Accounts for solicitors

JanJan Experienced MentorRegistered Posts: 654
Does anyone have any experience of working for a solicitor?

I have an interview (yipee) this week and believe that solicitors have their own set of rules when it comes to accounts. I know they have to keep clients and their own money seperate from my banking days, but haven't had any experience in the actual bookkeeping side. There is also mention of disbursement accounts which I have been trying to get my head round.

Any help would be appreciated.

Don't think I have much chance of success, but it is nice to get an interview. Oh dear, my lack of self confidence rears its ugly head again :lol:

Comments

  • PoodlePoodle Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 711
    disbursement accounts

    Hi Jan

    Firstly good luck with the interview, could be quite a relief from what you are currenly experiencing:001_smile:

    Disbursement accounts are just control accounts for making payments on behalf of clients, agent/principle situation, for which you bear no financial responsibility and make no profit from. They do not affect your turnover are outside of the scope for VAT and usually sit as a debtor /creditor on the balance sheet.

    I would imagine that you would have transactions on some sort of accounting software and also have to reconcile that balance on excel.


    This link may help

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/charge-disbursements.htm


    Poodle
  • peugeotpeugeot Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 624
    Hi Jan,

    Solicitors do have their own accounts rules issued by the Law Society. The fundamentals of the rules concern client monies and interest as well as the books and records they must keep (traditionally they kept the 'Kalamazoo' system, which some (smaller) firms still do). Solicitors are also obliged to file an accountants report to the Law Society periodically to confirm to the Law Society that they have complied with these rules (usually the external firm of accountants issues this - it works in much the same way as an audit report but takes its own format).

    A link to the Solicitors Accounts Rules is here:

    http://www.sra.org.uk/code-of-conduct/accounts-rules.page

    Hope it goes well.

    Regards
    Steve
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Thanks for your swift replies, the links look useful, I'll have a better read tonight when I get back from work.

    I've hopefully got another iron in the fire. Both posts have different issues that may be a stumbling block and it may be that neither are what I really want, but who has the perfect job? I'm looking at this one as good interview practice. It's years since I had a formal interview - thankfully the last one was a good experience, even though I didn't get the job.

    Poodle, you are quite right in your opening comment! I'll pm you when I have further news on that one.
  • whiterosewhiterose Feels At Home Registered Posts: 49
    Jan - I worked at a small firm of solicitors while I was studying AAT, and one of the other areas you might like to research is how they account for their claims for Criminal Defence Service work. It would show that you have done a bit of background work!
    When I was there (in 2000) the Legal Aid Board ceased to exist and was replaced by the Criminal Defence Service, which issued a new Contract for Legal Aid work to solicitors in that year (it might have changed again since then). They went over to receiving a single fixed monthly payment, with a monthly claim to adjust. There were all sorts of complex rules for how to cost out Police Station Advice claims, telephone calls, , letters, waiting time, and so on. Part of the contract detailed IT compliance rules which meant that records must be maintained on a computerised system. Where I worked we used a system from Videss - now part of Iris. Worth a Google.
    Good luck.:thumbup:
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Just got back from my inteview and although it seemed to be going well, I fell at the last hurdle!

    Wasn't the right thing for me, but it has given me more of an idea of what I really want. Perhaps I should tackle the problem I have here head on and see if I can change things for the better. Its worth a try and may actually work!

    I think my boss is getting an inkling that I'm not happy (maybe the sour face that greets him sometime is a clue :lol:)

    I'll keep you posted!
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