In addition to helping professional practices comply with demanding reporting and compliance legislation, MHA Chiks plays a significant role in helping firms focus on achieving increased profitability and business growth.
The Professional Practices team has extensive experience and expertise and a proven track record in working with some of the region’s most prominent firms including solicitors, architects, surveyors, property consultants and estate agents.
Partner, Karen Hain heads up the Professional Practices department and is supported by a range of managers and assistants who work with a wide range of practices, from sole traders to 30 partner plus practices.
Surveyors – Many RICS-regulated surveyors hold client monies and are therefore covered by the accounts rules, however are no longer required to obtain an annual accountant’s report checking compliance. We perform an audit under the RICS rules to check that client monies are being properly administered. This tends to work quite well when there are a number of branches without a central finance function. In these cases we always prepare a report containing recommendations for improvements to the systems and controls.
Solicitors – Compliance with the SRA Accounts Rules is the main area of regulation we are involved with – almost on a daily basis. Not only do we perform the annual audit and report to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, but we act in an advisory capacity on compliance. Our team regularly delivers seminars to fee earners on the SARs, where we make the training specific to the firm’s own procedures. Karen Hain presents annual update courses for the local Law Societies on the SARs.
Estate Agents – Businesses that operate property letting or property management are often registered under a professional scheme such as NAEA, ARLA, NALS, and RICS. Each of these regulatory bodies has its own set of rules that the business must follow, especially in the area of client monies. We have experience in auditing under all of these schemes, and as part of our work, we report on where systems may be deficient and make recommendations on how to improve controls.
Chambers – The important aspect of chambers’ income is having the appropriate charging structure with their barristers. We assist chambers annually with budget-setting and fee-setting. We also produce management accounts on a monthly or quarterly basis so that an up-to-date financial picture is drawn of chambers finances.
Barristers – MHA Chiks is a specialist accountant for barristers and we offer a wide range of comprehensive accounting solutions for the sector. Our dedicated Professional Practices team work closely with barristers to ensure that all accounting and taxation functions are considered and applied correctly. We understand our barrister clients have busy schedules and offer a range of services to ensure they are confident all allowable expenses will be claimed for.
Architects – We assist architects in reviewing their business cost structure to remove all unnecessary expenditure, and to amend future business plans. Some architects find that the design stage of a project can tie up a huge amount of working capital in terms of unbilled time, especially if planning permission is delayed. Taking longer to send out bills, in addition to already difficult trading conditions has had an often devastating effect on cashflow. Our team works closely with clients to understand their individual cashflow and advise on financing any deficits.