Making entries on Client and Nominal Ledgers

Entry Wizards

The client and nominal entry screen has a "Wizard" option available (not shown on the screen shots below as it was not always present) for composing the entry layout for various transfers and VAT entries. These wizards show you how to set up the more unusual or difficult to remember entries.  The use of these wizards is described at the bottom of this page in the manual. Click this link 'Entry Wizards' to go directly to it.

Summary of main contents

Making a normal standard entry
Adjusting the display screen
Entering bills
Entering VAT
Vat on vatable disbursements
Petty Cash
Batch (Block) Transfers
Entry Wizards

Client Ledger Entry screen

Having selected the client matter required you will be taken to the entry screen which is where all entries are made onto ledger accounts.


This contains three sections. At the top is the selector for the Bank Sheet or "Journal" to make the double entry on. Eg: O1 OFFICE BANK. This has to be selected before you start filling in the entry details.

These appear in the middle section where there are fields for date, cheque number or code, and details and supplementary details and amount.

At the foot of the window is a ledger entries window - this is a limited version and you are better using full screen inspect from "Display Entries" to actually inspect entries. But it gives you an instant scrollable view of the entries on the ledger account you have selected which is usually more than enough when making entries. It also contains the balances on the account - existing and proposed.

Options and Prompts

Note that on the menu bar at the top is a list of options. These should mostly be ticked.  It is suggested you leave them as they are when you start using C-Law but bear in mind they can be altered to tailor the mode of operation. However one option we suggest you do consider changing is the bottom one entitled "Repeat previous journal entry type"

If ticked this will repeat the bank sheet previously used on this or any other ledger sheet. When you are bringing forward balances this can be useful. You may be helpful - depending on how you are entering up. If you are doing both office and client balances on each sheet as you go we suggest you leave this option unticked.

Note that there is an option for the entry screen to be displayed in full screen mode (we recommend this as the text is bigger) - or in a window mode if you prefer.

To see how to make an entry look below the next section (Selecting Nominal Accounts) under "making the entry"


Nominal Ledger Account Entry screen

You can call up a nominal account by putting a hyphen in the "Find Name in List" box on the main screen - the hyphen will call up the nominal account selection box so that you can either put the name or number - or select from the list. Then pressing enter or clicking OK will put the account up on screen.

Or you can click on the Nominal accounts button which will call up the nominal screen - or select ‘nominal’ from the ledger type drop down menu on the main screen

The ledger entry screen that you use on nominal accounts is combined with the header screen - but the lower section is almost identical to the client ledger account entry screen and the same principles apply to both - except that on nominal accounts it is not possible to select client banks or transfers etc.


Making the entry

The date prompted will usually be the date last used on this or any other ledger. This can be a trap as you can backdate an entry and then forget to change the date! So there is an option "Warn if date is old" which if ticked will give you a warning if you continue to use what appears to be an old date.

The next field is Cheque Number or Code. This is for putting in a cheque number or a bill number etc. Note that this is interactive with the next "Details" field in that there is a maximum space of 29 characters for both the cheque code and the details. The cheque number or code always appears right justified in the details column of the entries. If you need more details there is a supplementary details line which you can use although as this uses twice the space for each entry it is suggested you don’t use this ordinarily - unless it is really needed. It is better to develop a shorthand for entry details to keep them short and pithy.

Having done this you get a chance to check the journal code - and if you want you can change it. Then you enter the amount and identify as being a receipt (IN) or a payment (OUT) by clicking the appropriate button or pressing the + or - key on the keyboard.

Note that as from C-Law Cashier 10 (the name for C-Law 2010) you can if you wish enter commas as you type to make it easier to enter large values accurately. From 2010 C-Law can accept values of up to £999,999,999.99 for Client column payments or receipts.

If you are using the keyboard Enter takes you to the next box and Home takes you back a box.

When happy click the "Check Entry" button or press Enter and the entry will be shown in draft - flashing to show you it is not yet entered. If all is well you must click on "Entry OK" or hold down Ctrl and press Enter on the keyboard to accept it.

