Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud application for trust accounting designed to prevent career-ending ethics mistakes (see article below), Microsoft's spiffy new hybrid laptops, and an iOS time-tracking and billing app. Don't miss the next issue.
TRUST ACCOUNTING YOU CAN BANK ON
Trust accounting is a misnomer because many lawyers don't necessarily trust their trust accounting and hope they don't get audited. Commonly used tools such as Excel and QuickBooks don't have lawyers top of mind. Some practice management systems offer trust accounting, but what if you want a standalone app?
TrustBooks … in One Sentence
Launched recently, TrustBooks is a cloud application that exclusively focuses on managing trust accounts.
The Killer Feature
TrustBooks contains various controls to save you from making a career-ending mistake. For example, many law firms create one bank account for all their trust accounts. For this reason, many states require three-way reconciliation of trust accounts. This involves reconciling each bank statement against each matter's trust ledger while ensuring that nothing leaks into ledgers for other matters. TrustBooks makes this process feel like traditional two-way reconciliation.
When plenty of cash resides in the bank but not in a trust account your bank can't warn you about an overdraft. However, TrustBooks prevents you from paying yourself or a vendor from a matter's trust account with insufficient funds even if the associated bank account has enough funds. When a trust account is sufficiently solvent to cover a bill, TrustBooks includes information on checks that some states require.
"We created TrustBooks as easy-to-use software focused on helping attorneys manage their trust accounts and stay in compliance with their state bar," TrustBooks CEO Tom Boyle tells us. "Our goal has been to take the complexity out of the trust accounting process. We want small law firms and solo practitioners to gain greater confidence around managing their trust accounts by using TrustBooks."
Other Notable Features
TrustBooks presents you with a dashboard when you login. This page lists the balance of all trust accounts, recent deposits and payments, and one-click access to key tools. From this page, you can create a trust account for a new matter, add payees, enter deposits and payments, print checks, start a reconciliation, and generate reports.
From the dashboard, you can drill down to a Matter Info page for an overview of each trust account and then further drill down to the View Trust Account page for a granular look at that trust account's ledger. TrustBooks offers several reports, including statements for clients that you can export in PDF format.
Printing a check to yourself seems silly nowadays. TrustBooks enables you to record an ACH or other permitted electronic funds transfer from a trust account to your firm's account.
What Else Should You Know?
TrustBooks works in all major desktop and mobile web browsers. It costs $25 per user per month or $199 per user per year. Learn more about TrustBooks.
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