reconciling your bank
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The bank reconciliation ensures your bank account ending balance matches the balance reflected in your general ledger. While that seems simple enough, don’t confuse simplicity with importance. Learn which general ledger accounts should be reconciled regularly, and key things to look for during the account reconciliation process. Outside of selling their products and services, one of the most important things a small business owner can do is reconcile their accounts. Account reconciliation is simply the act of reconciling one set of transactions with another set to ensure both sets match. There are a number of user-friendly accounting software programs that can assist in reconciling a checking account.

This is explained by the fact that the manual accounts reconciliation process is slow in identifying transactions that actually require special attention. Only by posting all necessary secondary entries can you achieve accurate reconciliation. After this step the general ledger will be updated for the reconciliation period. Make sure that the amounts listed on your checking account match the amounts on each deposit or payment. For example, if you deposited $200 in cash into your account on Wednesday, you should make sure that the amount of the deposit on the Wednesday transaction matches the $200. The deposit could have been received after the cutoff date for the monthly statement release.

When you compare the two, you can look for any discrepancies in cash flow for a certain time frame. These days, most of us spend from our checking accounts with a mix of debit card payments, ATM cash withdrawals, online bill pay and paper checks. Plus, we might have money coming in from direct, cash or check deposits, transfers or person-to-person payment systems like Zelle®. Reconciling all of these deposits and withdrawals may seem like a big job, but in a few simple steps, we make it easy. While much of the account reconciliation process is handled by accounting software, it still needs to be done. If you’re a software holdout and still record transactions manually, it’s even more important your accounts be reconciled regularly.

Why is account reconciliation important for businesses?

You may overdraw your account if there is an outstanding check that you forget about. In addition, it is harder to find banking errors if you do not keep your own records, since you will be working from the bank’s numbers at all times. About once every two weeks , log on to view your bank account and compare your bank’s total withdrawals and deposits with your own records. One reason for this is that your bank may have service charges or bank fees for things like too many withdrawals or overdrafts.

  • Bank errors are infrequent, but the company should contact the bank immediately to report the errors.
  • For example, a company maintains a record of all the receipts for purchases made to make sure that the money incurred is going to the right avenues.
  • However, anything that affects the G/L such as unexpected deposits, interest income, or service fees will need to be recorded.
  • This includes debits and credits, as well as any checks you may have written that have not yet been cashed.
  • For correct account reconciliation it’s crucial to record not only each sale and refund but also all the fees commanded or reimbursed by the payment platforms once a refund has been issued.
  • Once everything agrees you’ll see a button that says “Record Reconciliation”.

To do this, businesses need to take into account the bank charges, NSF checks and errors in accounting. Bank errors are mistakes made by the bank while creating the bank statement. Common errors include entering an incorrect amount or omitting an amount from the bank statement. Compare the cash account’s general ledger to the bank statement to spot the errors. In the bank books, the deposits are recorded on the credit side while the withdrawals are recorded on the debit side. The bank sends the account statement to its customers every month or at regular intervals.

Manual vs. automated reconciliation

A detailed year-end bank statement reconciliation is commonly requested by an audit firm as part of its annual audit procedures. The account reconciliation process is an integral part of business, which helps to connect accounting with bank statements, records with cash, and protect the business from any discrepancies. To reconcile your checking account, you compare it with the ledger or bookkeeping record to make sure they match.

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These discrepancies happen when human error causes there to be differences between the general ledger and the subledgers. Don’t forget to account for any fees that you pay and any interest that you earn. This post is to be used for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, business, or tax advice.

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This means you have to remember to write down transactions when you get home, rather than record them as you make them, which is onerous and also a good way to forget transactions. For each debit, you’ll subtract the amount of the transaction from your balance. You’ll continue doing this until you have recorded all your transactions.


