Tips for Trust Accounting and Reconciliation

Here are some suggested office processes that will assist you in your trust accounting and reconciliations:

  • create checklists:
    • weekly/monthly/annual checklists for accounting tasks
    • file checklists (e.g.. real estate file checklist, estate file checklist, etc.)
  • diarize the date when trust account statements are due from your financial institution, and a system of follow-up to ensure statements are received in a timely fashion;
  • diarize the date of the monthly reconciliation;
  • create a monthly reconciliation package:
    • Bank reconciliation (signed and dated);
    • Trust listing;
    • Copies of bank statements and GICs;
  • organize bank statements and reconciliations by bank account;
  • file cheques/images and bank statements together;
  • retain voided cheques;
  • maintain one ledger card per matter;
  • review the ledger card and/or bank account online before disbursing funds to ensure sufficient funds are on hand;
  • implement a policy that ensures that all staff members know that any errors or differences must be brought to your attention immediately so that you can correct or reimburse trust balances as necessary.