Manage Controlled Money Accounts

Learn how to open, manage and run Controlled Money Accounts (CMA).

Controlled Money Accounts (CMAs) are specific bank accounts designed to hold your clients' funds. These accounts are different from your Trust Account and accumulate interest and bank fees.

CMAs are necessary when holding a significant amount of your client's money for an extended period, such as when purchasers buy off-plan properties, and your firm is responsible for safeguarding their deposit funds in a CMA.

Set CMA transaction numbering

In your Smokeball Firm Settings, you can set your CMA reference number.

  1. Select the gear icon on the top-right corner of Smokeball, then select Firm Settings.
  2. Select Accounts from the left-hand panel.
  3. Click on the CMA Transaction Numbering tab.
  4. Enter the starting transaction numbers for receipts and electronic payments in the CMA.
  5. Select Save.

Opening a New CMA

To open a new CMA for a client:

  1. Open the matter file and select the Transactions tab.
  2. Select Controlled Money Account from the left-hand panel.
  3. Select Add Account.
  4. Enter the details of the CMA:
    • Account opened date
    • Financial Institution
    • Account Name
    • BSB
    • Account Number
    • Beneficiaries
  5. Select Open Account.

Once a CMA is open, you will see it listed under the ‘Controlled Money Account’ section on the left-hand menu:

Using a CMA

Within each CMA, you can:

  • Deposit funds

  • Make payments out

  • Add Bank fees

  • Receipt interest amounts

  • Print ledger/CMA Movement Record

  • Manage CMA account settings

Edit or close a CMA

From within the CMA, select Account Settings

To make changes to CMA details, update the relevant fields here and click Save.

To close the CMA, select Close Account in the bottom-right corner.

  • You must enter a reason and internal note before closing the account.
  • You cannot close CMA accounts if there is a balance in the account. All funds must have been paid out to close the account.

Reporting on CMAs

The Trust Statements report displays a separate table for CMA transactions when you run the report for your matter.

For compliance reasons, the End of Month report contains a listing of all open CMAs on an extra page as required by the Law Society. This will show even if a firm does not have any open CMAs, which will be displayed as “No entries found” (see the below example).

image (28).png
If your firm has open CMAs (even if the balance is zero), it will list the CMA accounts (see example below). The listing will continue over multiple pages if the firm has numerous CMA accounts.

image (29).png

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