Wentz Law – From disaster to peace of mind in minutes with TrustBooks
North Carolina legal firm, Wentz Law, has been offering counsel on criminal and federal cases since 2007. The same year, Brent Wentz the firm founder, started doing his own trust accounting using QuickBooks. It wasn’t long before Brett realized his trust accounting was a complete disaster with QuickBooks.
“There were no controls for money distributions and we had to make a whole new account for each expense,” explains Brett.
Managing, identifying, and organizing client funds using QuickBooks became a disappointing distraction from his primary passion, providing legal counsel.
QuickBooks simply doesn’t have trust accounting knowledge. I had to have the knowledge and force QuickBooks to do what I believed my state’s bar required of my firm for our trust accounts.
The First Trust Account Audit (2010)
“I’m good with numbers, good with math, and don’t mind doing the accounting, but I hated trust accounting. I was constantly stressed out about penalties and potential disbarment”, explains Brett.
In 2010, Wentz Law faced the inevitable, a trust accounting audit. In preparation for the audit, Brett realized that the trust accounts were not being done completely according to state law.
Not being accountants, Wentz Law did not realize nor understand the specificity of the state’s requirements.
Brett underscores the pain of an audit by saying, “this audit ended up being two full days spent in a room with our accountant, going over and fixing all the trust account’s funds, and spending a good deal of money in the process.”
On my own, a trust accounting audit was a nightmare. There are just too many questions and uncertainties concerning ledgers, funds, and state requirements.
The Downside of Trust Accounting With QuickBooks
“I enjoy what I do,” explains Brett, “but trust accounting takes me away from what I want to do in life – doing my cases and being with my family.”
For Brett, he was working with trust accounts from scratch every time in QuickBooks. “I don’t know why I have this software! I had to do it all on my own and I had to do it by hand,” says Brett.
Not knowing the state’s requirements or if the trust accounts were inline made his job frustrating, stressful, and uncertain in light of a potential audit.
The reality is that my accountant does not know the rules for the state bar. QuickBooks doesn’t know the rules either. I alone had to know all the rules – the current requirements and the new requirements when they come out.
The Second Trust Account Audit (2018)
In 2018, Brett Wentz received a notification that his trust accounting would be audited again.
Unlike his first audit, this time around Brett spent 15 minutes with TrustBooks support to ask about requirements, never once called his accountant, and went into the audit with complete confidence.
“I knew it was right. I had no stress or questions because I knew TrustBooks was automatically checking and balancing my trust accounts,” explains Brett.
TrustBooks is life altering! I have no questions about what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. The entire process is clear, streamlined, and balanced.
Knowing Your State's Requirements
One of the challenges of trust accounting is knowing, understanding, and finding all your state’s requirements for trust accounting. As Brett points out, “with QuickBooks, I simply didn’t know. I had to hunt for all of my state’s requirements and just hope that I had it done perfectly.”
Once Brett moved his trust accounting to TrustBooks, one of the first things he noticed is that TrustBooks outlined all the state’s requirements and provided him with every necessary document. “I now have total and complete guidance concerning my trust accounts, when to send reports to clients, and how to comply with the bar.”
TrustBooks automatically sends Wentz Law reminders of what to do, how to do it, and when do it. For Brett, trust accounting is now quick and painless. As he explains, “If my state bar wants to conduct another audit next year, no problem. I am confident that nothing is wrong.”
The entire process is streamlined. If I have any questions about requirements or processes, TrustBooks support is extremely responsive. I now have complete peace of mind for my trust accounts.