Cash: Bank Reconciliations – Accounting In FocusA bank reconciliation is the process of matching the balances in an entity's accounting records for a cash account to the corresponding information on a bank statement. The goal of this process is to ascertain the differences between the two, and to book changes to the accounting records as appropriate. The information on the bank statement is the bank's record of all transactions impacting the entity's bank account during the past month. A bank reconciliation should be completed at regular intervals for all bank accounts, to ensure that a company's cash records are correct. Otherwise, it may find that cash balances are much lower than expected, resulting in bounced checks or overdraft fees. A bank reconciliation will also detect some types of fraud after the fact; this information can be used to design better controls over the receipt and payment of cash. If there is so little activity in a bank account that there really is no need for a periodic bank reconciliation, you should question why the account even exists.
Cash: Bank Reconciliations
A book balance is the account balance in a company's accounting records. The term is most commonly applied to the balance in a company's checking account at the end of an accounting period. An organization uses the bank reconciliation procedure to compare its book balance to the ending cash balance in the bank statement provided to it by the company's bank. The bank and book balances are almost never the same, which most commonly calls for the adjustment of the book balance to conform to the information in the bank statement. The following reconciling items commonly arise as part of a bank reconciliation, and require the adjustment of the book balance:. On rare occasions, the bank will have made an error instead, in which case the bank corrects its records and the company's book balance is not adjusted. Articles Topics Index Site Archive.
How Often Should You Reconcile Your Bank Account?
Bank reconciliation is done by matching the cash balances on the balance sheet to the corresponding amount on its bank statement. The purpose of the bank reconciliation process is to determine the differences between the internal records of transactions and bank statement and make changes to the accounting records as needed. This helps in resolving any discrepancies in the records and spotting fraudulent transactions.
Twenty years ago, before debit cards and online banking, there was only one way to keep track of how much money you had in the bank: keep a checkbook and reconcile it. Clearly, online banking has not made us better at managing our bank accounts. In , U. Maybe we should consider going back to writing down all our transactions and balancing our checkbooks! As we all engage in more automatic and electronic transactions, this is a critically important step to ensure that the cash balance is correct.