You should not accept an entry unless it is correct. But if you make a mistake you still have another chance to reject the entry. If you click Quit you will be told the entry is not yet saved and you can click "Jettison" to get rid of it. If however you elect to save the entry you cannot thereafter remove it and will have to make a contra entry.

You can make several entries on the ledger without having to click quit - then you will have a chance of accepting or jettisoning them all when you eventually click quit.

Note that when the entry is shown in draft the new balance on the Bank Sheet will be shown at the top as well as the new balance on the ledger at the foot of the window.


Adjusting the data display screen window

Much of the data in C-Law 2004 (including ledgers and reconciliation sheet data) is sent to a standard display window.

The font size and weight of font can be changed as can the colour of the background or whether the text is colour coded or in black and white. The window can either appear in full screen mode or in a windowed mode when it can be sized and moved around the screen. Whatever you set up you may wish to save for future use. To do this click File and Save Settings.

NB: If you change settings you may also be asked whether you wish to save settings for the screen display window sizing etc on leaving the display screen.

When settings are stored they are specific to the type of data being displayed - the same type of data will in future use the stored settings. You may need to do this for every type of data that you display. Of course once done it doesn’t need to be done again unless you want to change it.


Various non standard entries

We have looked at entries of a simple nature on Office Bank of Client Bank. Now we will look at entries that are slightly more complicated to make.



To enter up a bill you need to select the Bill Book journal - normally B1.

Put the bill number in the cheque no or code box.

In the Details box you can put OUR COSTS or similar. Then the NET amount of the bill is put in the amount box and it should be

entered as a payment or OUT.

(If you will be charging VAT please make sure the option menu item "VAT on bill prompt message" is ticked. )

Then click "Check Entry" and the entry will be shown in draft as usual. If it is ok click the "Entry OK" button or press CTRL + ENTER.

You should then get a message asking you if this is the final bill on the matter. If it is an interim bill respond NO. Otherwise respond YES.

You should then get a message "Enter VAT on Bill". Click YES and then you need to indicate standard rate or zero rate or another rate.

The VAT entry will then be prompted for you.

This takes the format illustrated here.

Note that the bill number has been repeated in the cheque/code box - this is important as H.M.Customs & Excise will want this number to be present so they can easily do their checks if required.



If the entry is in order click Check Entry and then accept the entry.


Mistakes in bill entries


If you make a mistake with entering a bill and it already saved you will have to make a contra entry. Please note that you MUST follow these instructions to make sure the entry is recorded correctly as a bill being conta’d. The golden rule is to put the word CONTRA as the first word in the details box.

Note the word CONTRA and the bill is now recorded as an IN rather than an OUT



VAT entries


Although the VAT entry on costs entries is generated automatically you can make a manual VAT entry. Follow the format above - the details box MUST contain the amount on which VAT is being paid (or charged).

The amount on which VAT is being paid must contain a decimal point and be the first number characters in the details box. Note that sometimes you need to make a manual VAT entry. For example on a bill that is unpaid. If you have an unpaid disbursements nominal ledger account you can enter up an OT entry (see below) to debit the office column and if there is VAT (eg Counsels fees) the VAT would then be entered manually.

When you eventually bill the client the VAT you charge the Client on the disbursement must then be entered again - the golden rule is that if you enter up VAT and claim input tax on any disbursement you must enter the output tax on it when you charge the client. Our you could do neither if the client is not VAT registered and won’t be able to re-claim the VAT.

VAT on invoices being paid that have a VAT element involves the VAT being entered as a receipt - as an example see the illustration below.

Note that this is INPUT TAX and therefore the IN button has been activated. To leave room for VAT rate the reference to Counsels fees has been put in the second line

VAT on vatable disbursements

As mentioned  above there is a need to make VAT entries when you pay a disbursement which has VAT on it. This can be overlooked if the client is not VAT registered but is essential if you are going to include the output tax on the bill to a VAT registered client who wishes to reclaim it.

