1. Sort your list of transactions by amount before you start ticking off items. Especially helpful when you're reconciling Payments, as this tends to be a longer list to scroll through than Deposits.
2. Tick off bank statement amounts at the same time as you tick of each amount in CATS.
3. Circle any items that are on the bank statement, but that you can't find in CATS, or that are a different amount in CATS.
4. Consider reconciling more frequently than monthly. This can be easily done in CATS - instead of locking the period, save where you're up to and come back into the trust reconciliation again. Just change the date and closing bank account balance and continue on.
5. If you have 1 figure in CATS that matches the total of 2 or more figures in your bank statement (or visa versa), then make a note of this on your bank statement.
6. Keep detailed notes of any discrepancies. Consider using an Excel spreadsheet for this - by having the total of your individual discrepancies added up for you, you reduce the chance of error when transferring the figure to your "Adjustments" field.
7. When finished (and before locking the period), check that the amounts on the first page of your reconciliation report do in fact match the other 3 pages of your report - the Trust Account Ledger Balances list, the Unpresented Cheques list and the Outstanding Deposits list.
8. Save electronic copies of your reports in well-named folders that can be easily accessible come audit time.
We've picked up a few tricks and tips in our years of doing trust account bookkeeping for Adelaide conveyancers.
CATS software is one of the programs some of our conveyancing clients use to keep track of their trust accounts - here are 8 tips to help you reconcile your trust account using CATS software.
I hope these tips have helped you with your CATS trust account bookkeeping. And if you decide that reconciling your own conveyancing trust accounts is too difficult or time-consuming, be sure to check that the person you're outsourcing to is an experienced bookkeeper who has knowledge of the nuances and regulations of the conveyancing industry and trust accounting.
16th October 2021
Adelaide bookkeeper, bas agent & xero adviser