Law Firm Self-Report User Guide

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Law Firm Self-ReportUser GuideTrust SafetyMarch 10, 2021LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 1

Table of ContentsBackground . 3Logging In. 4Navigation. 5Creating Bank Accounts . 7Trust Bank Account Reporting . 8Filing a Trust Bank Account Report . 8Printing the Trust Bank Account Report . 10Law Firm Self-Report . 11Starting the Self-Report . 11Types of Self-Report Questions . 12Changing pages . 14Attachments . 14Submitting the Self-Report . 16Printing the Self-Report . 16LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 2

BackgroundRule 119.30(3) requires law firms to provide a completed Law Firm Self-Report to the LawSociety of Alberta on an annual basis. The report is proof of compliance with Part 5 of theRules. Law firms provide details regarding their practice, trust accounting and other relatedactivities during the preceding year in this report. Usually, one Self-Report will be completed forthe practice and this will satisfy the filing requirements of all the lawyers (associates andpartners) of the practice. The Responsible Lawyer is accountable for all filing requirements ofthe law firm, as per Rule 119.3(1).The Law Firm Self-Report provides an opportunity to ask meaningful questions to the law firmabout their practice as well as their practices for bookkeeping (general and trust accounts) toassess the safety and security of trust funds. Questions asked on the Self-Report are alsouseful to other arms of the Law Society for regulatory purposes.This guide provides instructions on how to complete and e-file a Self-Report online via theLawyer Portal.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 3

Logging InYou can log in securely to the Lawyer Portal from any computer with Internet connectivity.1. Open your Web browser2. In the Address or Location field of your browser, type: login3. The login window should appear4. To begin, enter your Login ID, which is your Law Society Member ID, and password5. Click Login. The portal page should appear.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 4

Navigation1. On the Welcome page, click on the drop-down menu in the Member Account Menu andselect “Trust Accounting”.2. The Trust Accounting Menu item in the Member Account Menu is available to: The current Responsible Lawyer; Former Responsible Lawyers for the firm, employed at the firm as recently as threemonths ago; and, Firm administrators.3. The Annual Filing Requirements section is located on the left-hand side of the page.4. On first entry to the Annual Filing Requirements section, the Welcome page is shown.No other Trust Safety pages can be viewed until the lawyer/firm administrator hasconfirmed that they have read this information.5. Trust Safety Filing Requirements consists of four main sections. The sections thatneed to be completed will depend on whether the law firm operates a trust bank account.FirmPracticeBankAccountTrust ionBSectionCLaw firm operates only ageneral bank account (doesnot receive, disburse orhandle trust money) N/A N/ALaw firm operates a trustbank account Law Firm Situation Indicates section of the Law Firm Self-Report that must be completedLAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 5Law Firm Self-Report

6. A lawyer may be eligible to access self-reports, bank account reports and firm practiceprofiles for more than one firm. In this case, they can choose which firm they are workingon from the list at the top of each of these pages:Once a firm has been chosen, the system will stay on that firm until the lawyer logs off.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 6

Creating Bank AccountsBefore the Bank Account Report can be created, the bank accounts themselves must be setup,using the “Bank Accounts” menu item:1. Enter the account information for your account, and click “Save”2. After saving, this displays the bank account in the list:3. Any bank accounts that have not been reported on can be removed by clicking on theDelete icon under the actions list.4. Clicking on the “Close” iconwill prompt you to enter thedate that the trust accountwas closed.5. A closed account can be reopened by clicking on the“Open” button under theactions tab.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 7

Trust Bank Account ReportingThe trust bank account report is required for any trust accounts that were open during thereporting period.Filing a Trust Bank Account Report1. The Trust Bank Account Report page lists the available reports. Click on “Update” toview and/or update it.2. Switch between “Current Report” and “Show Report History” to change the display toshow previous reports:3. A summary of the amounts keyed is updated on saving information for each bankaccount.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 8

4. Each trust bank account that was open at any time during the reporting period is listed,and must have the information keyed.All values are mandatory. A 0 response is valid.If your recorded bank balance did not balance to your total client trust listing, you arerequired to provide an Out of Balance explanation.5. Before moving to the next account, click on Save, or the information keyed will be lost.6. Moving from one account to another is performed by clicking on the account number.The account currently being shown is in bold.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 9

