Reconciling Account Definition
Reconciling Account is a process that is followed to make sure that the account’s ending balance is correct. The general rule of accounting is to pass the journal entries first, then to prepare individual ledgers. The accounting ledgers reflect an ending balance that is tallied by the reconciliation of the accounts with other statements and documentation.
How does Reconciling Account Work?
Reconciliation is a step by step process which include as follows –
Step #1 – Gathering Bank Statement and Tallying with Cash Book
Cash Book is the internal record keeping that all businesses maintain to keep a record of all the monetary transactions. So you need to start tallying both the accounts. If you see that there is any transaction that is present in the Bank Statement, but it is not there in the cash book, then highlight that transaction. See if all the transactions have a supporting receipt, such as Invoice. The ending balance of cash book and bank statement should match.
Step #2 – Now Try to Analyze the Discrepancies
If you see that the bank statement is showing lesser balance than Cashbook, then try to find the reasons. It could be that the bank has deducted certain charges like current account charges, ATM withdrawal charges, etc. If those charges are not included in the cash book, then include them. If you have received interest from a bank due to capital and that interest is not reflecting in your cash book, then include that interest. Go through all the discrepancies that arrived, and if they are valid, then add them to respective books.
Step #3 – Start Doing Proper Audit of the Bank Statement
At times it may happen that the bank wrongly charges you with some fee. So this kind of error should be communicated with the bank immediately, and a proper note should be maintained. Proper follow-ups should be maintained with the bank until and unless the error resolves.
Step #4 – Tally Ending Balances of Both Cash Book and Bank Statement
It is the most crucial step. The final balances of the Cashbook and Bank Statement should tally as all necessary adjustments are already made. After this, a bank reconciliation statement is formulated, which explains the reason for the discrepancy between the two books.
Reconciling can be done on any accounts. Every ledger accounts should be reconciled from source to make the balance trustworthy.
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#1 – Bank Reconciliation
It is where you reconcile the internal cash book with the bank statement to make sure that the cash transactions are correctly recorded without errors.
#2 – Creditors Account Reconciliation
All the transactions under Accounts Payable are systematically tallied with statements received from creditors, and the final balance is tallied
#3 – Debtors Account Reconciliation
All the debtors’ statements are tallied with accounts receivable, and discrepancies are resolved.
How to Reconcile an Account?
There are two ways to reconcile an account –
#1 – Documentation Review
This method is very popular. Here each recorded transaction is tallied by proper documentation. Say you are reconciling Accounts Payable, then each transaction will be tallied by appropriate invoices, and it will check whether the transactions are correct or not. Missing transactions are also identified this way, i.e., if there is an invoice, and it is not recorded in the books.
#2 – Analytical Review
This method is more of an estimation. Account balances of prior periods are checked, and an estimate is done for the current year. If the account balance is not reflecting as per prediction, then further analysis is done. It is helpful when reconciling depreciation accounts. Depreciation is more or less the same each year. So if any movement is observed compared to the previous year, then the analysis is done.
Mr. X is preparing its balance sheet and is doing the reconciliation of each account. He is currently working on Accounts payable. How will he reconcile it?
Accounts payable account consists of all the pending payments for Mr. X. So whatever Mr. X bought on credit will reflect in this account. Say there are five entries in this account. The total balance of the account is $10,000. So Mr. X owes $10,000 to his suppliers. As Mr. X is maintaining an account for Accounts Payable, thus the suppliers are also maintaining an Accounts Receivable account.
Mr. X will ask for the final customized bill from each supplier and check whether the amount is adding up to $10,000. If there is any discrepancy, that the supplier has added extra payment, then Mr. X should immediately contact them and get it fixed. So once the reconciliation is done. Then the balance of Accounts payable can be trusted.
Every business maintains internal accounts. So after the end of the period, the balances of the accounts portray a picture. Say the Accounts receivable account shows that $5,000 is receivable. So if the company has not done reconciliation, then they may start operating, thinking that they will receive $5,000. While reconciliation, it was found that the correct amount is $3,000. So reconciliation helps to eradicate uncertainty. Once reconciliation is done, the account balances can be trusted.
Reconciling accounts is extremely important for businesses as it helps to create a trust on the balances reflected by each account. Proper reconciliation is always advised. Storage of all essential documentation is vital in case of reconciliation.
This article has been a guide to Reconciling Account and its definition. Here we discuss how to reconcile an account, its types, how does it work along with example and its need. You may refer to the following articles to learn more about finance –