The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Getting Down to the Basics — Free Nota Trust Accounting Resource

President's Page
Scott Westheimer

Scott Westheimer

One of my goals this year is to ensure the Bar is more proactive in protecting the public and helping members stay out of our discipline system. This means investing in and empowering our more than 111,000 members by supporting them in meaningful, practical ways.

One huge piece of this puzzle is simplifying fiscal management for lawyers. Bar members, including myself, take great pride in how we manage our finances. We want more than anything to adhere to Bar rules and avoid mistakes involved with financial mismanagement. We all want to stay out of the Bar’s disciplinary system. I can think of no better way to do this than by providing effective — and cost free — trust accounting software.

I am excited to say that Florida is now at the cusp of being the first state in the country to provide free trust accounting software for all its members in good standing with the Nota financial management platform. This new (and free) member benefit is designed to help lawyers more easily manage their trust accounts while complying with Florida Bar rules. Our goal as a Bar is to give our members a tool that is the newest in cutting-edge technology, that’s seamless, that will work with multiple financial institutions, that can be used as a standalone, cloud-based software for their trust accounting, and that will make it as easy as possible for our members to comply with our trust rules. Nota does all of this and more.

As we all know, trust account maintenance and compliance is critically important. Nota’s fiscal management platform will help our members manage their trust accounts and avoid costly mistakes by providing a simplified and efficient trust accounting platform that reconciles accounts. Nota provides attorneys with total visibility into their bank accounts along with full integration into law firm workflows, helps streamline the exacting management of client IOTA accounts, and integrates easily with major practice management, legal payment, and accounting platforms.

If used properly, Nota will enable Bar members to monitor multiple trust accounts with digital sub-accounts; to complete mandated triple reconciliations and receive alerts to perform mandated reconciliations on a timely basis; to meet record retention requirements by uploading and storing check images and bank statements on the platform; to facilitate compliance with record retention requirements for transactions and reports; to receive alerts for outstanding checks over a certain number of days; and to receive client matter red flags when there appears to be an issue with an account.

Bar disciplinary records reveal why I have long considered a free and easily accessible trust accounting solution a priority. Year in and year out, trust accounting violations top the list of reasons lawyers find themselves in trouble with the Bar. The disciplinary system receives at least one non-sufficient funds notification per day due to poor trust accounting practices. Simply put, the Bar must take more initiative in protecting the public and in helping our members in this area of practice management. With Nota, we hope to eliminate these unforced errors.

Bar Programs Division Director Terry Hill and the Bar’s team of auditors and counsel have been hard at work meeting with Nota to help design a product that complies with Bar rules. The result was the design of a trust accounting software solution that can be used with most banks’ online banking platforms or as a standalone trust accounting solution not tied to any online banking platform.

This is helpful for all of our attorneys, but with solo and small firms encompassing 70% of our members, it is especially helpful for them, who oftentimes are the ones doing all of their own bookkeeping and trust accounting work. Nota will help our members easily manage the complex and onerous process of trust reconciliation so they can focus on what’s important — their clients.

With Nota, Florida lawyers now have cost-free access to the latest in trust accounting technology and to a provider who can help them focus on the growth and continued success of their practices.

Please register now at You will be glad you did.