FM 1: Law Firm Accounting (July 13 - August 17, 2021)

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Includes a Live Event on 07/13/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)

Expand your knowledge of the basic functions of accounting and financial management in this facilitated online program where you will objectively approach and address financial problems. Through case studies, lectures, videos, readings, and exams, you will be guided to evaluate presented resources in relation to your professional experiences and apply effective financial decision-making skills. Topics include types of accounts, federal payroll and employee benefit procedures, tax and reporting requirements, and general accounting procedures, laws, and regulations. The following is an outline of the topics: 

  • Week 1: General Accounting
  • Week 2: Banking & Investment
  • Week 3: Trust Accounting
  • Week 4: Payroll, Taxes, & Reporting
  • Week 5: Legal Organization Structures
  • Week 6: Special Accounting Issues

The live lessons will be held on Tuesdays from 1:30-2:30 p.m. Central Time. These lessons will also be recorded for on-demand access.

Audience Level

Basic-Intermediate

Course Textbook

A textbook is NOT required for this course. All reading materials will be provided.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be made in writing and submitted via email to elearning@alanet.org. The following cancellation fee scales will apply:

  • After registration but prior to 50% penalty date: $125 fee
  • Four weeks before start of the course: 50% of fee paid
  • Two weeks before the start of the course and thereafter: No refund

