LEG315 - Law Office Accounting

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-05-29 00:30:33.092
Last review date 2017-07-17 00:15:30.884

Subject Title
Law Office Accounting

Subject Description
The course focuses on accounting procedures relating to the keeping of records and recording of transactions in a law office and the requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Credit Status
This is a credit subject applicable towards the Legal Assistant Certificate Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Articulate the meaning and use of basic accounting terminology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of a balance sheet and income statement
  • Describe source and calculation of financial information reported in financial statements
  • Articulate the various forms of business structures available to law firms and the tax implications
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use and limitations of a General Account in a law firm
  • Understand and articulate the use and limitations of a trust Account in a law firm
  • Describe the varieties of Trust Accounts that may be used by law firms
  • Articulate the various records that must be maintained in compliance with the requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada to record transactions involving the General or Trust Accounts of a law firm
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and ability to complete all ledgers and journals required to be maintained by a lawyer practicing in Ontario
  • Understand and articulate the practice and procedures involved in the various forms of electronic transfer of funds by lawyers
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the components of the Annual Return required to be filed by members of  the Law Society
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the use of PCLaw with respect to time and monetary management in a law firm

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Introduction to Legal Office Practice & Procedures, Legal Terminology

Topic Outline

  • Introduction to Legal Accounting
  • Accounting Fundamentals: GAAP, The Chart of Accounts, Double Entry Accounting, Debit and Credit, the Accounting Equation, T-Accounts, The Trial Balance
  • Financial Statements: Balance Sheet, Income and Expense
  • Taxation: Income Taxation, Federal vs. Provincial, Rates and Levels of Taxation (individual, partnership, corporate), GST, PST
  • The Law Firm General Account
  • The Law Firm Trust Account
  • Reconciliation of Clients' Ledger Books and Records
  • Electronic Account Transactions
  • Special Record Keeping
  • Computerized Accounting
  • Interim Reporting Requirements
  • Annual Reporting Requirements

Prescribed Texts

Students to download 30 day trial software. Please advise students to do so only when directed so they have enough time to complete their assignment
Students will be asked to download a 30 day free trial version of the PCLaw 10 software in order to complete Assignment 3 in the
course.  Students will be alerted in advance of the requirement.

Reference Material

RECOMMENDED TEXT: Fundamental Accounting Principles
Kermit D. Larson and Tilly
raw-Hill Ryerson
13: 9781259104961

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
3 Assignments total 60%
Final Exam 40%

The student must attain a combined grade of at least 50% on the term work and the final exam to pass the course.

Approved by: Sandra Noble