Annual Trust Account Report
Every law firm handling trust money is required to file an Annual Trust Account Report confirming compliance with the accounting rules. This annual report comes in two forms. Most firms are provided the option of filing either a Self Report, or a Form D with Accountant’s Review. The Self-Report requires the member to complete a questionnaire and submit a month end trust reconciliation and supporting documentation. On the other hand, the Form D involves a review of the accounting records by an independent accountant, with the member responsible for paying for the review. Certain members with previously inadequate accounting systems, unfavourable past audit results, or other concerns are required to file a Form D with an independent accountant’s review.
Choosing a Trust Year End Date:
Members may select either a June 30th or December 31st year end for purposes of their Law Society trust account filing. Members are required to advise the Law Society of their chosen year end within 30 days of opening their first trust account. In choosing a year end, consider your own time limitations at each of these times of year, and whether your law practice is busier at one of those times.
The Self Report filing deadline is 8 weeks after the member’s trust year end, while the Form D is due 4 months after the member’s year end. If your firm requires an extension, a written request must be made in advance of the deadline providing an explanation for the request. If you are filing a Form D, you should remember to retain an accountant well in advance to allow the accountant time to complete the review and meet the filing deadline.
For June year ends the deadlines are:
Self Report is due August 25th
Form D is due October 31st
For December year ends the deadlines are:
Self Report is due February 25th
Form D is due April 30th
Where to locate Reports
The following are the most current versions of the Annual Trust Account Reports