Practical Information on Banking

You should think carefully when choosing an approved depository. It can be costly and time-consuming to relocate trust accounts. 

It is strongly recommended that you maintain only one, or at the most two, pooled trust accounts. Our experience shows that there are more errors and shortfalls where numerous pooled accounts are held, to say nothing of increased bookkeeping costs.

Many trust account errors arise because the general account and pooled trust account get mixed up. These suggestions may decrease your chance of error:

    • use trust cheques distinctly different in colour from general account cheques;
    • ensure "TRUST" is marked in bold on trust cheques (Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, Rule 119.17(4)); and
    • ensure the account numbers for the two types of accounts are different.

Instruct your approved depository to charge your general account with pooled trust account service charges. This may not be possible in situations where law firms have trust accounts with multiple financial institutions and a central general account at a different financial institution. 

You should confirm your approved depository's clearing and data rules, including:

    • the cut-off time for same-day deposits;
    • when cheques deposited at another branch of your approved depository are credited back to your account;
    • if your bank allows remote branch banking (either by you or your clients) ensure that all deposits at other branches will still provide you with a copy of both sides of the cheque; 
    • ensuring your approved depository will provide sufficient details of transfers so you can show the source of transferred funds; and
    • ensuring the approved depository provides you with all cancelled cheques or digital images. 
Last modified: Monday, 21 August 2023, 10:42 AM