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attorney doc storage - Complete Controller

Though it may seem like a no-brainer, law firms’ actual protocols and processes to stay compliant are complicated. Especially in Trust Accounting (otherwise known as IOLTA Accounting or Escrow Accounting), individual states’ compliance and requirements are of the highest importance.

From keeping thorough records (both print and digital) to grasping the main differences between unearned and earned income, Trust Accounting brings several unique challenges. Let’s look at some of the trust accounting compliance challenges a firm is the most likely face. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Challenge 1: Shortage of Trust Specific Rules and Knowledge

Every state has made its audit programs and compliance guidelines that their attornies are responsible for grasping. Further than this, the firm’s bookkeeper(s) and accountants must understand the legal accounting and bookkeeping procedures.

We stress on this point that there are many expert accountants out there who are not familiar with the new and unique trust accounting compliance requirements, and the challenges it brings with it. You need to ask your bookkeeper or accountant regarding their expertise and experience with law firms. 

Challenge 2: Restricted Resources and Means of Smaller Law Firms

Limited resources are another reason for law firms to face challenges in document storage compliance for their attorneys. When we say resources, we mean dedicated resources, IT systems, and training. These resources are reasonably hard to manage by many small firms. Nonetheless, the compliance requirements remain the same for every law firm. Regardless of the firm’s size, the chances of an audit will be the same for everyone. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Challenge 3: Systems Operating Manually

Law firms that keep track of their client funds through manual entries on paper spreadsheets increase the chances of errors. The bookkeeping process is slower. Despite the firm’s and attorney’s best efforts, a lot of valuable time will be wasted trying to find where the five-cent discrepancy occurs.

If the law firm makes use of an accounting solution, they need to make sure that the software is set up correctly. This software is not aimed at legal practice. That is why they require extra vigilance.

Challenge 4: Trust Funds Commingled

Commingling is of two main types:

  1. Losing tabs on the client trust account balances. In other words, no distinct ledger cards
  2. Mixing the firm’s funds with the client’s funds needs to be tracked individually

Although you can have various trust funds using one bank account, the trust funds must be recorded separately in the books. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Challenge 5: Lack of Safety Measures to Avoid Common Trust Blunders

Some common trust mistakes consist of lack of proof of identity for every matter, commingling of funds, repeated check numbers, overdrafts, and so on. Business owners of law firms cannot fulfill the part of a bookkeeper or CPA. Therefore, it is essential to implement processes and systems that can provide proper tools to the team.

Challenge 6: Disordered Bank Reconciliation

In trust management, bank reconciliation is even more critical. Trust reconciliation has a different way of reconciling as compared to operating accounts. It encompasses the “three-way reconciliation” where the total Individual Card Balance, Bank Balance and Book Balance, and Bank Balance is broken up. It helps you to discover any errors and correct them promptly speedily. This method dramatically helps at the time of the audit.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
Paperless Law Firm - Complete Controller

The traditional legal profession depends heavily on writing, reading, and research, which results in the heavy usage of paper. This often causes the law office to look like a warehouse of legal documents. This creates various problems such as misfiling, poor organization, and the cost associated with producing and storing the documentation, to name a few.

The effort to go paperless or at least reduce the usage of paper, not only helps you cut down on clutter and costs but also allows you to move towards more innovative and efficient business processes. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

However, we have to keep in mind that the legal documents are confidential and contain a client’s personal information. To ensure that you never lose your precious materials, we have compiled a list of some of the best cloud-based storage platforms.

These services use the latest encryption technologies and take extra security measures to protect confidential data from hackers. Additionally, some of the providers offer two-factor authentication to protect you against unauthorized access to your account.

pCloud

pCloud is an excellent choice for a cloud storage platform. It comes with advanced security features and a crypto package add-on, which provides multi-layered zero-knowledge encryption to your documents.

The 4096-bit RSA algorithm protects private key information, and the 256-bit AES protects your documents, which makes it almost impossible to break the encryption and gain access to your documents. Their monthly packages start from as low as $3.99, which gives 500GB of file storage.

PCloud previously held a competition for hackers called the “crypto challenge,” where they were willing to grant approximately $100,000 to hackers able to break into the encryption. Two thousand eight hundred sixty hackers participated in the competition, and none of them succeeded. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Sync.com

Sync.com is a top-notch cloud storage option for a law firm. It is equipped with 2048-bit RSA encryption keys and 256-bit AES encryption, which provides a high-security level. Moreover, the service is very affordable. Their Business Pro starts from $5.00, which gives 1 TB of storage and unlimited data transfer.

The only downside is that each file needs to be decrypted, which means that photos and documents cannot be previewed.

SpiderOak ONE

Though SpiderOak ONE’s primary service is cloud backup, its high-level security features and cloud storage features make it very difficult to exclude. Like the past services, it offers zero-knowledge encryption and uses a combination of the 2048-bit RSA and 256-bit AES algorithms to protect your backups.

The best part is that your backup files are only accessible on your devices, as SpiderOak themselves do not know their device key, which makes your data super safe and secure.

Another excellent feature includes a point-in-time backup, which means that you can recover your deleted files. You can also revert your files to the previous version at a given point of time, which can be very beneficial to prevent damage, especially in case of ransomware attacks. Their monthly plan starts at $5.00 per month for 150GB of storage. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers

Tresorit

Tresorit provides end-to-end file encryption and comes with a secured file-sharing technology, which allows you to send your confidential files to your clients securely. The main highlight of this cloud storage service is the remote wipe feature, which will enable you to delete files stored in the local drive files in case your device is stolen.

Furthermore, you can send password-protected download links via email to your recipients. You can also set download limits, custom passwords, and a duration for which the link is available for download. This provides an additional layer of security to your file if the recipient’s email is compromised.

Like other platforms we mentioned on this list, all files are protected with zero-knowledge encryption and 256-bit AES encryption, which makes your files inaccessible to anyone without the encryption key.

Please mind that this option is more expensive than the other options we mentioned. Their plan starts at $12.50 per month. You can also signup for their 14-day trial period and check out their service before committing to more extended plans.

Conclusion

There you have it – the best document storage services for your paperless law firm. These services will help you secure your legal documents and help you preserve other data, such as HR, payroll, and bookkeeping records.

All of the document storage platforms we mentioned in this list are very secure options. We encourage you to check them out and determine which one is the best fit for managing the documents of your law firm.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity. Check out America's Best Bookkeepers