External examiners

This page provides information for external examiners when considering whether a trust account has been properly kept as well as guidance on the relevant documentation. 

External Examiner's Program

The external examiner’s program has been prepared to guide and assist external examiners by providing examples of some of the issues that might need to be considered by an external examiner when examining different types of legal matters. The program can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. 

External Examination Reports

The External Examination period ends on 31 March each year.

A six point reminder plan has been implemented to alert law practices of their reporting requirements:

  1. The External Examiner appointment relates to an individual not an audit firm. Please ensure that the appointment details held by the Society are correct.
  2. If the firm did not hold or receive trust money (other than transit money) complete a Part A Declaration and lodge this with the Society by 30 April.
  3. If the firm held or operated a trust account complete Form 4 Law Practice Declaration (Part A) and Trust Money Statement (Part B) and give these to the appointed individual External Examiner.
  4. Attach relevant schedules as per Item 15 of Part B Form 4.
  5. The trust account signatories must reflect those held by the bank. This will enable the Society to maintain accurate records.
  6. External Examiner to complete Form 5 and attach relevant schedules and lodge with the Society within 60 days from 31 March.

The reminder plan is a guide only, based on the legislative requirements detailed in the Legal Profession Act (S267 and 268) and the Legal Profession Regulations (s61 and s62).


The External Examination Report and Declarations can be lodged with the Society by:

  • post to GPO Box 1785, Brisbane QLD 4001 OR 
  • email to managertai@qls.com.au. Please be mindful that there is a 15MB limit for emails sent to the Society.

Note: QLS Form 4 - To obtain the Part A Law Practice Declaration, please complete Page 1 only of the QLS Form 4

More information

Please phone the Trust Account Investigations Department on 07 3842 5908.

Voluntary external examiner's checklist

The external examiner’s checklist available below has been prepared to guide and assist external examiners to determine whether a law practice has kept the accounting records that a law practice is required to keep in respect of trust money received by a law practice.