segment of our practise has been devoted to the UK
tax affairs of ex-patriates and other non-residents with income arising in the
Most of them had been unaware of their entitlement to allowances that could
reduce their UK tax liabilities and were surprised when we obtained significant
repayments for them.
In recent years the range of people that are eligible for personal allowances
has been increased to include EC citizens.
With tax credits on dividends becoming irrecoverable, the range of income upon
which repayments made be gained is reduced but not eliminated. If you have
earnings, trading or property income arising in the UK, contact us.
during the early 70's, Alan Secker became involved in systems analysis and
software selection before the advent of the microcomputer in 1975.
Anticipating the impact of this forthcoming technology, he joined the Amateur
Computer club, meeting some of the brightest minds then in the industry. Their
advice was to 'soak it in through the pores'. This is precisely what he did,
becoming treasurer of the ACC in the late 70's. He took hardware and software
courses at night school and built his first machine in 1978. Professional
relationships with a wide variety of companies and individuals followed. Since
then there probably isn't an inch of the industry that we haven't touched.
We act for systems analysts, programmers, solution providers, system
maintenance enterprises and OEMs.
During the '50s and '60's it was deemed a natural step to sell one's
manufacturing business, plough the proceeds into property and retire on the
rents. Inflation and value added ... refurbishing war-worn or dilapidated
buildings enhanced values.
The British banking world, unable to see further than the end of its pre-war
pre-eminence saw land, bricks and mortar as the only security. Money it seemed,
was always available for property speculation but little else.
It was during this period that Alan Secker was weaned as a young accountant's
clerk. Articled to a firm peppered with small property investment clients, he
cut his teeth on void relief and maintenance claims.
After qualifying with Goodier Smith & Co, he went to Stoy Hayward to garner
some experience of large clients and on his first day was presented with a fast
growing public property company, with a multiplicity of subsidiaries to audit.
Scraping by with a little help from his friends, he was amazed to be called
back at the request of the M.D. to take over as chief accountant for a year.
The authority granted was enormous as was the responsibility but the training
and experience gained at both professional firms, when brought to bear,
contributed to cash flow, general efficiency and the only reliable source of
information for the management department since the inception of the company.
The reason, you see, is that knowing when to collect rents and monitoring
payments is not enough. When are the insurances renewal dates? what is the
maintenance cycle? What is happening to occupancy? We must not forget to give
notice on the right dates, and so forth.
Today, this is child's play using even basic database systems but then it meant
using cleverly designed stationery to minimise pen-strokes not key strokes.
In the early 70's we experienced a recession and a property crash. Inflation
went into reverse and the banks' collateral diminished. They called in their
loans. How on earth can you convert bricks and mortar into cash? Only by
selling to a market that had no available borrowing power.
During the melee that followed, we saw former self-appointed millionaire
geniuses contemplating suicide as their capital gains tax bills loomed. We
negotiated a get-out for a client owing a fringe bank a £1M by paying a
single once-and-for all payment of £1,000.
We act or have acted for surveyors, quantity surveyors, estate agents, property
consultants, developers, property dealing companies, property investment
companies and land-scapers.
The property business? We think we know what you mean.
We have been involved with the travel industry since the late '60s. Preparing
reports for ABTA, IATA and the Newspaper Publishers Advertising watchdog. We
have considerable experience of High Street agencies, on-line agencies, Tour
Ooperators (and the dreaded Tour Operators Margin Scheme) and Tour organisers.
We've arranged finance for bonds and written specifications for dedicated
We have acted for Investment and Insurance advisors/brokers for many years. We
have specialist experience in the bookkeeping and accounting requirements for
these and other back-to-back commission based industries.
Our experience ranges from small red-brick Victorian family hotels to large
Central London institutions.
Hotels are like small towns. Each corner can be both a cost centre and an
income centre. From the night-porter who arranges cabs or flowers at outrageous
times to the banqueting suite. It all has to be controlled and accounted for
and the systems put in place have to be up to the job.
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