$0 – $200

1/25/19 Trust Accounting Procedures and Ethics (In-person, Wilmington NC, l...

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Location

1213 Culbreth Dr

Wilmington NC USA

Wilmington, NC 28405

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Refund Policy

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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Helen Tarokic Law PLLC

CLE Program: Trust Accounting & Audit Prep- Procedures and Ethics

NC Sponsor: 7703

CLE for Ethics credit: 3.8 hours requested

11:00 am to 11:30 am: registration and welcome/networking

11:30 am to 12:30 (60 mins): Discuss the Trust Handbook and walk through an in-depth example of performing a quarterly trust reconciliation to meet Rule 1.15-3(d)(1)).

Presenter: Tom Boyle (Certified Public Accountant and Co-founder of TrustBooks – software created specifically to help attorneys manage, record, and reconcile their trust accounts, Tom Boyle regularly presents on trust accounting topics. This one-hour presentation meets the lawyer’s requirement for Rule 1.15-3(d)(1) and also is a lively, interactive presentation).

  • Overview of trust accounts & Definition
  • Who needs a trust account?
  • Lawyer’s responsibility
  • Steps to establishing a trust account
  • Breaking down the Key Concepts
    • Segregation of client funds
    • Do not bring client ledgers into the red
    • Timing is everything
    • Timely recordkeeping
    • Final client balance should always be zero
  • Trust documentation
    • Deposits – funds received
  • What goes into the trust account
  • What does not go into the trust account
  • Documentation – what to include?
  • Payments – funds paid
  • Acceptable payments from trust
  • Inappropriate payments from trust
  • What to include on a trust check
  • Recordkeeping
  • Overview of new trust rules that went live June 2016
  • Trust reconciliations
  • Understanding of a trust reconciliation
  • Walking through examples of performing a quarterly trust reconciliation

Q&A

Resources and materials list for the Trust Accounting Session

  1. 1. https://www.ncbar.gov/media/425610/quarterly-review-worksheet.pdf
  2. 2. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/rules-of-professional-conduct/rule-115-3-records-and-accountings/
  3. 3. https://www.ncbar.gov/lawyer-discipline/search-past-orders/summaries-of-orders-by-quarter/

12:40pm to 1:30 pm (50 mins): Trust Accounting Tutorial. This will be a fun, interactive session! Lunch is provided so you can enjoy Tom Boyle’s walk-through of trust accounting protocol and ask questions about how the software works, how to enter certain types of data, and actually put some of the knowledge you learned in the first session to the test! This is not just a software showcase – this is a free demo and tutorial along with a Q&A on trust accounting procedures. Enjoy lunch and discuss how the software helps lawyers comply with trust accounting rules.

1:50 pm to 2:50 pm (60 mins)

Trust Accounting Essentials

Speakers: Helen Tarokic (Attorney, Helen Tarokic Law PLLC, Wilmington, NC); Pamela Mansbery (Office Manager, Helen Tarokic Law PLLC); and Kelly Toms (Attorney, Law Offices of Kelly Toms, Wilmington NC)

  • What are: True General Retainers; Advance or Prepaid Fees; and “Flat Fees”?
  • Ethical options for fee agreements when discussing flat fees and whether to deposit them into operating or trust (and how to manage refunds)
    • What happens when the representation exceeds the scope of your original fee agreement (e.g. changes in policy or law necessitate new work) – discussion of ethical considerations and how to explain things in simple terms
  • Determining what goes into operating account and what goes into trust.
    • Consultation fees?
    • Legal fees? (Which ones?)
    • Filing fees for government agencies?
    • Money accepted by clients to pay another lawyer to attend a USCIS interview?
  • Reimbursements to operating or trust?
  • Discussion of payment forms and what information to record to meet the rules of professional responsibility
  • Discussion of deposit slips and what information to record on the deposit slip to meet the rules of professional responsibility
  • What is a payment history versus a reconciliation letter?
  • Where do you keep your client’s payment information?
  • Who does your bookkeeping and are they trained on trust accounting?
  • Although refunds are rare, how to handle them ethically (accounting rules and discussion of examples) – setting up your accounting methods to anticipate a termination of representation possibility in every case
  • Q&A and debate

