Friday, April 29, 2011

LSUC Convocation - April 28, 2011

Yesterday, Convocation approved changes to By-law 9 and the Rules of Professional Conduct, as follows:

“By-Law 9 and rules of conduct amended re: trust account requirements
Convocation amended By-Law 9 (Financial Transactions and Records) and subrule 2.02(5)of the Rules of Professional Conduct to implement Convocation’s decision in February 2011 regarding trust account requirements. The rule amendments emphasize that a trust account must not be used for purposes outside the provision of legal services. The By-Law amendments introduce a requirement for licensees to record the purpose for which they are receiving or withdrawing funds from a trust account.”
More detailed information can be found here:
Or paste in browser:

What does this mean for bookkeepers. You will need to be more descriptive on the trust receipts and disbursements entries. From now on, generic client disbursement entries must be replaced with entries that clearly defined the purpose of these trust transactions.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future post topics. Next week – Pre-bills.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sylvia Loyens Link

Sorry, the link in yesterday's posting did not come through on the feed.

Just copy and paste into your browser:


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Non-Billable Time

In addition to using PCLaw for your general accounting and billing of clients, you can use it to track all of your non-billable time too.

First use Matter Manager to set up a new client/matter in the firm’s name, with you as responsible lawyer, and set the default fee rate to zero. For multiple lawyers/law clerks, create separate matters, with a different responsible lawyer/law clerk – i.e. firm-001, firm-002 ...

You can now track all of your non-billable time for administrative duties, client development, staff meetings, or any other time you expend on the firm’s behalf.
Sylvia Loyens has written a very good article that explains why you should be tracking all of the time you spend working in your practice. Here is the link to her article:

By setting up a firm matter, all of PCLaw’s features are now available to you. You can enter blocks of time manually on the time sheet. Rather than manually noting your start and stop times, you can use the Quick Timer. You can add notes, reminders, phone calls, etc. You can review reports, amend, print, save, etc.

Instead of scrambling to account for your time at the end of the month, you simply hit print.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posting topics. Next week – Pre-Bills.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Report Features

There are a huge variety of options available when running reports in PCLaw. I have touched on a few of them when discussing the individual reports. The features I will discuss today are available on all but a few of the reports.

When running a report you can select Printer to automatically print the report, Screen if you just want to view it, Email if you have the Outlook link installed, and Editor to save it in the format of your choice.

Customized reports designed especially for you in PCLaw are extremely expensive. The export to Excel option allows you to design an inexpensive Word or Excel report, to display the PCLaw data exactly the way you want to see it.

If you are looking for a specific entry, Ctrl + F or click the binoculars, to have the program search the report for you.

You may find something on a report that you need to change, remove, or add. To change or remove an entry, double click on the entry to open, and make your changes. On OK, the report will reappear. Click the refresh button on the top of the report, and the changed entry will appear.

Add an entry with Quick Step, Data Entry, or a shortcut key. Refresh the report, and the new entry will appear. If you closed the report to make your entry, select the report again, and click Last Load to populate the boxes with the matter, dates, etc., that you used before.

Other features are available to you by selecting things on the Matter or Other tabs; far too many to list here. If there is something specific you would like to know how to do, please feel free to ask me, as other people may want to know the same thing.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posting topics. Next week – Non-Billable Time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have received a comment on the General Ledger Reconciliation posting of March 27th. “HAM” brought up a very good point, that PCLaw Support cannot always provide the assistance you need. I have responded with my own comment. Support provides excellent help with the PCLaw program itself, however their bookkeeping advice is not always appropriate, as my example illustrates.

You are welcome to join the discussion and post your own comments or questions.  To view, you can click here:

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I have included the Register in this grouping of reports, as that is essentially what it is, a reporting tool. The information displayed on the general bank tab is exactly the same as appears on the general bank journal report. On the various tabs, it lists entries that have already been made, but you cannot use the Register to add a new entry by typing in a blank line.

The Register also has most of the features available with other reports: you can change entries by double clicking on them, you can save the reports, and export them to Excel.

The Register does provide three things not available on other reports:

The Register has an Entry pull down list, if you do want to add an entry. And the pull down list changes the items at the top of the list, depending upon which tab you are viewing.

The Register allows you to sort the entries in real time. Just click on the heading at the top of any column to sort in ascending order, click the heading a second time to sort in descending order. Handy if you are looking for a large or small entry. After you have removed or changed the entry, click on the date heading to return to the default view.

The Register also is used for voiding firm cheques and recording NSF receipt entries.

You can adjust the width of the columns by dragging the borders between the headings. If you want still more display room for a particular column, you can delete a column you do not need by right clicking on the heading and choosing Remove. To return to how the columns were displayed by default, right click and choose Restore.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posting topics. Next week – Report Features.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

End of Month (EOM) Reports

End of Month (EOM) reports are by default set up to include 15 reports, some of which are repetitive. The LSUC’s By-law 9, sec. 18 sets out the minimum bookkeeping records. Some of these include bank statements and cancelled cheques, which are items over and above PCLaw reports.

You can change (Reports – Report Group – EOM - Change) the list of EOM reports to include only the reports required by the LSUC. These include:

  1. Trust matter to matter transfers
  2. Trust bank journal
  3. Client trust ledgers
  4. General bank journal
  5. Invoice journal
These are the minimum requirements, to which I would recommend adding the GST (HST) journal and full client ledgers.

In addition to these reports and bank statements, you need to keep your signed Form 9s and the matching signed bank transfers, monthly trust comparison reports, and a duplicate cash receipt booklet, plus any mortgage records.

You are not actually required to print or save copies of these reports, but only to be able to reproduce them on demand.  However, saving electronic copies of these reports, in a place other than on the same hard-drive as PCLaw, will protect you should your system crash or the data becomes corrupted.

As always, I invite your comments and suggestions for future posting topics. Next week – The Register.