Course Title: Maintain trust accounts

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2009

Course Code: BAFI5119C

Course Title: Maintain trust accounts

School: 650T TAFE Business

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6070 - Advanced Diploma of Business (Legal Practice)

Course Contact : Jenny Wotzko

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5701

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit covers the maintenance of trust monies related to specific files, under the instruction of a legal practitioner.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

BSALF401A Maintain trust accounts


Check that trust funds are adequate

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Check relevant sources for information regarding disbursements and costs

1.2 Calculate and reconcile estimated disbursements and costs with available trust funds

1.3 Notify instructing legal practitioner where there are inadequate available funds

1.4 Notify client that further funds are required, where necessary, according to firm's policies and procedures


Draw cheque/s against the trust account

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Complete appropriate requisition form

2.2 Gain authorisation from instructing legal practitioner according to firm's policies and procedures

2.3 Inspect cheque/s for accuracy and correct account source

2.4 Organise instructing legal practitioner to verify and sign cheques

2.5 Keep accurate records of all file-related disbursements and costs


Prepare documentation upon completion of legal matter

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Collate relevant information/documentation from file

3.2 Reconcile monies remaining in trust account

3.3 Promptly investigate discrepancies/irregularities and take appropriate follow-up action

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course, a student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the general operation of trust accounts, be able to control and account in both a legal and ethical manner for all trust moneys received and paid, and be able to clearly report to stakeholders how trust monies have been dealt with.

Details of Learning Activities

The classes in this course will provide opportunities for students to develop a working knowledge of Part 3.3 of the Legal Professions Act and Regulations.  The primary focus will be on practical demonstrations and exercises in documenting and recording a variety of trust account transactions.  In addition, there will be ample opportunity for discussion of the trust accounting systems used and problems encountered by other students working in legal offices throughout Melbourne.

Teaching Schedule

WeekCommencingPerformance Criteria/Topic Assessment
1Feb 9What is ‘Trust money’?
What is a ‘Trust Account’ & when is it used?
Office account transactions vs. trust account transactions
 Case study and Assessments explained
2Feb 16Trust money & trust account legislation.
 Legal Profession Act 2004
 Legal Profession Regulations 2005
3Feb 231.1-1.2Trust Account Records:
a. Overview of Trust Accounting System
b. Trust Account Receipts
4Mar 21.1-1.2 Trust Account Records:
c. As above - exercises
5Mar 9 <font face="Verdana" size="2">LABOUR DAY HOLIDAY</font> 
6Mar 16  QUIZ 1
 7 Mar 231.1-1.4 Assessing the adequacy of trust account balances 
8Mar 302.1-2.5 Trust Account Records:
d. Trust Account Payments
9April 62.1-2.5Trust Account Records:
e. As above - exercises
10April 20  QUIZ 2
11April 273.1-3.3 Completion of a legal matter
Reconciliations & reports
12May 41.1-3.3 Completion of a legal matter
Comprehensive example
13May 11 1.1-3.3 Computerised trust accounting systems 
14May 18  QUIZ 3
15May 25 Completion of case studies 
16June 1 Completion of case studies Case studies to be handed in at the end of class
18June 16 <font face="Verdana" size="2">Return of Case Studies</font> RETESTING

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



Part 3.3 of the Legal Profession Act 2004 - provided on the Learning Hub 

Part 3.3 of the Legal Profession Regulations 2005 - provided on the Learning Hub.

Other Resources

Notes on Recording Trust Transactions provided on the Learning Hub progressively through the semester.

Overview of Assessment

A student must demonstrate a clear understanding of all elements of the required competencies to be deemed competent. Assessment may include a variety of methods including tests, workbooks, presentations, class exercises, assignments etc. Formative feedback is provided throughout the course. This occurs by the teacher providing information to the student to inform them how they are succeeding in the course and areas that require more work to succeed. Formative feedback is not a piece of assessment that contributes to the student’s final result.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Tasks:  3 quizzes (short tests) worth 20% each + 1 case study worth 40% of the total mark for the course.

  1. Quiz 1, 16th March - short answer questions + a practical exercise, covering trust account receipts (weeks 3 & 4) and the introductory material from weeks 1 & 2.
  2. Quiz 2, 20th April - practical exercise(s) covering the processing and recording of trust account payments (weeks 7 - 9).
  3. Quiz 3, 18th May - short answer questions + a practical exercise testing the trust account documentation required on completion of a legal matter (weeks 11 & 12).
  4. Case Study - a practical application of all elements covered by the competency.

Assessment Matrix

  Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3  Case Study
 1. BSALF401A/01
Check that trust funds are adequate
 X X   X
 2. BSALF401A /02
Draw cheques against trust account
  X   X
 3. BSALF401A /03
Prepare documentation upon completion of legal matter
   X  X

Course Overview: Access Course Overview