New Zealand - Law Society Monthly Trust Reporting Requirements

Created by Allison Cloyd, Modified on Sun, 22 Jan 2023 at 06:53 PM by Robert Butler

Overview

You are operating the Actionstep system to administer your trust accounting. You must present your records in a form that demonstrates the salients that the Law Society Auditors look to you to check and verify. Guideline 9.3 of the LTAG describes the essential documents required for your monthly work papers supporting the global reconciliation/s, the guidelines can be found here: Legal Accounting Handbook

 

Every day (depending on the amount of trust transactions) you should be reconciling your trust account in Actionstep. See our user guide Article on Trust Reconciliation

 

Each month end you should produce the following reports on your trust current account:-

 

  • Bank Reconciliation - see Trust Bank Account Reconciliations (scroll to the end on how to produce reconciliation monthly reports - this report allows you to combine all your reconciliations into one monthly reconciliation if you reconcile many times during a month)

  • Control account summary (aka cash book) - print out monthly report for Trust Account Receipts Cash Book (article found here) and Trust Account Payments Cash Book (article found here)

  • Month-end trust account bank statement - download and save this as PDF

  • List of client balances (trial balance) - (found here)

 

If you have an Interest Bearing Deposit you should also produce the following:-

 

  • Bank Reconciliation - see Trust Bank Account Reconciliations (same as above but choose the IBD Trust Account)

  • Control account summary (aka cash book) - print out monthly report for Trust Account Receipts Cash Book (article found here) and Trust Account Payments Cash Book (article found here) - again same as above but choose your IBD account.

  • List of all Interest-bearing accounts in Actionstep in the Trust Stale Balances Report

  • Bank Statement showing month's transactions - download from bank

  • Bank Statement showing month-end balances of each IBD Account

     

    If you have or develop any controlled bank accounts or foreign exchange bank accounts, details of these will require inclusion. A bank statement showing the month’s activity will usually suffice.

 

We also recommend that you run the following reports for completeness

 

  • A Stale Balance report - found here

  • A journal transaction report (aka Trust Audit Log) (if you have staff administering the trust account) - found here

  • A print out of the firms interest in trust ledger (aka firms interest in trust breakdown) - found here (if you operate firms interest in trust)

 

So what to do with all these monthly reports and statements? 

 

It is our recommendation that you create a matter under an administration matter type (remember Actionstep can also be used to maintain records and monitor your administration as well as your legal matters/files).

 

You can then create a folder for each year and a subfolder within each year for each month. Upload all of these reports to the correct year and month folder. This way your auditor can see all of the reports required by gaining access to one matter.

 

The New Zealand Law Society Auditors also expect that you keep a hard copy file of all reports and statements for a minimum of 6-12 months by which only electronic copies are required.


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