LA0715 - SOLICITORS ACCOUNTS - PART TIME

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SYNOPSIS OF MODULE

This module will be delivered on the part time Stage 1 route of the Legal Practice Course and is designed to reflect the type of accounting issues encountered and dealt with in practice.

The aim of the module is to teach students the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules in the context of the systems and procedures they will encounter in practice. Issues of professional practice will be dealt with throughout the module.

Following completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules in the context of given factual scenarios, identifying both accounting and professional conduct issues when they arise.

The module is delivered by a combination of large and small group sessions, and directed and independent learning.

The module will be assessed by examination.

INDICATIVE READING LIST OR OTHER LEARNING RESOURCES

Reading:
King: Accounts for Solicitors, CLP

E-learning Portal:
A range of materials to support both large and small group sessions and to facilitate directed and independent learning will be provided via the Solicitors’ Accounts e-learning portal site.

OUTLINE SYLLABUS

Part 1 The Solicitors’ Accounts Rules 1998
1.1 Introduction to the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules
1.2 The difference between clients’ money and office money
1.3 Client bank account and the office bank account
1.4 Client records
1.5 The rules regarding payments into and withdrawals from the office and client bank accounts, including mixed receipts.
1.6 Transfers from client account to office account
1.7 Controlled trusts and trust money
1.8 Compliance with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules
1.9 The structure of a solicitor’s accounting system
1.10 Accounting for basic transactions

Part 2 Client Accounting
2.1 Recording basic cash transaction in office and client ledgers including paying money in and out, raising a bill of costs, paying money to the client and transfers between client and office accounts

Part 3 The Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and property transactions
3.1 The application of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules to property transactions and accounting for these transactions
3.2 Accounting for disbursements, deposit monies (stakeholder accounts), secured lending finance, completion and lender’s costs
3.3 Accounting for transactions relating to the purchase of a property
3.4 Accounting for transactions relating to the sale of a property
3.5 Analyzing and interpreting transactions recorded in a set of accounts
3.6 Preparing financial statements for the client on completion of a matter

Part 4 Accounting for VAT, abatement of costs and bad debts
4.1 Application of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules to contentious business and the recording of such transactions in the accounts
4.2 VAT, accounting for VAT, agents’ fees, VAT on disbursements, abatement of costs and bad debts

Part 5 Deposit interest
5.1 The rules on deposit interest
5.2 Accounting for deposit interest

AIMS OF MODULE

The aim of the module is to teach students the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules in the context of the systems and procedures they will encounter in practice.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

On completion of the module, students should have a basic understanding of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules, including the:

1. requirement to maintain separate office and client ledgers and bank accounts

2. obligations regarding payment into and drawings from client bank accounts

3. entitlement to make transfers between client bank accounts and ledgers and between client and office bank accounts and the need to record such transfers

4. obligation to pay interest to clients and the funding of such payments

5. requirements in respect of the holding of trust monies

6. powers of the Solicitors Regulation Authority to secure compliance with the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules

and should be able to:

1. recognise, record and interpret receipts into and payments from office and client accounts

2. prepare a simple statement for clients on completion of a matter.

COREQUISITES

NONE

DISTANCE LEARNING DELIVERY

N/A

LEARNING AND TEACHING STRATEGY

The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic. They will place these principles in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios. The aims of the large group sessions will be to:

• Give an overview of the module area;
• To prioritise learning points within a topic;
• To explain, emphasise and demonstrate, with examples, substantive or procedural points within a particular transactional context;
• To focus on areas within the module that pose particular difficulties and require further explanation or examples;
• To encourage students to consider the module from a practical perspective as they will do later in their training contracts.

The small group sessions (which will consist of between 16 – 20 students), will, in conjunction with the directed and independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills based and interactive sessions to apply that material to the scenario. The aims of the small group sessions will be to:

• Develop area introduced in large group sessions and in the small group session preparation;
• Develop problem-solving and other legal skills;
• Promote intellectual inquiry;
• Implement knowledge in a practical way to solve clients’ legal problems;
• Develop teamwork and both collective and individual presentational skills

Students will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative self test and multiple choice questions. Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions.

Experiential learning is prevalent in the simulated practice exercises that take place in most of the small group sessions

ASSESSMENT STRATEGY

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Summative assessment will be provided by an examination comprising a two hour closed book paper.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Formative assessment will be provided by a combination of self test questions and multiple choice questions which students will complete through the module e-learning portal site and in small group sessions. Students will also have the opportunity to sit a mock closed book examination paper.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

The multiple choice questions are undertaken in a small group session and feedback given during this session. Detailed answers to the self test questions will be available on the e-learning portal and feedback on the mock examination will be given via the e-learning portal and in a large group session.

IMPLICATIONS FOR CHOICE

NONE

SYNOPSIS OF MODULE

This module will be delivered on the part time Stage 1 route of the Legal Practice Course and is designed to reflect the type of accounting issues encountered and dealt with in practice.

The aim of the module is to teach students the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules in the context of the systems and procedures they will encounter in practice. Issues of professional practice will be dealt with throughout the module.

Following completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules in the context of given factual scenarios, identifying both accounting and professional conduct issues when they arise.

The module is delivered by a combination of large and small group sessions, and directed and independent learning.

The module will be assessed by examination.

Course info

Credits 1

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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