Receiving trust money - conveyancers

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Handling and receiving trust money 

After receiving trust money you must:

  • prepare a receipt and give the original to the client on request 
  • enter receipt details in the trust account receipts cash book 
  • enter receipt details in the trust ledger account 
  • deposit the money into the general trust account 
  • enter deposit details in the trust accounts receipts cash book.

It is an offence for you or your employees to cause, without reasonable excuse, a deficiency in any trust account or trust ledger account. Failure to pay or deliver any trust money is also an offence.

Preparing and issuing receipts

You must prepare receipts which are consecutively numbered, issued in sequence and in duplicate (unless recorded electronically).

The receipt must contain the:

  • receipt number 
  • name of the conveyancing business or trading name 
  • expression ‘trust account receipt’ or ‘trust a/c receipt’ 
  • date of the receipt and, if different, date the money was received 
  • amount received 
  • form in which money was received (for example cash/cheque/electronic funds transfer [EFT]) 
  • name of the person the money was received from
  • name of the client the money was received for and the matter description and reference 
  • purpose for which the money was received 
  • name of the person who made out the receipt.

If a receipt is cancelled or not delivered, you must keep the original receipt.

Recording trust money received

After issuing a receipt, you must use the trust account receipts cash book to record the:

  • date of the receipt and, if different, the date the money was received 
  • receipt number 
  • amount received 
  • form in which the money was received 
  • name of the person the money was received from
  • details clearly identifying the name of the client the money was received for and the matter description and reference 
  • purpose the money was received for
  • name of your conveyancing business and the words ‘trust account’ or ‘trust a/c’, on each page 
  • name of the person who made out the receipt 
  • date and amount of each deposit.

For money received, you must use the trust ledger account to record the:

  • date of the receipt or, if different, the date the money was received 
  • amount received 
  • name of the person the money was received from
  • purpose the money was received for.

Depositing money into the trust account

A deposit record of cash and cheque deposits must be given to the ADI when the deposit is paid.

The deposit record must record:

  • the date and amount 
  • how the deposit is comprised (amount in notes, cheques or coins) 
  • the name of the drawer (of each cheque) and name and branch or BSB number of the ADI the cheque is drawn from and the amount.

You must make these records in duplicate and keep copies for the general trust account and deposit book.

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