7. A bank account can be closed on this page, by choosing the date that it closed from thecalendar.8. Once all accounts have been completed, the submit button is available. This will preventthe lawyer/firm administrator from being able to make any further changes to the report.Printing the Trust Bank Account ReportThe Trust Bank Account Report can be printed by clicking on the “Print” button at the bottom ofthe report:LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 10

Law Firm Self-ReportStarting the Self-Report1. The Law Firm Self-Report page lists the available reports, together with the status of thethree components. Click on “Update” to view and/or update it.2. Switch between “Current” and “Show History” to change the display to show previousreports.3. The first page of the report shows the overall report information.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 11

Types of Self-Report QuestionsA number of different question types will be asked throughout the Law Firm Self-Report,including the following:Radio buttonsSome questions are radio button questions (i.e., only one option can be chosen). For example,Section A, question 1a.Multi-select buttonsSome questions are multiple choice checkboxes (i.e., several options can be chosen). Forexample, Section B, question 3a.TablesSome questions require a table to be completed. For example, Section A, question 6.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 12

TextboxesSome questions require a text answer. This can be either keyed into the memo field, orprovided as an attachment (see section below). For example, Section A, question 1.Mandatory questionsSome questions are always mandatory. These are indicated in red text and by a red asteriskbeside the question. For example, Section A, question 1a.Once the mandatory question has been answered, text becomes black, and the asterisk issmaller and black.Contextual mandatory questionsSome questions become mandatory based on the response to a previous question. Initiallythese questions do not have the asterisk, but once the page is saved (either by clicking on Saveor by changing page), the asterisk will appear. For example, Section A, question 1d. Initially there is no asterisk. Once the previous question is answered “No” and the page is saved, the asterisk is shownand the text is red.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 13

Changing pagesTo change page, click on the page number at the top and bottom of each page (the current oneis shown with a red circle around it).Note: Responses to questions are saved when Save is clicked or the page is changed.If the lawyer navigates to another page in the portal, then any responses on the current pagesince the last save will be lost.If the session times out, then any responses on the current page since the last save will be lost.A two-minute warning for the timeout is displayed to the lawyer to warn them to save.AttachmentsSome questions in the Self-Report require an attachment.1. The attachment can be added in the Self-Report at the question as below:2. Clicking on Browse opens a window to allow the user to choose a document from theirdrives.3. When the document is chosen, it is shown on the Self-Report.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 14

4. If the document covers more information than the answer to this question, details on howto find the relevant details can be provided.5. On Save, the attachment name and reference are shown, and another attachment canbe added in the same way.6. To delete the attachment, click on the document name.7. All the documents added can be seen from the “Firm Documents” sub-menu, with thename set to the Self-Report section where it was attached.Note: Lawyers cannot view the attachments once they are uploaded, as this is only available toLaw Society staff.Note: If another lawyer/firm administrator from the same firm logs in, they can see any firmdocuments that have been uploaded.LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 15

Submitting the Self-Report1. Before the Self-Report can be submitted, all the mandatory questions must beanswered. Complete pages are shown in a blue circle. In this example, only page 1has been completed.2. Before the Self-Report can be submitted, the Trust Bank Account Report must besubmitted. The “Submit” button is not displayed until the report is valid.3. Then, on the last page: Check and attach the Financial Institution Authorization Form. Save.4. At this point, the “Submit” button will appear, so the report can be submitted.5. After the report has been submitted, the lawyer can view and print it, but not update it.Printing the Self-ReportThe Self-Report can be printed by clicking on the “Print” button at the bottom of each page:LAW FIRM SELF-REPORTAPRIL 16, 2020USER GUIDE PAGE 16

The Law Firm Self-Report provides an opportunity to ask meaningful questions to the law firm about their practice as well as their practices for bookkeeping (general and trust accounts) to assess the safety and security of trust funds. Questions asked on the Self-Report are also useful to other arms of the Law Society for regulatory purposes.

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