Reconciling Client Trust Accounts In Clio

Posted on Posted in Bookkeeping, Client Trust Accounting, For Law Firms

 

Performing an ethics-compliant, three-way trust accounting reconciliation in Clio is easy when done correctly.

Step 1: Ensure Your Individual Clio Trust Balance Match Your Bank Statement

First, make sure you’ve received your bank statement for the month.  Reconciling with Clio works best when you receive a paper or PDF bank statement, rather than a download of transaction listings.  Using the actual bank statement, it is easier to compare balances.

Print a Trust Listing Report.  In Clio, select the tab for Reports, then click Trust Listing.  Settings for the report should be as follows:

  • Uncheck “Show clients with zero balance”
  • Select the button for “All Clients”
  • Select Practice Area: All
  • Select Date Range: Custom: Leave the start date blank, and set the end date as the date of your statement
  • Output Format: CSV
  • Click “Generate Report”

The report will automatically download, and you can typically find it in your downloads folder.  Move it to your trust reconciliation file, and save it there.  Now open it.

If you have more than one trust account, you’ll have to delete all the other trust accounts from this report, so that only the trust balances for the account you’re reconciling remain.  If you don’t have more than one trust account, skip this paragraph.  To do this, sort Column B (the Account column) A > Z.  (Place your cursor in Column B; click the Data tab; and click the screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-22-12-ambutton.)  Delete all lines in the spreadsheet that contain any account other than the one currently being reconciled.  Do you agree with me that it would be nice if Clio’s report feature would let us select a certain account so we don’t have to do this deletion step?  Please email them and let them know.

In Cell E1, enter the following formula: =SUM(D:D)  Hit enter.  The number Excel spits out in the cell should equal the Ending Balance on your bank statement.  When it does, the first of your three reconciliations is complete.

Step 2: Ensure Your Bank Account Activity Report Matches Your Bank Statement.

Print a Bank Account Activity Report.  In Clio, select the tab for Reports, then click Bank Account Activity.  Prepare your report with the following settings:

  • Trust Accounts: Select “Specific Account,” and choose the correct account
  • Select Practice Area: All
  • Select Date Range: Last Month (unless your bank statement doesn’t run with the calendar month, in which you’ll select “Custom” and enter the same dates as your bank statement)
  • Check the box for “Include Opening Balance”
  • Do not check the box for “Display Matter to Matter Transfer Transactions”
  • Output Format: PDF

Click “Generate Report” to download it, move it to your reconciliations folder, and open it.  Ensure that the opening balance matches the opening balance on your bank statement.  Ensure the closing balance also matches your statement.  Finally, check to ensure that all transactions showing on your bank statement appear on your report (which they should, if the opening and closing balances match).

Step 3: Ensure Your Bank Account Activity Report Balance Matches Your Trust Ledger Balance

If you’ve performed the two steps above and the ending balances match, then this step is already complete: compare the total balance on your Trust Ledger Report (which was calculated in Cell E1 in Step 1) with the ending balance in your Bank Account Activity Report.  When these two balances match, your three-way reconciliation is complete.

Not currently using Clio?  Try it for free.

Skepsis would love to perform your monthly trust reconciliations for you, whether or not you’re using Clio.  Please email email us at info@skepsistech.com.  Gain more great insights by subscribing to our newsletter below.



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