2.6 Technology and Accounting
The Law Society has three approved software packages (PCLaw™, EsiLaw and Clio) for the purposes of Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, Rule 119.30 (5). The Law Society recommends that law firms use the approved accounting software as these software products address the needs of the legal market. Law firms using approved software can easily upload data directly to the Law Society.
Law firms not using the approved software must have their accounting records reviewed by an accountant who then must file an Accountant’s Report every year. If using accounting software other than the approved software, please make sure that the product follows the basic structure described in this textbook as some systems use different terminology to name records. Also be aware that general accounting packages may provide general accounting functions but are not designed to deal with lawyers’ trust accounting responsibilities.
Before settling on a new accounting system, consider consulting with an accountant or skilled bookkeeper. Each year, you, or your firm on your behalf, must file a Self-Report. If your proposed system cannot fulfil this obligation (found in Rule 119.30(3)(a)), you may incur additional accounting or bookkeeping fees.
It is possible that other software packages will be approved for the purposes of Rule 119.30(5); however, at this time, the only approved packages are PCLaw™, EsiLaw and Clio. For more information see What Kind of Software Should I Buy?