Technology and Accounting continued
For those of you with busier practices, you should consider one of the integrated systems (such as PCLAW and PCLAW PRO, ESILAW, LawStream, SmartWeal, PracticeMaster, Brief Accounting, Tabs III) created to address the needs of the legal market. They feature general accounting systems, and can incorporate conflict checking, calendaring (bring forward systems) and management reports specific to lawyers and law offices.1
Ideally your system should also handle all necessary deductions and filings, including income tax, GST, PST, CPP, E.I., and WCB.
Before settling on your new accounting system, consider consulting with an accountant or skilled bookkeeper. Each year you, or your firm on your behalf, must make a Trust Report filing. If your proposed system cannot fulfill the filing requirements, you may incur additional accounting or bookkeeping fees in the long term.2
1 See Appendix D for a more complete overview of the different types of accounting systems, including various software applications and the "one-write" system. There may be other good accounting systems not reviewed in this material. Also, the information on accounting systems may become outdated as technology changes. For current information, contact David Bilinksy, Practice Advisor at the LSBC, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 See ahead to the LSBC Trust Accounting Initiatives portion of the Trust Filings and Trust Applications module for discussion of a proposal that is being brought into effect, and will see the end of the need to bring in an outside accountant to review your accounts. In any event, even when the need to retain an outside accountant is eliminated, it would be a good idea to consult with any bookkeeper that you intend to hire on the software package best suited to your practice.