Total Legal Accounting 3




The Client/Trust sub-system is designed to maintain current Client information is respect of the value of Trust, Disbursements and Billings. Client and Disbursement transaction details are maintained in an open-item format. In this format, transactions are kept until fully matched by a balancing contra-entry, usually a receipt.


Transactions are kept for at least 2 years or until they are fully matched, which ever comes last. Client balances are also maintained for each of 12 last-year periods, 12 this-year periods and 3 next-year periods. In this way, comparisons for billings, etc. can be made between this year and next year. The 3 next-year periods allow you to keep processing without forcing an end-of-year, for at least 3 months after the end of the current financial year.


When a service rendered, a bill will be prepared on the computer. T.L.A. automatically posts the relevant information to the appropriate Client account and the billing statistics, account status, Solicitor commission details. These files are updated without further intervention of the operator.


The Client/Trust sub-system has the ability to calculate tax from billings, as well as to produce a Monthly Tax Report.


Receipts and adjustments can be aged to any balance.


It is recommended that the take-on of the Client/Trust sub-system be commenced at the start of a financial month, not partway through a month. This will facilitate audit control and balancing.


The CLIENT/TRUST MENU is accessed as item 1 or <F1> from the MAIN MENU. On selecting this menu the following menu will be displayed:



To return to the MAIN MENU, press <ESC>.


Fields available on the Client MASTER file.


Name                  Comments


FILE       This is the Client’s file number. This is the code by which the Client/Trust account will be referenced throughout T.L.A. It is an alphanumeric string from 1 to 6 characters long, without any leading or imbedded spaces. Please refer to APPENDIX A for a discussion of the ASCII collating sequence. Often the file number will be the year followed by a four-digit sequence number, eg 020004 would represent the fourth Client added in 2002.


FULL NAME  The full name of the Client. It may be up to 50 characters long. This field must not be left blank. This field is included because it is not possible to for the computer to reliably guess the full name from the following fields.


SHORT NAME This field is used for searching for Client files. If you do not have the Client’s file number on hand and you wish to initiate a search, you will be actually searching through the file by this field. If you leave this field blank, T.L.A. will automatically insert the first 10 characters of the FULL NAME field. This is not always the best result as the full name might start with a First Name and the better search field would be the first 10 characters of the Surname.


SALUTATION This field is used for addressing correspondence. It might be Mr. Fred Smith, whereas the FULL NAME might be FRED SMITH. (Notice the case.) This field may contain any 50 character string however it is recommended that leading spaces be avoided.


COMPANY NAME  Sometimes there might be a company involved and you might wish to address correspondence with that information. This field may contain any 50 character string however it is recommended that leading spaces be avoided.


MAILING NAME  If this field is left blank, T.L.A. will insert the FULL NAME. This field is used for addressing correspondence. Eg if letters should be addressed to a company or a group, this may be entered here, leaving the actual full name intact.


ADDRESS           This is a group of 4 fields (including post-code) that allow you to insert the Client’s billing address. Use the third line for suburb or county. T.L.A. will print these fields on BILLS and STATEMENTS.


MATTER RE  This a compulsory field. It briefly describes the nature of the matter. This field is displayed when you enter Bills, etc. It is useful because there may be several Client files created for different matters.


CONTACT    This is a non-compulsory field. It is used for entering the name, etc of a person other than the Client who might be a useful contact in this matter.


THEIR REFERENCE    This is a non-compulsory field. It is used for corporate Clients who give you a reference number for the matter. It is used in some statement formats for collating outstanding amounts into one statement.


PHONE NUMBERS    Here you may enter the Work, Home, Fax and Mobile phone numbers of the contact person. This is useful, quick reference information. This information is not included on any standard external reports.


ABN                     This field allows you to enter the Client’s Australian Business Number. This field prints on BILLS after 30/6/2000.


EMAIL                Here you may enter the Client’s email address.


SEND ACCOUNTS Some Clients require a Statement account to be sent and some require that none be sent. If you enter a Y here, a Statement will be sent.


MATTER TYPE This allows you to insert this file into a Matter group. Many Client reports may be sorted and totalled by Matter Type. See also SECTION - MATTER TYPES MAINTENANCE.


SOLICITOR  This allows you to attach this file into a Solicitor. Some transaction types allow you to override this code when the transaction is created. Many Client reports may be sorted and totalled by Solicitor. See also SECTION - SOLICITOR MAINTENANCE.


PARTNER    This allows you to insert this file into a Partner group. Many Client reports may be sorted and totalled by Partner. See also SECTION - PARTNER MAINTENANCE.


BILLING GROUP This allows you to insert this file into a Billing group. Many Client reports may be sorted and totalled by Billing Group. See also SECTION 7.2.1 - BILLING GROUP MAINTENANCE.


OTHER KEY      This allows you to insert the file into a user-definable group. Many Client reports may be sorted and totalled by this field. The field will allow any code to be entered. The name of this field may be changed in SYSTEM DEFAULTS, see SECTION 7.2.


ASSOCIATE  This is a non-compulsory field. If you wish to associate this file with an associate other than the SOLICITOR defined above, you may enter the Solicitor code of the ASSOCIATE here.


INTRODUCER 1,2 & CODE   This is a group of fields that are used only in certain installations. They represent the Solicitor who introduced the Client (there might be 2) and the percentage split for the purposes of commissions. If your practice does not use this facility, leave the fields blank.


FILE COMPLETE If the file is complete, enter Y here. Completed file can be masked from most reports and T.L.A will stop transaction entry to these files. A file cannot to set to complete unless all balances are zero.


STORAGE AT When a file is complete, the information is eventually sent to storage. A storage code may be entered here as a reference to the stored items. This field cannot be entered unless the FILE COMPLETE field is set to Y.


BALANCES   T.L.A. maintains the balances for Trust, Client and Disbursements as well as a total of any Securities associated with the file. In addition, the Client balance is maintained period by period for all 27 accounting periods defined in the Calendar.


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