By Emmet R. Wood, Director, Audits and Investigations
The Commission is in the process of evaluating computer software for compliance with the Real Estate License Law, Commission rules and Trust Account Guidelines. In order to comply, the software must have the capability to generate a trust account journal, supplemental deposit and disbursement worksheets, ledger sheets, bank reconciliation and ledger reconciliation worksheet as required by Commission Rule A.0107 and as illustrated in the Trust Account Guidelines.
Once the Commission determines that the computer reports submitted by a vendor comply, the software is put on the Commission’s Compliant Software List. This list will be published in the Real Estate Bulletin and on the Commission’s web site at www.ncrec.state.nc.us. Users should be certain that they are using the current updated version of a compliant software.
Not all computer software programs are evaluated. For example, Quick Books would not be evaluated because the software is not set up or programmed to account for the handling of trust funds. This would not preclude a licensee from using that software to account for trust funds. However, someone using Quick Books would have to possess a good working knowledge of not only accounting but also the Commission’s reporting requirements and they would then have to set up the software to generate the appropriate compliant reports.
When a licensee does elect to use software on the Commission’s Compliant Software List, then the licensee should evaluate the software for its usefulness and utility to the real estate company. For example, if a licensee is in the long term rental management business, then the licensee may want the software to print a list of the tenants who are delinquent with their rent or a list of the rental units that are vacant.
Keep in mind that the reports generated by Commission compliant software are only as good as the data entered by the computer user who should have competence in accounting and possess a good working knowledge of the Commission’s rules and guidelines.
This article came from the February 2002-Vol32-4 edition of the bulletin.