Although not widely celebrated in South Africa, October is known for being the month associated with Halloween and all things scary. Like legal accounting for instance. Then again, if you don’t have the right accounting software taking care of things, every month could potentially turn into Halloween for your business. That’s why, with a product like Quantim, you can rest assured we’ve taken into account all the tricks, so you are left with only all the treats.
So, typically, what are the scary things most legal firms battle with on a regular basis? Well, first and foremost, whenever Quantim asks our clients during Practice Management Training what they find the most daunting topic, accounting comes up tops, especially trust accounting and the impact it has on their firm. A close second is Legal Practice Council Rules and how to implement it 100% correctly.
Another BIG scary beast seems to be trust funds. Seems a lot of trust attorneys have sleepless nights worrying about when they must account for work done or whether they hold monies in trust. Not to mention the monster under the bed that is the debate around what can be considered trust funds and when a client can legally pay directly into a business account.
But enough with the scaremongering tactics. Because, fortunately for you, Quantim knows all the tricks and has a lot of treats up our sleeve.
Take trust auditing for instance. Whereas in the past trust audits had to be done and completed by end of August, this is now the second year it has been extended to the end of September. And if your accounting software is up to date and doing what it should be doing, you’ll sleep peacefully. That’s because, in compliance with Legal Practice Council (LPC) rules, your books need to be written up on a monthly basis and audited 6 months after your financial year-end. The audit report will then be handed in to the LPC to ensure all rules are adhered to and that you do not have a qualified audit report.
Which begs the question: “How do you get an approved audit report?” Simple… ensure you keep proper accounting records for Trust, Business and Investment entries. If you record and ensure that your books are balanced on a monthly basis, your trust audit will be about as frightening as a little puppy. You can then ensure that your auditor gets the information at the end of the financial year-end ensuring your trust audit is done correctly and on time.
Trust account practices are required in terms of section 87(10) of the LPC to keep proper accounting records containing particulars and information in respect of:
- money received and paid into its own account
- any money received, held or paid on account of any person
- money invested in a trust account or other interest-bearing account referred to in section 86; and
- any interest on money so invested, which is paid over or credited to it.
It stands to reason that failure of a practice to receive a clean audit report, will negatively impact the profiling of the trust account practice and could even result in the practice itself being subjected to an inspection as the risk posed on the fund may be elevated. Clearly something that should be prevented as it will affect the reputation of the firm.
So, after you’ve had more than enough tricks thrown your way, let’s get to the treats part. Here’s how Quantim helps you ensure that your practice is compliant:
- Individual Trust, business and Investment ledgers per client
- Automated trust transfers
- Reports ensuring no trust shortfalls. Trust creditors = trust funds
- Effective – time saving software
- User friendly
- Check and balances to ensure trust accounts are in order
- Password controlled
- Initial training and continuous support
Not all accounting software offers this. So, you could argue it’s easy to be tricked. Why not rather treat yourself and give Quantim Legal Accounts a call today?