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked
FM 1 Week 0 Introduction
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Welcome to the FM 1 Course: Law Firm Accounting 2021. Assignment 1: Due before the first lesson scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2021. Post in the Discussion Forum your responses to the following pre-class questions. 1. Your current job title or position. 2. Number of years you have been in that position. 3. The reason you registered for the FM 1 Course: Law Firm Accounting 2021. 4. What you are hoping to get out of this course.
FM 1 Week 1 Worksheet of Terms
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Complete the attached Week 1 Worksheet of Terms for your reference.
FM 1 Week 1 Reading 1
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
FM 1 Week 1 Reading 2
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Download & read the attached pdf.
FM 1 Week 1 Reading 3
Select the "Read" button to begin.
Select the "Read" button to begin. This is an online reading. Learn the most up to date information on Mandatory Accrual Accounting for Law Firms.
FM 1 Week 1: General Accounting
07/13/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
07/13/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on general accounting duties and general accounting terms. Will include a breakdown of the basic account types, fixed asset management, and description of cash and accrual accounting.
FM 1 Week 1 Assignment 1
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. List the main differences of cash and accrual accounting in a discussion board post. Later, review the instructor's feedback.
FM 1 Week 1 Assignment 2
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Research the current house bill regarding mandatory accrual accounting for law firms, and post a comment regarding what changes would have to be made within a law firm from a small, medium or large firm perspective. Afterwards, be sure to review the instructor's feedback.
FM 1 Week 1 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 1 Week 2 Worksheet of Terms
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Download and complete the Week 2 Worksheet of Terms for your reference.
FM 1 Week 2 Worksheet
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
FM 1 Week 2: Banking and Investment
07/20/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
07/20/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on banking and investment. Will include a breakdown of the different type of bank/investment accounts, bank security features for accounts, deposited fund regulations and bank rules, federal wire and ACH fund transfer information, and short-term investment alternatives.
FM 1 Week 2 Assignment 1
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Complete the "What Type of Bank Account Is This” worksheet & post your answers in the discussion forum.
FM 1 Week 2 Assignment 2
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. In 300-500 words, post your response to the discussion question regarding investment alternatives for law firms.
FM 1 Week 2 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 1 Week 3 Reading 1
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read the ABA Model Rule
FM 1 Week 3 Reading 2
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read the 7-Point Plan for Trust Account Management
FM 1 Week 3: Trust Accounting
07/27/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
07/27/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on an in-depth analysis of client trust accounting. Will include discussion of three-part reconciliations, ABA Model Rules, retainer vs. advanced fee payments, and real estate settlement provisions.
FM 1 Week 3 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Research the professional rules of conduct for your state in regard to trust accounting, and post a summary of your findings regarding trust accounting rules in your state (300-500 words). Afterwards, be sure to review the instructor's feedback.
FM 1 Week 3 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 1 Week 4 Worksheet of Terms
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Complete the Week 4 Worksheet of Terms for your reference.
FM 1 Week 4 Reading 1
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. The attached “How Am I Taxed On My Payroll Check” provides both the questions to be answered in this week's assignment and the resources to complete it.
FM 1 Week 4 Reading 2
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read the Circular E Pages
FM 1 Week 4: Payroll, Taxes, and Reporting
08/03/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
08/03/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on payroll, payroll taxes and reporting. Will include dissecting a payroll check and W-2. This lesson will contain a breakdown of payroll tax types, ERISA rules, Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions, self-employment for owners, and depository and tax return deadlines.
FM 1 Week 4 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Download and complete FM 1 Week 4 Reading 1. Complete a project calculating a paycheck for an employee from gross to net. Post your results in the discussion forum.
FM 1 Week 4 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 1 Week 5 Reading
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Read the Chart of Business Entity Structures
FM 1 Week 5: Legal Organization Structures
08/10/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
08/10/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on legal organization structures. Will include characteristics, advantages, disadvantages and tax implications for sole proprietors, partnerships, LLP/LLCs, C-Corporations and S-Corporations.
FM 1 Week 5 Assignment
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. In 300-500 words, post how you would like to organize your own law firm and explain why. Afterwards, be sure to review the instructor's feedback.
FM 1 Week 5 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
FM 1 Week 6 Reading
Select the "Read" button to begin.
Select the "Read" button to begin. This is an online reading, "The Nine Most Common Types of Alternative Fees"
FM 1 Week 6 Worksheet
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource. Please download the "What's That AFA" handout.
FM 1 Week 6: Special Accounting Issues
08/17/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes
08/17/2021 at 1:30 PM (CDT)   |  60 minutes This lesson will focus on special accounting issues. Will include pricing and billing method alternatives (AFAs), general timekeeping and billing systems, electronic billing, recovery of direct an indirect costs from clients, and management of collections.
FM 1 Week 6 Assignment 1
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Choose one AFA that your firm currently utilizes. Then in 300-500 words, post an explanation as to why it is used. ​
FM 1 Week 6 Assignment 2
Make 1 discussion post to continue.
Make 1 discussion post to continue. Complete the "What's That AFA” Worksheet & post your answers in the discussion forum.
FM 1 Week 6 Quiz
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
10 Questions  |  3 attempts  |  60 minute limit  |  7/10 points to pass
Final Submission Agreement
Agree to terms to continue.
Agree to terms to continue.
Credit
6.00 hours CE credits  |  Certificate available
6.00 hours CE credits  |  Certificate available

Completing both FM 1 and FM 2 courses gives you access to the Legal Management Finance Specialist Certificate Program.

CLM Credits

Meet minimum course requirements and earn 6 hours of credit towards your CLM application or recertification requirements:

  • Functional Specialists: 18 hours in Financial Management
  • CLM Recertification: 18 hours in Financial Management, includes 2 hours of Ethics

Course Requirements

Each course has a start and end date. To receive the course completion certificate and CLM credits, all weekly assignments must be completed and quizzes passed with a score of 70% or higher by the last day of the course.

Lisa A. Waligorski, CLM (Moderator)

Lisa Waligorski, CLM is the Executive Director at Newmeyer & Dillion, LLP. She started her career in a legal assistant/paralegal role, and the past 20+ years have been spent in either an Executive Director or Director of Finance/Controller role.  Her education and background provide experience and knowledge in developing and implementing strategic initiatives, and overseeing organizational operations, finance, human resources, facilities, information technology, and marketing & business development.  Lisa has been a speaker on both law firm accounting and human resources topics.  She has also been an ALA e-learning Law Firm Accounting and Financial Information & Analysis instructor for the past five years.