Trust and Office Accounting

What is this subject about?

Trust and office accounting involves a consideration of both basic bookkeeping procedures and the responsibility of lawyers to account for money received on behalf of others.

The subject covers:

  • an understanding of the law and practice of accounting
  • the ability to apply the law and practice of accounting to enable you to competently handle money received in the course of practice

What will I learn and what skills will I have the opportunity to practise?

At the end of this subject you will be able to demonstrate the competence required of an entry level lawyer regarding trust and office accounting, by:

  • explaining the significance of, and principles governing, trust and office accounting in legal practice
  • completing trust and office account records according to law and good practice, to the extent expected of an employed lawyer

This subject is structured as follows:

Elements Units
Element 1: Receiving money and making outlays Unit 1: Recognising trust and other moneys
Unit 2: Completing primary records – trust account
Unit 3: Maintaining secondary records – trust account
Unit 4: Maintaining office account records
Element 2: Rendering costs Unit 5:  Charging fees, paying from trust and preparing statements
Element 3: Maintaining trust and other accounts Unit 6: Maintaining records of other trust moneys
Unit 7: Complying with further statutory requirements

How will I learn?

You will be provided with hard copy and online resources including interactive online tutorials, and exercises which you can work through at your own pace. You will also complete an online workbook on which you will be given feedback and which will also count towards your assessment.

The course timetable sets out the milestones for you to meet, and guides you through the subject. However, other than meeting dates for submission of work and assessments, you can progress through the learning resources and tasks at your own pace, when and where it suits you.

Whilst working online, you will have access to a lecturer with practical experience who will act as a mentor and give you individual guidance. Your lecturer will give you feedback, and coach you to achieve the required level of competence.

How will I be assessed?

You must achieve a total mark of 50% or more in the assessable tasks for this subject. The assessments are:

  • a practical workbook (40%)
  • a test comprising multiple choice questions and practical exercises (60%)