Glossary Of Terms
Accounts Receivable – A receivable is created when you send a statement of account to your client but have not yet received full payment. The amount owing is called a receivable.
Books of Original Entry – A book (or books) recording in chronological order the full details of all payments from trust, all transfers between individual client trust ledgers, all trust receipts and the form in which the trust money is received. [Rule 5-41]
Cancelled Cheque – A cheque that was originally recorded in the accounting records that now needs to be reversed/cancelled due to an error.
Cheque Images – A copy of the front and back of the cleared cheque included with a monthly statement from a savings institution.
Cleared Cheque – Any cheque written on a bank account that has been cashed.
Client Trust Ledger (also known as ‘Client Ledger’ or ‘Ledger’) – A separate record maintained for each client and matter, recording in chronological order, the full details of all trust transactions for that client, and the balance in the client’s account. [Rule 5-41]
Confirmed Available Funds – Ensuring that the funds for a specific client matter have been deposited to the trust bank account and have been cleared through the banking system prior to disbursing money on that matter from a trust bank account.
Disbursements – amounts paid or required to be paid to a third party by a member or law firm on a client’s behalf in connection with the provision of legal services to the client by the member or law firm which will be reimbursed by the client [Rule 5-41].
e-Transfer or Interac e-Transfer of Funds – A method of receiving money electronically from another bank account.
Electronic Payment Service Provider- Organizations that provide firms with the capabilities and equipment to accept debit and credit card payments.
Expenses – costs incurred by a member or law firm in connection with the provision of legal services to a client which will be reimbursed by the client including such items as photocopying, travel, courier/postage and paralegal costs [Rule 5-41].
Financial Institution – means:
- a bank that is regulated by the Bank Act,
- an authorized foreign bank within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act in respect of its business in Canada,
- a cooperative credit society, savings and credit union or caisse populaire that is regulated by a provincial or territorial Act,
- an association that is regulated by the Cooperative Credit Associations Act (Canada),
- a financial services cooperative,
- a credit union central,
- a company that is regulated by the Trust and Loan Companies Act (Canada),
- a trust company or loan company that is regulated by a provincial or territorial Act,
- a department or an entity that is an agent of Her Majesty in right of Canada or of a province or territory when it accepts deposit liabilities in the course of providing financial services to the public, or
- a subsidiary of the financial institution whose financial statements are consolidated with those of the financial institution [Rule 5-41].
Financial Services Cooperative – a financial services cooperative that is regulated by an Act respecting financial services cooperatives, CQLR, c. C-67.3, or An Act respecting the Mouvement Desjardins, S.Q. 2000, c. 77, other than a caisse populaire;
Funds – Cash, currency, securities and negotiable instruments or other financial instruments that indicate the person’s title or right to interest in them. [Rule 5-41]
Money – Cash, cheques, drafts, credit card transactions, post office orders, express and bank money orders, and electronic transfer of deposits at financial institutions. [Rule 5-41]
Monthly Trust Reconciliation (or Three Way Reconciliation) – A comparison prepared each month by the member or law firm showing the reasons for any differences between the books of original entry, the client trust ledgers and the bank’s records. [Rule 5-41]
NSF Cheque (Non-Sufficient Funds) – A cheque which was presented for payment to a bank, but there were insufficient funds in the related bank account to complete the payment.
Outstanding Cheque – A cheque issued from a bank account that has not yet been cashed.
Outstanding Deposit – A deposit recorded in the law firm accounting records but not yet appearing in the savings institution’s bank account statement.
Pooled Trust Account – An interest-bearing chequing account opened at a savings institution by a member for the benefit of a number of clients. [Rule 5-41]
Professional Fees – Amounts billed or to be billed to a client for legal services provided or to be provided by a member or law firm.
Public Body – means:
- a department or agent of Her Majesty in Right of Canada or of a province or territory,
- an incorporated city, town, village, metropolitan authority, township, district, county, rural municipality or other incorporated municipal body in Canada or an agent in Canada of any of them,
- a local board of a municipality incorporated by or under an Act of a province or territory of Canada including any local board as defined in The Municipal Act or similar body incorporated under the law of another province or territory,
- an organization that operates a public hospital authority and that is designated by the Minister of National Revenue as a hospital under the Excise Tax Act (Canada) or an agent of the organization,
- a body incorporated by or under an Act of a province or territory of Canada for a public purpose, or
- a subsidiary of a public body whose financial statements are consolidated with those of the public body [Rule 5-41].
Reconciling Item – Any difference between the law firm’s trust account records and the trust bank account monthly statement balance for the same month.
Remote Deposit Capture – Remote deposit capture is a way to deposit cheques received without delivering the cheques to the financial institution.
Reportable Event – Circumstances where a trust account supervisor should contact the audit department of the Law Society to advise the auditors (and provide details) of the situation (such as a client matter being overdrawn).
Restricted Trust Account – A pooled trust bank account used only for the purpose of transferring funds electronically to pay Teranet Manitoba LP on account of land transfer tax and registration fees on real property transactions. [Rule 5-41]
Savings Institution – A Manitoba branch of a chartered bank or a trust company that is authorized by law to receive money on deposit and is insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, or a credit union or caisse populaire incorporated under The Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act. [Rule 5-41]
Specific Trust Investment Account – A separate interest-bearing account opened by a member or law firm in trust for a specific client at a savings institution, and is limited to a daily interest savings account, a term deposit or a guaranteed investment certificate.
Stale or Stale-Dated Cheque – A cheque that was issued six (6) months ago or more that has not yet been cashed.
Statement of Account – An invoice or bill sent to a client for legal services rendered and/or for disbursements.
Stop Payment – A service you can request from your savings institution when a cheque has been issued, but not yet cashed, and you want to prevent it from being cashed.
Supporting Documentation – Documents that support transactions recorded in your accounting records and can include documents from a third party (e.g. bank statement, invoices) and law firm records (e.g. receipt books, deposit slips).
Trust Account Supervisor – A practising member who has been approved to operate a trust bank account. [Rule 5-41].
Trust Money – All money received by a member or law firm in connection with the legal practice that belongs in whole or in part to a client or is received on a client’s behalf or to the direction or order of a client. It also includes money received by a member or law firm on account of professional fees for services not yet rendered or on account of disbursements or expenses not yet paid, or for which a statement of account has not been rendered. [Rule 5-41].
Trust Safety Appeals Committee – The committee responsible for considering appeals of decisions to deny or to approve with conditions a member’s application to become a trust account supervisor and appeals of decisions to revoke a member’s status as a trust account supervisor. [Rule 5-41]
Trust Transaction – Any accounting transaction where trust money is received, disbursed or transferred.
Trust Transfer – Moving (“transferring”) trust money from one client trust ledger to another client trust ledger.
Valuable Property – Anything of value, other than trust money, that can be negotiated or transferred by a member or law firm. [Rule 5-41]
Void Cheque – Any cheque that is unusable and cannot be accepted for payment (usually indicated by writing “VOID” across the cheque).
Wire Transfer – Wire transfers are movement of money from one bank account to another and are done by financial institutions.