Trust Accounting





Trust Account Administration Calendar 2013

January 31:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Calculate Solicitors’ trust deposit
Change passwords*   
Forward unclaimed money register to Solicitors Trust             

February  21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Update Register of Powers and Estates

March  21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
 
March  28:
Review Trust Ledger and investment register for older balances
and unclaimed monies*
 
April 19:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Calculate Solicitors’ trust deposit
Change passwords*
                                 
May 21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Update Register of Powers and Estates
 
June  21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
 
June  28:
Forward statements to clients after June 30 as required by Reg 48(7)
 
July 19:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Calculate Solicitors’ trust deposit
Change passwords*
 
July 31:
Confirm authorised trust account signatories to Society (Reg 40(2)(b))
 
August 21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Update Register of Powers and Estates
 
September 20:
Complete trust account reconciliations
 
September 30:
Review trust ledger and investment register for older balances
and unclaimed monies*
 
October 21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Calculate Solicitors’ trust deposit
Change passwords*
 
November 21:
Complete trust account reconciliations
Update Register of Powers and Estates
 
December 20:
Complete trust account reconciliations
 
Prepare to send Unclaimed Money Register to Solicitors' Trust before 31.1.2014
                                 
Notes **
 
Trust Reconciliations.
Regulation 38 of the Legal Professions Regulations 2008 applies.  Reconciliations to be completed within 15 days of the end of each month.
 
Solicitors’ trust deposit.
  S. 352 of the Legal Profession Act 2007 applies.  Rebalance deposit to 2/3rds of prescribed deposit (lowest daily balance plus funds already held in designated trust deposit account) within 21 days of end of the quarter.  See also Trust Form 10 with notes.
 
Stale Cheques.
Cheques are deemed “stale” after 15 months.  Good practice is to follow up by letter or phone call any cheque not presented after 3 months.
 
Old Balances.
 Follow up six monthly, suggest March and September. 
 
Unclaimed Money.
 S. 257, 258 and 259 of the Legal Profession Act 2007.  Funds become unclaimed money two years from date entitlement accrued.
 
Computer Backup.
Offsite backup at least end of month (best practice – weekly) and retained until after inspection.
 
Passwords.
Change passwords regularly – suggest quarterly when reconciling deposit.
 
 
*    Recommended
**    Accurate at time of printing

Trust Accounting Forms



Trust Accounting


Reports to AUSTRAC for cash transactions of $10,000 or more

Firms are required under the Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 to report significant cash transactions of $10,000 or more to AUSTRAC.
 
Further information relating to the requirements of solicitors can be found in AUSTRAC Guideline No. 6 on the AUSTRAC website at  http://www.austrac.gov.au/files/guidline6.pdf or by phoning their helpline on 1800 021 037.  The forms required (Form 15A issued JAN 2004) are available from the Society or can be obtained by contacting AUSTRAC on their helpline number. 
 
Firms must ensure that funds received in cash go through their trust account.  It is not acceptable for them to be recorded as money in transit.




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