Control accounts

Control accounts are general ledger accounts in your Chart of Accounts that are used to reconcile your general ledger with your clients/matters.

The control accounts your system requires depends on the accounting method you use, which in turn depends on how your firm records revenue and expenses.  You must select the appropriate accounting method before beginning data entry, and you will not normally need to modify your accounting method or control accounts again.

For example, a trust bank account is a control account. When you enter a trust receipt, the software automatically updates both the client/matter and the trust bank general ledger account. The balance in the trust bank general ledger account must always agree with the total trust funds on your clients/matters, for that bank account.

In contrast, your Petty Cash general ledger account is not a control account. Funds unrelated to specific clients/matters flow through your Petty Cash account, and because they are unrelated to clients/matters, you record these transactions using the Journal Entries program.

The Verify Clients/Matters and G/L Balances report displays your control accounts and their general ledger and client subledger balances. If the general ledger balance and client subledger balance for an account are not equal, the report will indicate that your general ledger is out of balance.