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In bookkeeping, a bank reconciliation is the process by which the bank account balance in an entity’s books of account is reconciled to the balance reported by the financial institution in the most recent bank statement. Any difference between the two figures needs to be examined and, if appropriate, rectified.
Bank statements are commonly routinely produced by the financial institution and used by account holders to perform their bank reconciliations. To assist in reconciliations, many financial institutions now also offer direct downloads of financial transaction information into the account holders accounting software, typically using the .csv file format.
Differences between an entity’s books of account and the bank’s records may arise, for example, because:
Sometimes it may be easy to reconcile the difference by looking at the transactions in the bank statement since the last reconciliation and the entity's own accounting records (cash book) to see if some combination of them tally with the difference to be explained. Otherwise it may be necessary to go through and match every transaction in both sets of records since the last reconciliation, and identify which transactions remain unmatched. The necessary adjustments should then be made in the cash book, or reported to the bank if necessary, or any timing differences recorded to assist with future reconciliations.
For this reason, and to minimise the amount of work involved, it is good practice to carry out reconciliations at reasonably frequent intervals.
A bank reconciliation statement is a statement prepared by the entity as part of the reconciliation process which sets out the entries which have caused the difference between the two balances. It would, for example, list outstanding cheques (ie., issued cheques that have still not been presented at the bank for payment).
The entries in the entity’s books to rectify the discovered discrepancies (except for the outstanding cheques) would typically be made in a subsequent date or period, not backdated. When cheques become stale (ie., out of date), they would typically be reversed, not cancelled.
Bookkeeping is the recording of financial transactions, and is part of the process of accounting in business. Transactions include purchases, sales, receipts, and payments by an individual person or an organization/corporation. There are several standard methods of bookkeeping, including the single-entry and double-entry bookkeeping systems. While these may be viewed as "real" bookkeeping, any process for recording financial transactions is a bookkeeping process.
In financial accounting, a balance sheet or statement of financial position or statement of financial condition is a summary of the financial balances of an individual or organization, whether it be a sole proprietorship, a business partnership, a corporation, private limited company or other organization such as Government or not-for-profit entity. Assets, liabilities and ownership equity are listed as of a specific date, such as the end of its financial year. A balance sheet is often described as a "snapshot of a company's financial condition". Of the four basic financial statements, the balance sheet is the only statement which applies to a single point in time of a business' calendar year.
In double entry bookkeeping, debits and credits are entries made in account ledgers to record changes in value resulting from business transactions. A debit entry in an account represents a transfer of value to that account, and a credit entry represents a transfer from the account. For example, a tenant who pays rent to a landlord will make a debit entry in a rent expense account associated with the landlord, and the landlord will make a credit entry in a receivable account associated with the tenant. Every transaction produces both debit entries and credit entries for each party involved, where each party's total debits and total credits for the same transaction are equal. Continuing the example, the tenant will also credit the bank account from which they pay rent, and the landlord will debit the bank account where they deposit it.
A transaction account, also called a checking account, chequing account, current account, demand deposit account, or share draft account at credit unions, is a deposit account held at a bank or other financial institution. It is available to the account owner "on demand" and is available for frequent and immediate access by the account owner or to others as the account owner may direct. Access may be in a variety of ways, such as cash withdrawals, use of debit cards, cheques (checks) and electronic transfer. In economic terms, the funds held in a transaction account are regarded as liquid funds. In accounting terms they are considered as cash.
Quicken Interchange Format (QIF) is an open specification for reading and writing financial data to media.
Online banking, also known as internet banking or web banking, is an electronic payment system that enables customers of a bank or other financial institution to conduct a range of financial transactions through the financial institution's website. The online banking system will typically connect to or be part of the core banking system operated by a bank and is in contrast to branch banking which was the traditional way customers accessed banking services.
A giro, or giro transfer, is a payment transfer from one bank account to another bank account and initiated by the payer, not the payee. The debit card has a similar model. Giros are primarily a European phenomenon; although electronic payment systems such as the Automated Clearing House exist in the United States and Canada, it is not possible to perform third party transfers with them. In the European Union, there is the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) which allows electronic giro or debit card payments in euros to be executed to any euro bank account in the area.
A passbook or bankbook is a paper book used to record bank, or building society transactions on a deposit account.
A cheque, or check, is a document that orders a bank to pay a specific amount of money from a person's account to the person in whose name the cheque has been issued. The person writing the cheque, known as the drawer, has a transaction banking account where their money is held. The drawer writes the various details including the monetary amount, date, and a payee on the cheque, and signs it, ordering their bank, known as the drawee, to pay that person or company the amount of money stated.
Nostro and vostro are accounting terms used to distinguish an account held for another entity from an account another entity holds. The entities in question are almost always, but need not be, banks.
Cash management refers to a broad area of finance involving the collection, handling, and usage of cash. It involves assessing market liquidity, cash flow, and investments.
An overdraft occurs when money is withdrawn from a bank account and the available balance goes below zero. In this situation the account is said to be "overdrawn". If there is a prior agreement with the account provider for an overdraft, and the amount overdrawn is within the authorized overdraft limit, then interest is normally charged at the agreed rate. If the negative balance exceeds the agreed terms, then additional fees may be charged and higher interest rates may apply.
Payment cards are part of a payment system issued by financial institutions, such as a bank, to a customer that enables its owner to access the funds in the customer's designated bank accounts, or through a credit account and make payments by electronic funds transfer and access automated teller machines (ATMs). Such cards are known by a variety of names including bank cards, ATM cards, MAC, client cards, key cards or cash cards.
A bank statement is an official summary of financial transactions occurring within a given period for each bank account held by a person or business with a financial institution. Such statements are prepared by the financial institution, are numbered and indicate the period covered by the statement, and may contain other relevant information for the account type, such as how much is payable by a certain date. The start date of the statement period is usually the day after the end of the previous statement period.
In accounting, reconciliation is the process of ensuring that two sets of records are in agreement. Reconciliation is used to ensure that the money leaving an account matches the actual money spent. This is done by making sure the balances match at the end of a particular accounting period.
A foreign exchange hedge is a method used by companies to eliminate or "hedge" their foreign exchange risk resulting from transactions in foreign currencies. This is done using either the cash flow hedge or the fair value method. The accounting rules for this are addressed by both the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and by the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as well as other national accounting standards.
A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. The card issuer creates a revolving account and grants a line of credit to the cardholder, from which the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance.
A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either directly or indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are highly regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are generally subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords.
A joint account is a bank account that has been opened by two or more individuals or entities. Joint accounts are commonly opened by close relatives or by business partners, but it can be used in other circumstances, such as by a club committee.
A deposit account is a savings account, current account or any other type of bank account that allows money to be deposited and withdrawn by the account holder. These transactions are recorded on the bank's books, and the resulting balance is recorded as a liability for the bank and represents the amount owed by the bank to the customer. Some banks may charge a fee for this service, while others may pay the customer interest on the funds deposited.
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