Guide for Registered Auditors: Engagements on Attorneys' Trust Accounts ( DOC | PDF )
This Guide for Registered Auditors: Engagements on Attorneys Trust Accounts was prepared by a Task Group of the Committee for Auditing Standards (CFAS) of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) which comprised auditors and representatives of the Law Society of South Africa, the Provincial Law Societies, and the Attorneys Fidelity Fund. This Guide was approved for issue in February 2014 and replaces the previous SAICA Guide – “Guidance for Auditors: The Audit of Attorneys’ Trust Accounts in terms of the Attorneys Act, No 53 of 1979, and applicable Rules of the Provincial Law Societies” that has been withdrawn. The auditors’ reasonable assurance report replaces the Attorneys Trust Account - Revised Transitional report issued in August 2008 that is similarly withdrawn.
Guidance is provided to registered auditors in the special circumstances applicable to engagements on attorneys trust accounts as required by the Attorneys Act, No 53 of 1979 and Rules of the relevant Provincial Law Society (the Act and the Rules), including an auditor’s responsibility to report a reportable irregularity. This Guide is also relevant for attorneys in understanding the nature of the engagement, and the respective responsibilities of the parties. This Guide has been prepared on the basis of the present Rules of the respective Provincial Law Societies and will be updated when the Law Society of South Africa’s proposed Uniform Rules are approved and issued.
There is an expectation by the Attorneys Fidelity Fund, the Law Societies, financial institutions, attorneys’ clients and members of the public, that auditors of attorneys trust accounts will detect fraud and theft, whereas the main purpose of an engagement on an attorney’s trust accounts is for the auditor to evaluate the compliance of attorneys trust accounts with the Act and Rules. Accordingly the Guide contains special considerations applicable to fraud and theft in the circumstances of engagements on attorneys trust accounts.
The Attorney’s Annual Statement on Trust Account contains the attorney’s compliance representations to the relevant Provincial Law Society, and information extracted from the trust accounting records previously dealt with in the auditor’s report. The Attorney’s Annual Statement on Trust Accounts is to accompany the auditor’s report.
Links to relevant documents