The Bookkeeper's Role
There is a prevalent notion among practitioners that the bookkeeper's role is akin to that of a data entry person with a basic understanding of bookkeeping. However, the person you employ will not only be responsible for the day-to-day posting of transactions for your trust and general accounts, but is usually delegated the more important role of conducting month end procedures, include the preparation of the monthly trust bank reconciliations, billing and accounts receivable work, payment of client disbursements and office accounts, preparation of periodic financial statements, and monitoring cash flow for your business.
Some lawyers have only a vague notion of what the bookkeeper does for their business. They may hire a friend or relative for this job without careful deliberation or a review of their qualifications. Often LSBC becomes involved in a practice where the bookkeeper has not performed their duties and are without proper supervision by the lawyer. As many lawyers have experienced, changing bookkeepers can be expensive, time-consuming, and may even lead to discipline action if the books and records are not kept in accordance with the Rules.
It is the lawyer's personal responsibility to ensure the books and records are kept in accordance with the Rules whether or not any duties are delegated to a bookkeeper.Therefore, it is incumbent upon every practicing lawyer to be familiar and have a working knowledge of Part 3, Division 7 of the Rules.