You should always check your account for accuracy as soon as you receive your bank statement each month. If there’s anything you don’t understand, contact your bank as soon as possible to correct the error and prevent it from occurring in the future. Whatever method you prefer, it’s important to keep solid records of every transaction to reconcile your bank account properly. It provides a clearer picture of your financial health and account standing. Taking the time to go over both your personal records and records from the bank helps you see where your money is coming from and going. It provides a clearer picture of your spending habits, similar to using a budgeting app that tracks your spending.

Go through the miscellaneous account debits and credits listed on the bank statement, and verify that you have recorded them in your own records. It is quite possible that none of these items have been listed, so be sure to adjust your cash balance for these items before proceeding. Examples of miscellaneous items are fees for bounced checks, overdraft charges, account maintenance fees, and charges for additional check stock ordered by you. The transactions should be deducted from the bank statement balance. Also, transactions appearing in the bank statement but missing in the cash book should be noted.

At the bottom of your spreadsheet for February, add this note, tracking changes to your balance. Once everything agrees you’ll see a button that says “Record Reconciliation”. The expected bad debts are estimated based on the historical activity levels of the bad debts allowance. If you have any further questions, you’re always welcome to contact the Synder support team using the in-app chat or other ways of contacting us provided in the footer of this page. The issue here is that even if your data is brought in automatically, without a good solution much of it may be lost on the way, leaving you with bare numbers. Identifying the source or some characteristics of a transaction in question may become impossible in such cases.

Maybe you had a large mailing that caused the postage statement of stockholders equity to jump. The Structured Query Language comprises several different data types that allow it to store different types of information… Anastasia is a FinTech writer with experience working as a freelance writer for small business owners. She has participated in numerous events dedicated to business management and marketing.

  • However, any adjustments on the general ledger side will have to be entered.
  • This is probably the most important step in the entire bank reconciliation process.
  • The easiest way to find these adjustments when completing a bank reconciliation is to look at the bank fees.
  • Correcting any problems during the process of proving out will minimize problems you may face reconciling the cash accounts when that bank statement actually does arrive.

If not, add the missing deposits to your records and your total account balance. It’s true that most accounting software applications offer bank connectivity, which can speed up the reconciliation process immensely. However, connecting your accounting software to your bank or financial institute does not take the place of doing a month-end bank reconciliation. When you identify significant discrepancies in your company’s financial statements, it’s time to dig in deeper. Look for any missing information and errors before you jump to conclusions.

Connect sales channel, payment gateway(s) and accounting software

The goal is to get your ending bank balance and ending G/L balance to match. Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. By checking this box, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy & to receive electronic communications from, which may include marketing promotions, news and updates. This can happen when a transaction is accidentally posted as a debit instead of a credit e.g. an invoice is entered as a payment or refund. Reconciling your business accounts is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle, you need all the pieces in one place in order to spot the missing or wrong ones.

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These items are typically service fees, overdraft fees, and interest income. You’ll need to account for these fees in your G/L in order to complete the reconciliation process. When you’re completing a bank reconciliation, the biggest difference between the bank balance and the G/L balance is outstanding checks.

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Your first step to prepare for a thorough account reconciliation is to compare your internal account register to your bank statement. Go through and check off each payment and deposit on your register that matches the statement. Make a note of all transactions on your bank statement for which you don’t have any other evidence, such as a payment receipt or check stub. There are a number of programs availablethat will automatically track your banking information for you, such as and Personal Capital. These aggregators allow you to see an overview of all of your financial accounts in a single place, from your checking and savings accounts, to your loans, to your college savings account. Such an aggregator will do the tracking and recording for you, so all you’ll have to do is check it regularly and compare it to your banking information to make sure everything balances.

The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Versapay integrates with your ERP to automatically apply payments made within the platform to their respective invoices. With our advanced cash application tools, we use optical character recognition and AI to automate matching for payments outside the platform too.

Without account reconciliation, businesses would have a hard time identifying and preventing balance sheet errors, which could raise concerns in the event of an audit. They would also have more difficulty flagging potential instances of fraud or theft. Finance teams can reconcile accounts directly by updating cash flow statements with individual transaction details.