Resources/materials for this session:

  1. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/ethics-articles/whose-fee-is-it-anyway/
  2. RPC 158; 97 FEO 4; 2000 FEO 5
  3. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/ethics-articles/the-myth-of-the-nonrefundable-lawyer-fee/
  4. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/adopted-opinions/97-formal-ethics-opinion-4/
  5. https://www.ncbar.gov/media/283992/trust-account-handbook.pdf
  6. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/trust-accounting/
  7. https://www.ncbar.gov/bar-programs/fee-dispute-resolution-program/

10 min networking break

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (60 mins)

Procedural Trust Accounting Audits and How to Prepare for One

Speakers: Helen Tarokic (Attorney, Helen Tarokic Law PLLC, Wilmington, NC); Pamela Mansbery (Office Manager, Helen Tarokic Law PLLC); Kelly Toms (Attorney, Law Offices of Kelly Toms, Wilmington NC)

  • What happens when you receive the call about a random trust account audit and have less than 30 days to be ready for the NC trust account auditor
  • How to organize your audit binder to try to make the audit run more efficiently – tips on what to do, and what not to do
  • Involving your team to ensure accountability and that they learn what to do, and what not to do (Office Manager, Supervising Lawyer, CPA, Bookkeeper; Staff)
  • Office supplies list for binders, tabs, etc.
  • Keeping payment folders or histories on clients in a way that will help the lawyer respond in the event of an audit – everything should be accessible
  • Notifying clients who still have money in trust and making it a regular part of your practice to do so
  • What’s up with the new forms you’re supposed to fill out (and randomly selecting transactions for review - Rule 1.15-3(i) Random Transaction Review)
  • What a procedural audit won’t do – and why you shouldn’t wait for one to find out what you are doing wrong.
  • Discussion of the records reviewed which may include:
    • Bank directive on NSF Trust Checks (an example is on page 89 in the Handbook)
    • Bank statements
    • Canceled checks (or images of) – do you have the right checks?
    • Deposit tickets with teller stamp or corresponding teller receipt (are you listing things right on your deposit slips? Tips for entering info on multiple clients when depositing money to trust)
    • Wire/electronic transfer confirmations (documenting those)
    • Credit card receipts
    • Individual client ledgers (or list/report of activity for the period being reviewed)
    • Monthly and quarterly reconciliation reports
      • 1. Monthly- reconciliation of bank statement balance to GL/check register balance
      • 2. Quarterly- reconciliation of bank statement balance to GL/check register balance to total of client ledger balances
      • Reports of monthly reviews
      • Reports of quarterly reviews
      • Proof that lawyer(s) and employee(s) with signature authority have taken the required trust account management CLE course.
    • Deficiency checklist – how to audit yourself before an audit happens.
    • Q&A

Resources and materials list for the Trust Accounting Session

  1. https://www.ncbar.gov/media/425610/quarterly-review-worksheet.pdf
  2. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/rules-of-professional-conduct/rule-115-3-records-and-accountings/
  3. https://www.ncbar.gov/lawyer-discipline/search-past-orders/summaries-of-orders-by-quarter/
  4. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/ethics-articles/maintaining-a-trust-account/
  5. https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/rules-of-professional-conduct/rule-115-4-interest-on-lawyers-trust-accounts-reserved/
  6. https://www.ncbar.gov/media/283992/lawyer-trust-account-handbook.pdf
  7. Redacted Procedural Review checklist (revised April 2017)
  8. http://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/risk-management-resources/articles/coming-to-terms-and-into-compliance-with-the-trust-accounting-rule-amendments
  9. https://nccpaboard.gov/wp-content/.../Trust-Accounting-North-Carolina-State-Bar.pd
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Date and Time

Location

1213 Culbreth Dr

Wilmington NC USA

Wilmington, NC 28405

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

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