October 31, 2012

Trust Accounting using QuickBooks

Recently I have noticed alot of information on the web talking about trust accounting using QuickBooks. I also notice that people are suggesting making subaccounts under the bank account for each client. This is a method I do not recommend doing. It limits you on having to make one transaction for each client. If you only have a few clients and a few clients in your trust account this may work for you but it will become very cumbersome when your practice starts to grow.

Key things to remember when setting up your trust account.

You need to be able to provide the reports on a monthly basis to show activity for each client, sometimes called a client ledger.

You need to be able to have a report that shows all the activity in the trust account and clearly identified for each client.

You need to reconcile your trust account monthly with your bank statement.

If you print a Balance sheet report in QuickBooks and the Trust account does not equal the Trust Liability you setup then something is wrong. All money going into and out of trust should be coded to Trust Liability. I recommend using subaccounts under the trust liability but you can just use the customer name.

You want to make your system easy enough that at any given time you can identify who has what in trust. This is a very important part of your business.

You never want to be in a position that you bounce a check in the trust account. If you mess this up it can cause the bar association to step in and look at what you are doing.

If you need help or would like me to review your current Trust Accounting procedures I would be happy to help. You may call me at 904-284-4480 or email me at Lynette@attorneystechnology.com

October 30, 2012

Tracking Time in QuickBooks

Attorneys can track time in QuickBooks and bill their clients.  You do not need to buy any other software to make this work.  It is in QuickBooks.  

QuickBooks gives you two options for entering time (you can switch back and forth between either methods at any time).  In either case, be sure to enter as complete a record as possible if you want your time to accurately and completely transfer to invoices and statements or show on reports. 

Single activity time entries are convenient to use if you will be continuously running QuickBooks, and entering each activity as you do it, rather than entering all your time at the end of the week from a paper timesheet. One advantage is you can use the timer to time your activity. 
1.      Click on Enter Time from the Home Page.
2.      Click on Time/Enter Single Activity.
3.      Choose the Date in the Date field.
4.      Choose the Employee in the Name field. 
5.      Choose the Client, and job if you are using jobs, in the Customer: Job field.
6.      Choose the Service Item. For example consulting, court appearance or telephone conference.
7.      Enter the time spent.
8.      Make sure there is a √ in the Billable box if you are going to bill the client.
9.      Enter a description in the notes area.  This will be able to be pulled into the invoice or statement.
10.    Click on Save & Close if you are finished entering time or Save & New if you want to enter more time.



The weekly timesheet in QuickBooks is useful when you enter time at the end of a week or a certain period, working from a paper time record.
1.      Click on Enter Time on the Home Page.
2.      Click on Use Weekly Timesheet.
3.      You may want to change the date range for the time sheet.  To do this click on the small calendar icon to the right of the date.  Select a new date.  The new date range will appear.
4.      Choose the Employee in the Name field.
5.      Choose the Customer in the Customer: Job field.
6.      Choose the Service Item.
7.      Enter a description in the notes area.
8.      Click on the date column and enter the time spent.
9.      Mark it billable if you want it to show up on the client’s invoice or statement.
10.    Continue until all time is entered then click Save & Close. 

QuickBooks service items are used on the time sheets.  You may want to think about how you want to see your income and set up your items accordingly.   If you need help I am available to help you get started with tracking time in QuickBooks.   You may call my office at 904-284-4480 or visit www.attorneystechnology.com for more information.