C-Law contains a special VAT wizard in the client ledger entry screen to enable you to compose such an entry - see details on wizards below

However this wizard may not be needed because when you make a payment on the office column on a client ledger matter C-Law asks you when the entry is being confirmed whether you want to enter VAT 

Please see the VAT  page in this manual for more details - click here for this

Mistakes with VAT

If you make a mistake in a VAT entry previously made and saved you will have to make a contra entry. Note that the way you do this is VERY IMPORTANT as unless you follow these instructions although your accounts and VAT report will show the correct final amount the entry will not be shown as a negative Output or Input. For the VAT system to recognise the entry as a correction the details must start with the word CONTRA.

See the illustration below of how to contra off a previous incorrect VAT entry on costs:-

Note that as the incorrect entry was an output and therefore an "OUT" the corrective entry is the other way around and is shown as an "IN" and the word CONTRA appears in the details. There is not really room for the rate of VAT so this has been omitted. As this is a contra entry it does not really matter that this does not appear.

NB: The client ledger and nominal ledger entry wizards (see below) can compose this sort of entry for you - so you don't have to remember how to do it!

Paying VAT

When you come to pay HMRC you use the Customs and Excise nominal ledger sheet (yes it should be HRMC but this would not be an easy change to make in C-Law given that the name of the nominal ledger is fixed)  and you make a payment to HMRC using  the O1 code and then 'credit' the payment to the VAT sheet with a matching receipt using the V1 code.

The nominal ledger entry system will prompt this second entry for you.

There is a 'wizard' available for paying HMRC  - see the details about the nominal ledger wizards below

Petty Cash

If you pay a disbursement (eg a swear fee) out of Petty Cash you need to make an entry referenced to P1. This is the Petty Cash Sheet.

An example of a typical entry appears below

Note that the cheque/code contains a Petty Cash docket number and the journal code is P1.

 When you come to draw petty cash you use the Petty Cash ledger in the nominal ledger. You do NOT use this to record spendings of Petty Cash. Always use the P1 code for those. 

To record drawing of Petty Cash from office bank you need to make a debit entry on the Petty Cash ledger using the O1 code and then credit the VAT sheet by making a receipt entry on the same ledger for the same amount using the P1 code.  C-Law prompts you to make this second entry automatically.

There is a wizard available for drawing Petty Cash - see the nominal ledger wizards below


There are several types of transfers which may need to be made:

It will be noted that the first two types involve only one ledger account and reflect money which is being swapped from one bank account to another. The third type involves a swap of the money between ledger accounts but does not involve any bank accounts. The final transfer type is like the first two in that money is being swapped between bank accounts (or banks) but unlike the first two types no ledger account needs to be involved.

The details which follow show you how to deal with each of these types of transfer in C-LAW.

Type l - Transfers between Client/Office banks.

The journal code for this type of transfer is TR.

When C-LAW sees this code it makes the necessary entries for this transfer automatically but must be told which bank acounts are involved (since the TR code on its own does not contain this information). The necessary instructions to C-LAW are contained in the details column which must contain the legend TRANSFER XX TO YY where XX is the journal code of the bank from which the funds are moving and YY is the journal code of the bank to which the funds are going. So a transfer of money from Client Bank l to Office Bank l would need the legend TRANSFER C1 TO O1. See the illustration below.

Note that the journal code selected is TR and the details box contains the standard Transfer legend which the system needs


Transfers to Client Account

 Sometimes you may have paid money to Office Account as permitted by the rules and be transferring a sum to client account (note the rules require this to be done within one working day except in some circumstances).

To transfer the other way is just the same but the legend is the other way around. For example



Block Transfer Mode

There is a Block Transfer Mode which should normally be used where you want to make a run of transfer entries. This is because when in this mode C-LAW accumulates (and displays) totals of all the transfers you make so that you can then do a global transfer of funds between the Bank Accounts. You can also do a search for accounts with Transfer Flags and/or for Possible Transfers. (These are accounts with an office debit, costs have been entered, and there is a credit balance in client account).

To enter block transfer mode click on Start Batch Mode on the main screen and then select TR Transfers.



You then can make your entries on the various ledgers.

You will see that at the foot of the main screen there is a flashing warning that you are in Batch Mode. This means that you are only making entries in the batch.



