The Transformation of Trust Accounting is Good News for Law Firms

From medieval England to modern-day Australia, Trust Accounting is an essential and highly- specialised field.

The Trust Accounting specialty has been around for a long time – it was formalised as an official accounting practice in Medieval England. In the centuries since, Trust Accounting rapidly became more complicated and regulated as global economies grew and more sophisticated financial instruments were developed.

Today, Trust Accounting is an essential part of the legal, finance, and real estate industries. Its purpose remains the same – to protect the interests of clients and other stakeholders by ensuring that the funds entrusted to professionals are managed and used appropriately.

It is a highly specialised area of accounting that requires expertise, sharp attention to detail, and adherence to strict ethical and legal standards. Failure to comply with these standards can incur financial penalties, so it is an important area for Law Firm Directors to pay close attention to.

Trust Accounting is a highly specialised area of accounting in law firms, and those skills can be hard to find in the legal job market.

Bev McSween is Head of Trust Accounting at LexVeritas and has over 30 years of experience in accounting in the legal industry. Bev supervises the Trust Accounts of law firm clients and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of their accounts. She also oversees continual training of LexVeritas Trust Accounting staff to understand legislation and the guidelines from Law Societies and how these are implemented into everyday practice.

“Historically, I have found that law firms are understaffed in their accounting areas in general. And Trust Accounting has always been the least staffed area,” Bev said.

Bev explains that there are nuances and complexities to the Trust Accounting process that may not be obvious to more general accounting professionals.

“My team and I ask the right questions and provide tangible advice to our clients. The consequences of mismanagement in their Trust Accounting can have serious consequences for both the firm and their clients, and we make sure all the checks and balances, assessments, and procedures are performed before any funds are moved.”

The Transformation of Trust Accounting is Good News for Law Firms


Failure to manage Trust Accounts correctly creates significant implications for law firm Directors and potentially their clients too.

One of Bev’s core focuses at LexVeritas is continually upskilling her team. Mistakes can occur in any business, but when it comes to dealing with Trust money, one tiny mistake can cause serious consequences for law firms.

Ultimately the Directors of the law firm are responsible for any errors with their Trust Accounts, and independent audits occur every year as well as investigations by Law Societies. The consequences of minor breaches can include penalties, including fines. Major breaches could end in disbarment and even criminal charges.

“At LexVeritas, we analyse transactions against the legislation to ensure we deal with the funds in an appropriate manner and that nothing is missing. We have specific procedures we developed to do this for our clients,” Bev explained.

“Everything must be recorded in a set way that meets Law Society requirements, and I liaise closely with our clients to make sure they are fully compliant.”

If something is incorrect, the Law Society must be notified, in what is called an ‘irregularity notification.’

Minor errors are generally accepted if the notification process is done correctly, all information is provided, and records are accurately kept according to best practices.

Digital transformation in Trust Accounting is key to greater efficiencies for law firms and their clients.

Trust Accounting involves the movement of large sums of money. Some are once-in-a-lifetime transactions for that individual client, and their law firm has a duty of care to make sure the money is dealt with professionally and safeguarded.

Digital transformation has been traditionally slow in this area of specialty but has huge potential to increase efficiencies as it moves into a digital era. Law firms’ clients expect the Trust Accounting process to be fast and efficient. Moving away from paper cheques is supporting this shift.

Government agencies are now accepting electronic payments and property transactions have moved to e-settlements.  The move towards a digital Trust Accounting process also supports auditing and compliance, with more easily searchable record keeping, which will need to be submitted quickly in the event of an audit.

Another part of Bev’s role at LexVeritas is to educate the solicitors and their teams about Trust Accounting best practices.

‘LexTrust’ Trust Accounting Service offers efficient and highly skilled management of your firm’s trust accounts.

There is great operational risk in expecting unqualified staff to manage your firm’s Trust Account.

LexTrust is a Trust Account bookkeeping service designed exclusively for law firms as a cost-effective alternative to the traditional in-house model. Our expert team led by Bev McSween assists your firm, delivering a secure and reliable trust accounting service with strict adherence to all legislative requirements. The team is specialists in this niche field and guarantees reliable support and expertise to ensure your firm is compliant.

