Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Free: Risk of Delegating Bank, Bookkeeping Responsibilities

With the increasing demands placed upon attorneys, it is inevitable that a greater number of tasks will routinely be delegated to others, including bank and bookkeeping responsibilities. Some firms assign this responsibility to a partner, an associate, a trusted non-lawyer employee, or possibly an independent bookkeeper or accounting service. Whether the bank and bookkeeping tasks have been delegated within the firm or outsourced, every signatory on the account ultimately has a fiduciary responsibility to oversee and review the account. Unfortunately, the trust and reliance vested in others may provide a false sense of security if those individuals do not fully appreciate the importance of preserving the integrity of client funds. As supervision decreases or disappears, the risk to the funds on deposit and to the ethical liability of those in control escalates.

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