Practical Information on Banking

Think carefully when choosing an approved depository. It can be costly and time-consuming to relocate trust accounts. Minor items like the type of cheque that your accounting system requires can hang you up if you choose an approved depository that cannot accommodate your requirements.

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; 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. In situations like this, pursuant to Rule 119.19 (4)(d) a law firm may maintain a maximum of $500 of the firm’s own money in each of the firm’s pooled trust accounts as a “float” to cover fees and bank services charges. This float must be managed and reconciled monthly by the law firm.   

You should find out about your approved depository's clearing and data rules. For example:

What is the cut-off time for same-day deposits?

  • When are cheques deposited at another branch of your approved depository 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. You are required to keep a copy of all cheques received (hard-copy or “printed” to pdf) for deposit to your trust account.
  • Ensure your approved depository will provide sufficient details of wire transfers. You must know the source of transferred funds.
  • Ensure the approved depository knows you require all cancelled cheques to be returned.

<3.12 Trust Reconciliations

3.14 Avoiding Pitfalls>

Last modified: Tuesday, 15 June 2021, 6:18 PM