LexVeritas has the tools, technology, and expertise to run your firm’s daily Trust Account operations. We ensure that you have access to our specialist trust accounting professionals, every business day of the year, providing continuity of your Trust Account operations and reducing operational risk to your firm.

Contact us today to discuss how we can help manage your firm’s Trust Accounting.



We pride ourselves on our ethical and transformational approach to talent management, and seek to elevate the practice of talent management in the legal industry by using systems and processes that promote best practice, while adhering to the regulatory code of conduct.

Technology is key to our point-of-difference; we combine the knowledge of our own experienced talent experts together with market leading artificial intelligence talent technology to source and place the right candidate with the right role.

We have formed strong and meaningful partnerships with law firms and their leaders, and strive to ensure the long-term success of candidates, both for themselves in their career, and for their employers. We are not interested in merely a transactional relationship and our pricing structure reflects this.

Personnel Administration

Administration is a word we all love to hate. Unfortunately, though, change is inevitable in a business, and when changes arise, they need to be dealt with in a swift and timely manner.

To aid the adjustment process, we offer employee services through our partner platform, Employment Hero. This platform gives your staff direct access to leave requests, salary adjustments, payslips, and more, leaving you with final decisions – not the administrative processes along the way. 

Transactional Accounting

Our transactional accounting team is staffed by legal bookkeepers that have extensive experience in the nuances of law firm accounting. This service offering is focused on the following key activities:

  • Accounts payable, including the processing and payment of matter related disbursements. Our team processes your supplier invoices and sets up payments to ensure your vendors are paid on time and your firm can focus on the legal matters at hand.
  • Our accounts receivable team monitors your firms bank account to ensure your client payments are allocated correctly and that your firm is receiving regular information in relation to your cash position.
  • Our general ledger team performs daily bank reconciliations on your general account as well as all your end of month journal entries.

Our focus is to enter data once, correctly, and use automation relentlessly.

Compliance Services

With an ever-increasing regulatory landscape our compliance services team ensures that your firm is meeting its compliance obligations in the following areas:

  • Lodgement of Business Activity Statements
  • Income Tax returns
  • Fringe Benefit Tax
  • Audited Financial Statements
  • ASIC Lodgements
  • Single Touch payroll
  • Payroll tax
  • Superannuation payments.

Financial Planning and Analysis

The competitive landscape that law firms operate in is constantly evolving. These changes can have a significant impact on the financial performance of a firm. As a law firm leader, you need to understand your numbers so that you are in a position of strength to be able to capitalise on opportunity or navigate challenges and risk.

Our analysts in our Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) team can assist you with the following:

  • M&A analysis
  • Due diligence
  • Budget preparation
  • Scenario planning
  • Cashflow analysis
  • Statutory and compliance reporting
  • Client reporting
  • Monthly director reporting
  • Implementing Microsoft Power BI

Credit Card & Travel

We understand that operating in a professional services environment requires your people to be on the move. We have partnered with Uber for Business and CT Connections to provide a land and air travel program that leverages our combined purchasing power to get more competitive rates on hotels and airfares.

We know that reconciling credit card transactions following a business trip can be laborious and time consuming. We have partnered with Serko, a best-in-class expense management platform, to significantly reduce the manual effort required in this process. Let LexVeritas do the time-consuming work for you!


Within a professional services environment your people are your greatest asset. It is therefore imperative they are paid appropriately and have access to a best-in-class rewards and benefits platform. By utilising our payroll service, you will ensure your staff have access to a dedicated payroll team to answer any payroll related questions. Our payroll team focus on:

  • Onboarding new hires
  • Offboarding terminated employees
  • Processing of pay events per your firms’ policy
  • Single Touch Payroll event and finalisation reporting
  • Payroll tax compliance
  • PAYG withholding and remittance
  • Superannuation Guarantee management
  • Salary sacrificing, including novated leases.
  • Employee expense claim management
  • Expert knowledge of the Legal Services Award

We have partnered with Employment Hero as our payroll and HR technology provider.

Workforce Planning

Planning your workforce is an essential part of safeguarding your firm into the future.

With our team, you will have access to dedicated People & Culture professionals who will assist you in identifying and meeting your future workforce requirements.

