Archive for: ‘January 2013’

9 months – and counting!

January 31, 2013 Posted by Lynne Moffatt

The Law Society of Scotland Accounts Rules amendments commenced on 1st November, 2011. This introduced Rule 6.11.1 – dealing with client balances at the conclusion of a matter. 2 months is the suggested ‘time limit’ to clear a ledger.

The intention is that small client balances are dealt with timeously – they no longer remain on ledgers and client trial balance reports for years, as some have in the past. There are many benefits. For years, I have urged many a client to do their house-keeping regularly – it’s much easier to see the wood from the trees which reduces the risk of ‘missing a balance’ – ultimately an indication that deeds have not been sent for recording, or stamp duty has not been paid on time!

What about client balances I have had for years?
The Law Society understood that with the introduction of a suggested ‘time limit’, firms now faced a mammoth and virtually impossible task to clear balances they might have had for years by 31st December 2011.  They therefore added Rule 6.11.2 to clarify – existing balances (of concluded matters) held at 31st October 2011 would not be subject to the 2 month ‘time limit’, and firms would have a much more reasonable 2 years to deal with the old balances appropriately.

Time marches on and many firms might have forgotten about their responsibility here. 9 short months until deadline.

Of course, any new balance for a matter concluded since 1st November 2011 automatically falls under 6.11.1 and should be dealt with within 2 months (unless you can demonstrate, and have documented a reason to retain the funds).

The Law Society have issued guidance on how to deal with balances appropriately, at the conclusion of a matter. Useful guidance – ‘Sums between £10 and less than £50’ in LSS guidance, and ‘Sums of £50 and more

Practically, how can my client balances be managed?
As the old balances disappear it will become much more manageable to keep on top of new balances. Still, it could be an enormous task to review ALL balances regularly.

If you use QuickBooks as your Legal Accounts Software Solution, you can easily identify which ledgers you should focus on or be concerned about.

Here follows a short video to help you with this.

RTI-ready payroll software

January 23, 2013 Posted by Lynne Moffatt

I have been asked many times recently about RTI-ready payroll software. (HMRC’s payroll ‘Real Time Information’ scheme – COMPULSORY from April 2013). HMRC RTI information

Certified QB Padvisor1. QuickBooks
I use QuickBooks integrated payroll, it’s fantastic if you’re a QuickBooks user as it updates your accounts as well as process your payroll – they’re already set for RTI compliance and good to go.  Give me a call if you have any QuickBooks payroll queries, or need someone to ensure you are RTI-compliant. 01383 231132. 12pay
For a stand-alone payroll package I cannot fault 12pay.  I have used this is the past and if my payroll subscription wasn’t included in the cost of my accounts software, this is what I would choose – no question.
RTI-ready, with MANY useful features to make payroll slick and easy.

Scottish Law Accountant

January 21, 2013 Posted by Lynne Moffatt

I love figures, accounting and QuickBooks! I find law accountancy fascinating in it’s many aspects, but particularly cashroom administration.

During my work as a Scottish Law Accountant I sense that some smaller law firms and sole practitioner lawyers seem to be ‘frightened’ of their accounts and tend to bury their heads in the sand if they are unsure how to proceed. Even if they are lucky enough to have the inclination, they certainly do not have the time to devote to developing new ways to make their accounts easier.

Many firms may waste money by employing a full-time legal cashier (if they are lucky enough to find a suitably experienced one!) to help them understand and meet their accounting responsibilities, when actually that cashier may be able to complete their accounting duties in perhaps 1 to 2 hours per day.  The rest of their employed time is padded out with jobs unrelated to accounting.

I am a QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and continue to use the software to run and/or advise many legal firm’s accounts – on firm and client monies.

Whether you’re looking to set-up or simplify, consider By the Books Accounting Assistance.

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