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Certified Legal Bookkeeper

  • 180 posts
  • # 73422

 

Hi everyone - we are getting ever closer to the release of the new Certified Legal Bookkeeper course which is scheduled for release on 1 September 2011.

I had the proof copy of the course to look at over the past week and make a few amendments.

OK - I am biased because I wrote it, but I was very impressed with the folder and layout.

All I can do now is sit and wait for those who want to take this course to sign up and get going.

If you haven't worked in the legal profession before then this will be an interesting diversion into a new area and, especially for those struggling to get new work, it may help to open some doors.

If you already have the experience you may well find that your knowledge is a little rusty - especially with the changes which are due to come into play on 6 October 2011.

The course is entirely focussed on the new regulations but also draws on my experience of the legal profession since 1979 with a few tips and pointers to help you think about the way that your legal accounts office works.

Don't forget to use the forum for healthy debate, and short questions - but please, no assignment questions as the procedure will be in place for that when you sign up. And definitely NO EXAM QUESTIONS please.

Also the ICB have a technical help line for more complex issues.

Look forward to helping you all - let's see if we can get an ICB member into every law firm in England and Wales (sorry Scotland etc but I haven't worked on their accounts and they do things differently).

Geoff

  • Practice Licence
  • 20 posts
  • # 73464

Hi Geoff

Would this course have relevance in Guernsey? I know it's not applicable to Scotland but wondered whether it would be for the Channel Islands as we tend to follow English law.

Hazel

  • 180 posts
  • # 73466

Hi Hazel.

The answer is that I am not sure how much relevance there is to the way you work there.

The course has been written in line with the Solicitors Code of Conduct (which incorporates the Accounts Rules) issued by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The SRA is the independent regulatory body of the Law Society of England and Wales hence the geographical restriction.

Although you follow English law you may have different rules.

There may be some benefit - for example there are a number of instances where I have drawn on my thirty two years experience in legal accounts and refer to "best practise" and of course also extensive reference to client and office account recording.

Without seeing the rules applicable to locations outside of England and Wales I cannot be sure as to relevance.

I understand that the ICB has had an enquiry from much further afield - so maybe I could suggest a few worldwide CPD seminars - at least my holiday arrangements would be sorted!!

Geoff

  • 36 posts
  • # 73846

Will the new Legal bookkeeping course involve the use of legal accounts software ?

  • 180 posts
  • # 73851

 

Hi Steve

The ICB would ideally like to have all exams online as with those already undertaken in that way.

The peculiarity with legal accounts is the involvement of two accounts, client and office account, which have a lot of interaction and need to be seen side by side on many occasions and with simultaneous posting to both ledgers.

At the present time physical use of software, either at home or online, is not part of the course or the examination process, that may change but as far as I can see that is some way off yet.

Many undertaking legal accounts work try to use Sage et al for their work but it simply doesn't do the job and can create further problems which could result in action by the SRA against the firm.

Geoff

  • Associate PM.Dip
  • 170 posts
  • # 75970

Which software is suitable for legal b/k?

  • 180 posts
  • # 75971

Hi Ken

The answer (generally) is the same as it would be for any other accounts - horses for courses, user needs and personal preferences.

I have used the same software since 1983 for legal accounts and it suits me and my clients. However ex clients have found that new staff don't like it and opt for other software.

The problem is that there is such a wide range of bespoke software, some all singing all dancing, some with plenty of bells and whistles and some with nothing more than the basic needs.

There is a high risk of low cost software but front ended and ongoing training and support costs, getting locked in for say five years because "we've bought it now we have to live with it".

It will depend on size of practice and present and future needs, how knowledgeable the bookkeeper is - for example with my experience (since 1979 in legal accounts) I could probably go into any law firm and start posting without any training.

The worst scenario is where a firm chooses the software first and then the bookkeeper - because he/she may have their own preference and become disillusioned with what he/she has to work with. The next worst case scenario is choosing a bookkeeper, leaving them to decide, getting the software and the bookkeeper leaving.

What is definitely a NO is Sage, QuickBooks et al - off the shelf packages, they are just not suitable for a law firm.

If anyone wants to know why - the Certified Legal Bookkeeper course is now available from the ICB .Laughing

  • Associate PM.Dip
  • 170 posts
  • # 75972

hi geoff

Are there any online systems that are suitable. I am considering the course as I have some contacts that may need a qualified b/keeper and I would be looking for appropriate software, preferably online if it is available.

Ken 

  • 180 posts
  • # 75974

Not as far as I know.

There are difficulties with this because of the constraints of the SRAARS (Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules).

There is an alternative method however. This will not work with all software due to cost (licence) constraints but it certainly does work with the software I use.

