Manage Your Practice and Maximise Your Efficiency with the help of Sol-Est Accounts
Part 1: Client Balances & Overdrawn Client Ledgers
Your Sol-Est program, when used correctly and to its full potential, is a very powerful accounting tool.
When the postings and reconciliations are completed properly, your reports & manual reconciliations will provide your accountant with everything they need to quickly and easily prepare your accounts for tax and submit your end of year audit to the Law Society. As an office manager or practitioner, the reporting facility in Sol-Est should be used to maximise the usefulness of the program and ensure the smooth running of the office.
This series of blog posts highlight a selection of the most important reports, which you should make a habit of running regularly.
- Reports > Account Reports > Client A/c > Client Balances – Enter dates required (normally only a “To” date is entered), or leave blank to see the balances up to date
This report shows a listing of all client balances up to a given date. This is a useful report to look over regularly as an office manager.
You can select to see balances relating to a certain bank account, for a specific group of clients, for a given Fee Earner and for a specified period.
This report is most useful if the only criteria selected is an end date, or the dates are left blank and the report run up to the current date. When you are familiar with the work in progress in your office, you will notice where for e.g. a matter has large balance but a mortgage should have been redeemed, or a balance remains for stamp duty that needs to be discharged.
If all criteria are left blank, and the box marked Only O/D Balances is ticked, the report will show only ledgers with overdrawn client account balances. This check for overdrawn client ledgers should be run daily by your bookkeeper. An office manager should check this report weekly to ensure SAR compliance. Any matters found to have debit balances on the client account need to be immediately investigated and corrected. Looking at the ledger card will determine the nature of the error and the correction needed. If you are unsure how to check or correct a ledger, you should get in touch with CBS Ltd / Sol-Est Accounts immediately. If you are not a CBS or Sol-Est customer, your accountant may be able to advise you. We would recommend taking a support package from CBS Ltd if you find you are often in need of specialised help in the area of legal accounts.
We must stress that the usefulness of the reports is dependent upon the standard of posting to the system. Posting should be kept up to date, and manual reconciliations run each month to verify the accuracy of the data input to Sol-Est. Once your book-keeper has completed the monthly reconciliations, you should review those in conjunction with the reports below in order to keep your practice running efficiently.
If you do not use Sol-Est Accounts, you may be able to generate similar reports from your software. If you cannot, you should consider upgrading to Sol-Est to ensure you have can properly manage your practice and finances within the SAR.