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How We Solved The Toughest Accounting Challenge Of a Law Firm

As at the time this review was published, we had just helped a fast-growing law firm re-organised their books using QuickBooks Pro accounting software. You might ask, does a law firm really need an accounting software?

To answer this question, we believe that as long as tracking cash flow remains a top priority for businesses, they all need a software and law firms aren’t excluded. Besides, our interaction with the firm’s account officer revealed so much about the business of law firms that we decided to share some important key points and how QuickBooks software brought in a new life in their accounts department.

Clients Receivables & Trust Accounts

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For over 5 years, we have implemented QuickBooks for several companies under Retail, Manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Real Estate & Construction, Travels, Hospitality,Legal, Co-operatives, NGOs, Financial & Service Sectors.
  • Mbaire Services Nigeria Ltd(Construction)
  • Aristokrat 360 Limited(Creative & Media Agency)
  • Hawkes Legal(Legal)
  • Lilygate Hotel(Hospitality)
  • Josien Holdings Limited(Distribution)
  • Aisha Buhari Foundation (Futured Assured)(NGO)
  • Doheney HR Services(HR)
  • Biddel Oil & Gas Limited (Oil & Gas)
  • System Intelligenz Limited(Contractor)
  • MagTech Information Security (IT)
  • Infusion Cakes Nigeria (Bakery)
  • Landmark Centre (Event Centre)
  • Mountain Ice Travel & Tour (Travels)
  • BTS System (Service)
  • Logos Travel Support & Solutions Ltd (Travels)
  • Germaine Auto Centre (Autos)
  • BD Consult (PR)
  • Starlight Nigeria (Retail)
  • Temple Private School (Education)
  • C. Charles Resources Limited (IT consulting)
  • Adeniyi Coker Consultants Limited (Real estate and construction)
  • The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NGO)
  • Value Mart Supermarket (Retail)
  • Transweb Bureau De Change (Financial Service)
  • Wakanow Travels (Travels)
  • Vektro Food Limited (Manufacturing & Retails)
  • Orient Petroleum PLC (Oil & Gas)
  • Plus More

As at the beginning of 2018, they had individual and corporates clients with outstanding balances arising from professional services rendered; dispute resolutions, debt recoveries and others. At every point in time, the management would like to see their client balances for cash flow projections on a real time.

Solutions – we imported the names, addresses and receivable balances via excel into QuickBooks.

Another major concern was that they maintain a trust account on behalf of their clients and these funds are fully invested in call accounts with asset management firms.

What is a trust account – in simple terms, it is a fund account held by a professional on behalf a client known as a trustee.

Our team assisted the account officer by creating a parent trust account under liability since the fund is owned by clients and subject to their instructions. They also organised all the clients whose money are held in that account under a parent account head and added a corresponding investment account (with the asset manager) on their chart of accounts to track the funds that were invested in short-term securities with accrued income posted to an interest income account. One key feature of a call account is that you can request for your money at any point; for instance, whenever clients send instructions to the law firm as regards the purchases of a property ( with the amount held in the trust fund) on their behalf, a call is immediately placed to the asset manager.

On the statement of financial position, you can view the client trust account categorised by clients names for better reporting while the interest earned on the call account is displayed as a line item on your profit or loss account.

Fixed Assets

In business, we reference PPE (property, plant and equipment) to represent all the fixed assets to be tracked in your financial record but for a law firm, you have an additional asset like law books organised in the library for reference purposes. If you are not familiar with the industry, you might wonder why legal books, that ordinarily should be written off as expenses, are recognised as assets. But a closer look at their real relevance in the legal sector and the conditions under which an item is classified as a fixed asset, reveals that law books qualify to be an asset in their statement of financial position.

These are the key specifics that make QuickBooks customization in a law firm different from other serviced businesses. Other workflows like invoicing, receiving payments, recording deposits, making payments, and month end reconciliations still remain the same.

For more details on how we can make your law firm’s account department organised and relevant, connect with us at info@accountingsoftware.com.ng or call 08105090001, 08084219399.

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