Introduction to Bank Reconciliation
A company's general ledger account Cash contains a record of the transactions (checks written, receipts from customers, etc.) that involve its checking account. The bank also creates a record of the company's checking account when it processes the company's checks, deposits, service charges, and other items. Soon after each month ends the bank usually mails a bank statement to the company. The bank statement lists the activity in the bank account during the recent month as well as the balance in the bank account.
When the company receives its bank statement, the company should verify that the amounts on the bank statement are consistent or compatible ...view middle of the document...
From these two examples, you can understand why there will likely be a difference in the balance on the bank statement vs. the balance in the Cash account on the company's books. It is also possible (perhaps likely) that neither balance is the true balance. Both balances may need adjustment in order to report the true amount of cash.
After you adjust the balance per bank to be the true balance and after you adjust the balance per books to also be the same true balance, you have reconciled the bank statement. Most accountants would simply say that you have done the bank reconciliation or the bank rec.
Bank Reconciliation Process
Step 1. Adjusting the Balance per Bank
We will demonstrate the bank reconciliation process in several steps. The first step is to adjust the balance on the bank statement to the true, adjusted, or corrected balance. The items necessary for this step are listed in the following schedule:
Deposits in transit are amounts already received and recorded by the company, but are not yet recorded by the bank. For example, a retail store deposits its cash receipts of August 31 into the bank's night depository at 10:00 p.m. on August 31. The bank will process this deposit on the morning of September 1. As of August 31 (the bank statement date) this is a deposit in transit.
Because deposits in transit are already included in the company's Cash account, there is no need to adjust the company's records. However, deposits in transit are not yet on the bank statement. Therefore, they need to be listed on the bank reconciliation as an increase to the balance per bank in order to report the true amount of cash.
* A helpful rule of thumb is "put it where it isn't." A deposit in transit is on the company's books, but it isn't on the bank statement. Put it where it isn't: as an adjustment to the balance on the bank statement.
Outstanding checks are checks that have been written and recorded in the company's Cash account, but have not yet cleared the bank account. Checks written during the last few days of the month plus a few older checks are likely to be among the outstanding checks.
Because all checks that have been written are immediately recorded in the company's Cash account, there is no need to adjust the company's records for the outstanding checks. However, the outstanding checks have not yet reached the bank and the bank statement. Therefore, outstanding checks are listed on the bank reconciliation as a decrease in the balance per bank.
* Recall the helpful tip "put it where it isn't." An outstanding check is on the company's books, but it isn't on the bank statement. Put it where it isn't: as an adjustment to the balance on the bank statement.
Bank errors are mistakes made by the bank. Bank errors could include the bank recording an incorrect amount, entering an amount that does not belong on a company's bank statement, or omitting an amount from a company's bank statement. The company should notify the bank of...