My clients have the software in their office, I have a copy on my laptop.

They send me an envelope each week with their data to be processed, I post at home and then send an update of the data file as an email attachment for them to download onto their system.

It is also possible to log in to their system remotely and do the download for them if needed.

I have one client where I have been doing this for ten years.

If you need to know more - because I cannot advertise the software (even though I get no commission from them)  - drop me an email info{at}accountslegal.co.uk

Geoff

  • Fellow
  • Practice Licence
  • 698 posts
  • # 76646

Hi Geoff

In my humble opinion as you are not an employee of any software company if you have found software that works will in specfic circumstances then there is not a problem with you recommending it.

From my understanding the advertsing scenario only kicks in if you are a representative of that comany which as far as I know you are not so stating whioch packages work for you is merely your opinion not an advert.

Kind regards
Stuart

PS Groaned at the hairdressing reply Tongue Out

  • 180 posts
  • # 76674

It was my version of the Friday joke!!

  • 1 post
  • # 78357

Will the upgraded legal book keeping course come to usage of small businessmen, interested in maintaining small business accounts?

Edited at 16 Jan 2012 11:17 AM GMT

Edited by Moderator as assumed spam 


Edited at 16 Jan 2012 12:35 PM GMT by James @ ICB (MODERATOR)

  • 5 posts
  • # 80892

It is very hard to search a certified legal book keepers. Also getting the right one people for your work is very hard one you have to required lots of knowledge for that.



Edited at 15 Mar 2012 05:21 PM GMT by James @ ICB (MODERATOR)

  • 5 posts
  • # 81602

SPAM

Edited at 06 Apr 2012 09:52 AM GMT by James @ ICB (MODERATOR)

  • 1 post
  • # 82667

Hi Geoff,

My friend is thinking of starting his own Painting and Decorating Business up and I wondered with my qualification up to Level 2 with the ICB if I could help with his Accounts if he does start up. If I can then could you tell me what Bookkeeping work I can do to help himor put me in the right direction please?

Cheers

Ant 

  • Member PM.Dip
  • 269 posts
  • # 82677

Hookyjnrsaid:

“Hi Geoff,

My friend is thinking of starting his own Painting and Decorating Business up and I wondered with my qualification up to Level 2 with the ICB if I could help with his Accounts if he does start up. If I can then could you tell me what Bookkeeping work I can do to help himor put me in the right direction please?

Cheers

Ant ”



Hi Ant,

I don't really think this is a question for Geoff, more a general question, as you will not need legal certified bookkeeper for this work.

If you go to 'examination' then 'membership by examination' and hover your mouse over Associate level, this will highlight the work you can carry out.

You will obviously need to get your insurance and Practice Licence before carrying out any work as self-employed.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Kerry

  • 1 post
  • # 92166

Hello Friends,
Thanks a lot for sharing your useful opinions and views it would be very useful for newbies like me..

  • 2 posts
  • # 95385

I agree with you angelaflowers. There are lots of online bookkeepers out there. But, ShaneBro also has a point, maybe what she's trying to say is that it is you have to find the best bookkeepers so that you can successfully run your business.

  • Member PM.Dip
  • Practice Licence
  • 1 post
  • # 106062

Geoff said:

“Hi Ken

The answer (generally) is the same as it would be for any other accounts - horses for courses, user needs and personal preferences.

I have used the same software since 1983 for legal accounts and it suits me and my clients. However ex clients have found that new staff don't like it and opt for other software.

The problem is that there is such a wide range of bespoke software, some all singing all dancing, some with plenty of bells and whistles and some with nothing more than the basic needs.

There is a high risk of low cost software but front ended and ongoing training and support costs, getting locked in for say five years because "we've bought it now we have to live with it".

It will depend on size of practice and present and future needs, how knowledgeable the bookkeeper is - for example with my experience (since 1979 in legal accounts) I could probably go into any law firm and start posting without any training.

The worst scenario is where a firm chooses the software first and then the bookkeeper - because he/she may have their own preference and become disillusioned with what he/she has to work with. The next worst case scenario is choosing a bookkeeper, leaving them to decide, getting the software and the bookkeeper leaving.

What is definitely a NO is Sage, QuickBooks et al - off the shelf packages, they are just not suitable for a law firm.

If anyone wants to know why - the Certified Legal Bookkeeper course is now available from the ICB .Laughing

Hi:

If you know how to treat client  and office account corresponding to Double Entry system, it is OK to use sage, quick book for legal bookkepping I dont find any problem at all. Thanks

Salim Ahmed, M.com, MBA, MICB CB.Dip, PM.Dip, AFA, AAIA 

www.fsahmed.co.uk

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