More often than not, legal practitioners outsource their accounting duties to qualified accountants or bookkeepers. Reasons for the outsourcing will, for obvious reasons, differ from one legal practitioner to another. Reasons range from an inability to prepare and/or balance books, to the need by the legal practitioner to focus on their area of expertise.
The Attorneys Fidelity Fund (AFF) have had a number of encounters where the trust accounting records were not necessarily well prepared, maintained and/or retained. The AFF has had encounters where legal practitioners were unable to provide the accounting records, (both firm and trust records) when so required, citing reasons such as the records were kept with their accountants and/or bookkeepers.
This article seeks to clarify who is responsible for accounting records, and what should happen to the accounting records at any given point.