We make it our business to understand your business, to be able to provide you with the most appropriate services suited to your organisation, helping map out your staff and help you identify business critical talent you need to acquire, develop and nurture.

Employee On-boarding

Identifying a candidate can seem like a long process, but this is just the beginning.

Employee onboarding starts from the moment a decision is made on who to hire. This includes everything from issuing offers of employment to deploying all relevant induction materials.

Induction consists of a series of short online videos and compliance training, specific to your firm. These are available completely online, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere.

In the background we organise your new employee’s access to all systems and resources they require, for them to commence work on day one, and commence billing on day one.

Learning & Development

Part of developing your workforce is to ensure all staff members continue to learn and develop within your organisation.

We will work with your firm to develop materials to keep staff up to date on their technical skills and ensure they meet their ongoing compliance requirements.

Our Learning Management System (LMS) consists of a database with over a thousand development and compliance videos on a large range of topics.  We will develop a package suite to your organisation. We will further monitor compliance with regards to mandatory training and provide feedback to your leaders and managers.

Legal Automation

Legal automation is the use of software to automate the manual tasks that lawyers carry out in the course of their role.

The lawyer’s role can be seen as a mixture of advice – applying their knowledge and judgement to a given scenario – and of process, taking on the routine tasks (often around paperwork) that are necessary to fulfil legal requirements in a robust and compliant way.

Legal automation is aimed mainly at the process part of a lawyer’s job. Legal automation exists to free up lawyers’ time from low-value process work and enable them to focus on more important tasks.

Performance Management

Business success is a direct result of managing your business’ performance.

We will assist your organisation in an annual review process to ensure leaders, managers and staff are meeting to discuss performance and the impact on the firm. We will assist you identify excellent performers, to create a plan on how to further develop them, keep them engaged and incentivised.

We are experienced in managing staff performance, good or poor, and we will work with you to enhance your business performance through ensuring your staff’s performance is aligned with your firm’s goals. You can engage our staff on more sensitive matters when there is a need to establish performance improvement plans for any of your staff members.

Salary bench-marking

Securing top talent is crucial to a firm.

We will assist in salary benchmarking to make sure you are competing appropriately in the marketplace. We will be able to advise you on comprehensive remuneration packages, including incentives schemes and bonus structures.

Managed IT Support & Services

Our experienced Service Desk team are here to ensure that your team has an optimised technology experience. From managing user accounts, installing new software applications and troubleshooting issues, we are here to help.

Network, Data Centre & Cloud

We work to take the complexity out of implementing and operating the IT infrastructure that underpins the productivity of your workforce. Our Infrastructure team are focused on delivering high-quality service – robust, resilient and reliable.

End-User Computing

Optimise your technology fleet with Lexveritas’ End User Computing services. We help to manage the lifecycle of your computing hardware and mobile device fleet. From managing user accounts, installing new software applications and troubleshooting issues, we are here to help.

Security Management

Information security is an increasing concern in today’s globally digital environment. With so much personal and commercial information stored online or on a computer, it opens us up to different avenues of cyber-attack.

We partner with leaders in the IT security space to ensure your firm is locked down from any attempts to infiltrate its systems. We also provide training to staff to minimise risk in both their work and personal lives.

Strategic IT Road Map Development

In a world of rapidly advancing legal technologies, the firms that thrive will be those that align their strategic ambitions to their technology road-map. Our team has the experience and capability to help your firm realise its strategic goals by planning, designing and executing an aligned road-map.

Outsourced CFO

Our outsourced CFO service is designed exclusively for mid-tier and boutique law firms that require strategic financial advice and oversight however aren’t of the size to justify a full-time headcount. We offer flexible packages so you can leverage this expertise without the price tag of a full-time employee.

Our outsourced CFOs can assist with:

  • Profit maximisation strategies
  • Budget preparation
  • Cashflow modelling
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Control environment improvement
  • Management reporting
  • Financial gap analysis
  • Risk mitigation
  • Fundraising
  • Forecasting analysis
  • Scenario planning
  • Accounting and audit support
  • Firm valuations
  • Firm analysis and cost control
  • Working capital improvements

We have extensive law firm experience and have become a trusted advisor to our clients.