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AutoRek unveils Client Money Checklist

AutoRek, a leading provider of financial management software, has today unveiled a detailed checklist that outlines the key actions needed to comply with new regulations related to Client Money and Asset Returns (CMAR). Key cut-off dates for the submission of the first CMAR are included, as well as new deadlines for assuming full responsibility for their ongoing completion and submission.

According to new regulations governing CMAR, medium and large firms will have to report their client money and asset returns monthly through the FSA’s online system, known as GABRIEL, from October this year. As an important first step, the AutoRek checklist will help firms to determine whether they qualify as a large, medium or small organisation, according to the definitions contained within the Clients Assets Sourcebook (CSA).

Whilst small firms are currently exempt from filing complete CMAR reports, they will still have to notify the FSA of their highest client money balance and value of client assets on a half-yearly basis. In addition to these reporting requirements, firms will also be required to keep clients’ money separate from their own – in different accounts – in order to protect their clients’ money in the event that the firm doesn’t have the assets needed to cover its debts.

“The idea behind CMAR is to make it easier for the FSA to monitor how financial services firms are managing client money and asset positions, so that consumers are better protected.” says Jim Muir, Finance Director at AutoRek Financial Data Management Solutions. “We’ve launched this checklist in order to help firms to prepare for these new regulations and procedures as quickly and thoroughly as possible, since they can see at a glance what it required of them, and when.”

The AutoRek checklist highlights the various reporting requirements that are required by CMAR, including the segregation of client money, client money reconciliations, segregation of safe custody assets, safe custody assets reconciliation and more. The checklist also offers guidance on dealing with client money or safe custody assets that are denominated in a currency other than British pounds sterling.

“All of the information contained in our checklist will help firms to prepare for CMAR methodically and efficiently, and will therefore help to minimise regulatory costs and disruption further down the line” Muir adds. “On the face of it, CMAR can look time-consuming and also rather daunting, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Solid preparation and the right tools can make CMAR compliance.”