When you have made all the entries for the batch return to the main screen and click on End Batch Mode. You will be asked

to confirm whether the block run is over. you will see a screen which shows the aggregate of all the transfers you have entered. This shows the amount/s to be transferred between the Bank Accounts. You can confirm this and the entries will be made for you and the Bank Sheets will then just show the aggregate of all entries and not the individual amounts which makes it easy when you come to reconcile.

Entering the Transfer

Whether in block mode or not the method of entering a transfer is similar. Enter the detail TRANSFER Cl TO O1 (or as required). The format shown in the illustration at the head of the page MUST be used.

If you are not in Block Transfer Mode C-LAW will warn you of this fact and ask for confirmation that you want to carry on.

Enter the amount. It is immaterial whether you use the payment or receipt button in this case since C-LAW knows (from the details column) where to put the amount. The resulting balance on OFFICE account is displayed in the NEW BALANCE box. Press <ENTER> or click on "Check Entry" and the transfer will be shown on the screen with the new balance on BOTH Clients and Office account. If all is well the entry can be accepted by clicking OK or pressing CTRL + ENTER (or it can be corrected as previously described by pressing HOME). If the Transfer results in a debit balance on Clients Account a warning will be given and the entry will only be accepted by typing in the password.

NB: Block transfer mode is entered by entering the Batch Mode screen available from the main page. See the separate Batch Mode page in this manual for details.

Reminder:  You don't need to remember how to do transfers. C-Law contains a Transfer wizard which is always available and will set up the correct format for a transfer entry for you.  Click here to go direct to the details about using the entry wizards.

Type 2 Transfers between Client Column and Deposit Column

Unlike Type l transfers these need two entries on the ledger account. The first of the pair MUST be the debit and the second the credit entry.

To make the debit entry put in the details column TO XX where XX is the journal code of the bank account TO which the money is moving. For example if you are transferring from Cl to Dl you need to enter: TO Dl. These words must be first in the box but can be followed by other details of your own choice. Then enter in the JRN box the journal code of the Bank Account FROM which the money is moving. Continuing the above example you would enter Cl. Then enter the amount involved as a PAYMENT and press <ENTER> to get it displayed in the usual way.

When you accept the entry in the usual way you must then make the 'mirror' entry.

(Always remember to do the PAYMENT first.)

Do NOT forget to the do the other entry of the pair.  As long as you use the procedure set out above C-Law will prompt you for the "mirror" entry and enter it up in draft for you to help to make sure you do not forget to do it.

Reminder:  You don't need to remember how to do transfers. C-Law contains a Transfer wizard which is always available and will set up the correct format for a transfer entry for you. This will ensure that you will get the prompt for the essential second mirror entry.  Click here to go direct to the details about using the entry wizards.



Type 3 - Transfers between ledger accounts

These are identified to C-LAW by the journal codes CT or OT. This does not of course tell C-LAW which other ledger account is involved. C-LAW has to be told this by putting the acount name (or number) in the details nox. So to transfer £l00.00 on office column to BLOGGS J. you would enter BLOGGS J. in the DETAILS box, OT in the JRN box, and l00 in the PAYMENTS box.

WARNING: It should not need stating to experienced cashiers that you DO NOT use CT or OT if money is moving between bank accounts. If this is required you will need to make a debit and credit entry manually on the ledger accounts using the appropriate Bank Journal Codes.C-LAW will issue a warning message as a check that you do not overlook this!

Reminder:  You don't need to remember how to do transfers. C-Law contains a Transfer wizard which is always available and will set up the correct format for a transfer entry for you.   Click here to go direct to the details about using the entry wizards.



How to make inter account transfers

Always enter up the TRANSFEROR a/c FIRST. This will of course involve the amount being in the PAYMENTS box.

The DETAILS box must be completed with the NAME (or part name) of the TRANSFEREE ACCOUNT. Do not put any other details. You can use the supplementary details box if required for more details.

Note that if it is a nominal account you must prefix the account name with a hyphen or minus sign to get C-Law to look in the nominal ledger. If you wish you may put the account number instead of the name.

