The Responsibility And Duties Of COFA'S
- Datalaw Admin
- Jun 12, 2019
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COFA which stand for (compliance officers for finance and administration) is a body of officials who ensure that a company or the organisation is conducting its businesses within the confines of all international and national laws that govern the particular company, including all internal and professional standards accepted business practices that the company are legally bounded to function within. It’s very safe and mandatory for companies to operate within the rules and regulations of COFA in order to avoid possible lawsuits, efficiently manage the possible risk that might arise within the company’s practices and to safeguard the company’s image and public reputation which is very necessary if a company is to actualize its full potential. The compliance officer (COFA) ensure that a company is legally and ethically pristine, it educates the company entire practices in order to achieve the highest level of compliance from the company. In fact, without a compliance officer (COFA) a company cannot achieve an effective and efficient compliance programme.
The compliance officer which could either be a COLP ( compliance officer for legal practices) or COFA ( compliance officer for finance and administration) have two levels of responsibilities:
§ 1st level – to help the company to comply with the external rules and regulations that are imposed on the company
§ 2nd level of responsibility – to help the company comply with the internal rules and regulations which in turn to maintain the external system of control imposed on the company.
The responsibility or roles of COFA are now outlined as follows:
ü They are to ensure that a company or an organisation are in full Accord with the SRA account rules
ü Record and report any Company that defaults with their rule and regulation to the SRA
ü They are to also report cases of material breaches to the SRA. A breach is said to be material when; a company risk management is detrimental to a client whose case is been handle when the risk results in the loss of confidence on the legal practitioner or as a legal firm there is losing confidence in its ability to deliver and provide legal services, when the risk level has exceeded a certain scale of reference, when the risk has an overall impact in the third parties involved, the clients involved, and its legal practice. A COFA officer can term a breach as non-material when the risk is at minimum, or he can seek the help of his partner in cross-examine the degree of the risk, or he can seek the help of expert, an SRA's professional ethic department representative, or a local law society if they have a provision for that or even an accountant in term of financial.
ü A COFA officer should always have a comprehensive and complete record of breach of material no matter how minimum it is as this will serve as it’s cornerstone when required in matters involving defence
ü They are to report to the SRA when a company or firm is in a difficult financial and management state. The SRA has outlined three warming sign that can be used to asses a company risk level, they are; when then the company profit has exceeded a certain threshold limit when their borrowing has exceeded their net assets and when they have exceeded their borrowing limits. Firm who are guilty of the three warming sign are given a red rating, those with just one are given an Amber colour rating, those without any are given a green rating. A company or the firm can be given the green rating if the ensure to do and keep the following:
§ That their clients account reconciliation is prepared regularly on a monthly basis
§ Do a regular monthly reconciliation of their office bank account statement
§ Always ensure that their client's bank account is clearly titled
§ Carry out a review of their clients listings balance in cases of any overdrawn in a client account
§ Carry out a review of the office listings balances in case of any an overdrawn account that may need to balance the client's account
§ Check for any malicious or miscellaneous account balances
§ Regularly examination of the office and clients ledger statement
When all these are done a company COFA’S the officer will definitely score the company a pass mark and it will help to boost and maintain their public reputation.