Lucky Number 3? | Three-way Trust Reconciliation

In the world of trust accounting, Law Firms and Attorneys are expected to have their client & trust ledgers reconciled monthly as well as their trust bank account reconciled in a timely manner too. Those who don’t follow the rules are gambling with their peace of mind. You may be hoping you won’t suffer the consequences that come from a messy set of books. Sadly, that won’t be the case. And YES, you need three of a kind to satisfy the powers that be. Three properly reconciled accounts, that is.

Duces are NOT wild, and snake eyes are just as evil when it comes to three-way trust accounting. 

“In order to comply with state bar regulations, the trust bank statement must be reconciled with the client ledgers (and thereby the trust ledger) on a quarterly, or even monthly, basis.” ~Trustbooks

Did you know that the client ledger and the trust ledger balances should also match? Well, whether you knew it or not, you’ve likely been dealt a hand that keeps you busy enough without having to put on the accountant hat too. 

I really liked that Trustbooks tells you “How to Perform a Three-Way Trust Reconciliation”. What happens though, when you encounter errors or you can’t get one or even all three of those accounts to reconcile properly? Do you suddenly fold the hand, and become your own accountant for a while; are you bluffing with your skillset? In honor of the late great Kenny Rogers…

“You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…”

 

Your time is so valuable as an Attorney. The Law Firm accounting tasks are not a side-hustle that help you earn more, make partner, or even allow you to focus on serving your clients to the best of your ability. Those cards are best delt (outsourced) to a qualified bookkeeping and accounting professional who knows best how to resolve accounts and ledgers that are presenting some difficulty. We see it all the time. Clients come to us with messy trust accounts.   We help them detangle the messes.  

If you really want to know more about how to do the reconciliation yourself, use that link that I provided above, as a place to start, it’s good information. Proceed with caution though; We have had to unravel years worth of DIY because someone played the wrong hand, by doing it themselves – incorrectly. It’s a costly mistake that always leaves us scratching our heads. 

It costs far more money to pay someone to correct the errors than it ever would to just have them keep up the records from the start.

What’s so lucky about 3? …it can’t be the fact that there are three accounts to manage, right?!

In the video below, I’ll show a few of the issues I run into when working through a clients books. Some of the common issues.  The fun part of our job is finding the issues, fixing them, balancing.  Nothing is more satisfying.

Well… 

Attorneys + Law Firm Accounting + Professional Accountant is a pretty good combo! 

In fact, I’m ALL IN on that!

 

Contact us now, if you’re ready to play a better hand. If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper and need more guidance, please join our Facebook group QB Community Live! It’s a safe place to ask any question. I co-admin group, and I’m here to help. Our motto is, Together We All Succeed! #TWA$

Lynda Artesani

Lynda Artesani is the president of Artesani Bookkeeping where she uses her expertise and organizational skills to help her clients thrive and become profitable. Lynda is a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network. She is an alumni member of the Intuit Advisory Board. Additionally, she is the first Expert Columnist for the QB Community forum. She is also a co-founder in a Facebook group called QB Community Live!