The JRN box must contain either the code OT or CT. OT stands for Office Account Transfer and will debit or credit the Office Account column. CT stands for Clients Account Transfer and will debit or credit the Clients Account column.

The AMOUNT box must contain the amount to be transferred and the buttons must be set to a payment (OUT).

Display the entry for checking in the usual way followed by CTRL + <ENTER> to accept the entry. The entry will NOT at this stage be written to the disk.

C-LAW will search for the Transferee account specified. If found C-LAW will display the MIRROR ENTRY for checking.

If the account isn't found C-LAW will display a warning and ask if you want to browse the accounts list and ask you to say whether it is a client or a nominal account.

If the entry is in order press CTRL + <ENTER>. The machine will now go back to the first account in case further entries need to be made. Changes on both accounts will be recorded on the disk virtually simultaneously once you say you want to save the entries.

Reminder:  You don't need to remember how to do transfers. C-Law contains a Transfer wizard which is always available and will set up the correct format for a transfer entry for you.   Click here to go direct to the details about using the entry wizards.

Reminder regarding Petty Cash entries on client ledger 

C-Law will allow you to do an OT entry to any nominal ledger account including the Petty Cash Account. This is NOT however good practice as this account is reserved for drawing petty cash from the office bank and this is not the way to debit a client office column with Petty Cash. It will result in the Petty Cash sheet not showing the correct amount. Always make Petty Cash debits entries using P1 . 


Type 4 - Transfers between Office Bank Accounts or between Client Bank Accounts

It is recommended that you make transfers between Bank Accounts by using standard double entry techniques using a ledger account. However transfers of money between Client Bank Accounts which are not relative to any particular ledger account should be carried out using a special account you must create in the Client ledger called TRANSFER. (This should be reserved and used ONLY for inter-bank account transfers).

To transfer from say O1 to O2 you should enter 'TO O2' in the details column (plus other legends if required) and enter O1 in the JRN column. Enter the PAYMENT FIRST. Then make the RECEIPT entry.

The TRANSFER account should normally be marked for archiving at the end of the accounting year. You should then open a fresh account for the next year which will avoid the account becoming too lengthy. If you only make transfers very infrequently you can of course leave it open for as many years as required.

NB: The transfer wizard does not at the moment provide for this type of transfer as it involves the creation of a special account.

Storing frequently used Entry Templates

Please note that you can store frequently used entries (or text) as templates for quick recall. Click here to go to this page 

Storing frequently used Entry Details

Please note that you can ALSO store frequently used text for the details field in a listing which you can select when you click the down arrow in the details field..This is described after the description of how to store F key templates  Click here to go to this page 

Entry Wizards

To assist users with some of the more unusual entries that sometimes have to be made C-Law contains so called "entry wizards". These are available in both client and nominal ledger entry screens and their function is to compose the essential skeleton and layout for a desired entry type whilst the user can see what is happening and can therefore learn what needs to be entered. The wizards do NOT make entries. They simply help to compose a draft. The user still has to finish off the draft and make the entry on the account.

They cover (currently)  VAT and Transfer entries.

A.  Client ledger entry screen wizards

The menu bar contains an item called "Wizards". See below


There are two types of Wizard on the client ledger entry screen (in the nominal entry screen these wizards are combined). These will be described below:

The VAT wizard

The VAT entries in C-Law are largely automated and are in most cases prompted for you.  However you do sometimes need to make your own one off VAT entries. The wizard is available to help you in these situations and comes up with a window within the client ledger entry screen like this:


You ne/ed to click on the type of VAT entry you are wanting. Make sure the rate is displaying as you require and then click the NEXT button.  

If (for example) you click the button for INPUT VAT the next screen in the wizard will appear like this:


NB: If Cash VAT  mode is operational on your system you will not see this screen until you have been through an intermediate screen explaining the difference between the VAT holding sheet V8 and the normal V1 VAT sheet and have confirmed which sheet you are wishing you use.

