What is an IOLTA Pre-Certification?
A law firm’s managing partner is required to certify annually that they have personally reviewed the Rules 1.15 and 1.15A of the Delaware Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct and that the Certificate of Compliance accurately reflects compliance with the requirements of the Rules. To properly assert compliance, the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the Supreme Court of Delaware (LFCP) has developed an ‘Audit Program’ that each firm can utilize as a checklist to measure their compliance.
Alternatively, law firms can engage independent CPA firms to perform the same ‘Audit Program’ procedures and attach their independent report to the firm’s Certificate of Compliance as a “pre-certification.”
Why get Pre-Certified by BLS?
The LFCP ‘Audit Program’ can be very time consuming and tedious. BLS performs IOLTA pre-certification engagements every year. Because of our experience, we are able to execute this task efficiently while allowing your finance staff the time to address other pressing issues within the firm. Our experience and independence may allow us to identify areas of concern before they become issues and offer recommendations to help remedy and strengthen the firm’s recordkeeping requirements.
BLS utilizes the ‘Audit Program’ developed by the LFCP. While the pre-certification period must be for a minimum of the latest six months, we work with you to determine the period and the frequency you wish the procedures to be performed. Below are example solutions and their reasoning:
- To meet the minimum pre-certification standards, procedures will be applied to the latest six months ending December 31.
- To provide comfort to the managing partner whose personal certification must cover the annual period, procedures will be applied the entire year ending December 31.
- To provide comfort for the entire year and identify issues timely before they lead to instances of non-compliance, procedures will be applied quarterly.
- An agreed-upon procedures report with the completed LFCP ‘Audit Program’ procedures attached.
- Review of your firm’s annual registration statements and certificate of compliance to ensure accuracy and consistency with our report findings, if any.
Looking for assistance with your IOLTA Pre-Certification? For additional information, please contact Jeff Elwell, CPA, at 302.225.0600, or click here to email Jeff. In a brief consultation he can assess your situation and determine the best way to proceed.