As you can see the wizard is sitting on top of the normal entry screen (you can see a bit of it showing above the window in this image) and you will notice that the wizard has already selected the VAT sheet and has started to fill in the details field for you on the screen behind.  At this stage you need to enter the inclusive amount of the payment on which input tax  is to be 'claimed'  In this image the user has entered 115 and as you can see the wizard has worked out the VAT amount and also the amount exclusive of VAT. Notice that the wizard has already put the required net amount into the details field on the entry screen for you.  If you wanted you can enter directly into the other greyed out fields - they are all interactive. A word of advice however. It is best NOT to fill in the actual VAT field as the calculation in reverse of the other amounts can be a penny out sometimes due to the rounding of VAT amounts.
When the amount is entered just press the OK button and the wizard will enter the amount into the amount box on the entry screen and setup "Receipt" mode for you.

Thereafter you may need to put a VAT code (and check the date) and then all the rest of the work has been done for you! The entry can be made in the usual way or can be rejected of course if something is wrong.  

The other VAT entries can be made similarly. Note that the wizards never make the entry automatically. They set up the entry so you make it yourself. In this way you learn and do not lose control over the entries you are making.

The Transfer wizard

This is called from the menu item and the first window will appear like this:


As with the VAT wizard you need to select the type of transfer entry you are wanting to make. There are options for most sorts of entry you should normally want. Once selected click the NEXT button.  Lets assume you asked to transfer an amount from office column to a nominal account (eg a control account). You will next see a screen like this:


The wizard tells you that the OT journal code has been selected and that you need to enter the nominal account name (or the first bit of it) in the box. It has also inserted the initial hyphen that is always needed when you define a nominal account.

When you have entered the name just click OK and you will be returned to the entry details screen to finish making the transfer entry.

Lets say that instead you asked for a transfer from Client Account to deposit. In this event the wizard will appear like this:


The image shows a bit of the underlying entry screen from which you can see that the wizard has already selected the C1 journal code and has inserted the obligatory wording which tells the software that this is a two part transfer entry. It has also selected the "OU" button. 

Just click OK to return to the ledger entry screen and then enter the amount (and any cheque number or reference) and the entry can be made. Then C-Law will prompt the second 'mirror' entry to credit the D1 account.

The other transfer entries available in the wizard proceed in a similar way and compose the entry return you to the ledger entry screen after you click OK. You can always experiment if you wish as the wizard never actually makes an entry. In this way you will learn what the procedures are for the various transfers.

The Bill entry Wizard

This wizard is hardly needed but is also available from the ledger entry screen wizard menu and assists in setting up an entry for recording a bill. It has a special screen for VAT cash mode that explains how you should use the B1 and B8 sheets and allows you to select the one you need. This choice is notavailable or  needed for standard VAT on bills delivered type bills.  

It is just a question of saying what sort of bill entry you are wanting to make (eg: normal or contra) and exiting the wizard and entering the amount of the bill and any bill reference number.

B.  Nominal Ledger Entry screen Wizards

The nominal ledger entry screen has wizards which in many respects do a similar job to the ones in the client ledger but they also deal with the correct way of making entries to draw petty cash from the bank and paying the quarterly VAT. The menu bar has an "Entry Wizard" option. If this is clicked you will see a window open over the entry screen like this


The wizard covers transferring by OT entry to other accounts. It also sets up an entry for deleting by contra an incorrect input VAT entry.

For paying quarterly VAT and drawing Petty Cash the wizards not only set up the correct format of the entry but also select the correct ledger account which makes life easy. For example if you were on the Customs & Excise ledger and told the wizard you wanted to record drawing Petty Cash you will see a window like this:


This is saying that the wizard is needing to select the correct Petty Cash ledger account. Click OK and it will be selected for you.


 This is what will then appear. As you will see the wizard has selected the Petty Cash ledger and it has also set up the details and the journal code needed and the fact that it is a payment (hidden in this image).  If you click OK the window will vanish leaving the drafted entry ready for you to put the amount of the drawing and make the entry.

Rather like the Client to Deposit entry system in the client ledger after you have confirmed the entry the screen will automatically  prompt the recommended second entry crediting the Petty Cash sheet with the cash drawn.

As with the client ledger wizards, there is no reason not to experiment as no entries are actually made. They are only composed in draft.



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