1) The bank statement that you are reconciling is for a new account with a $0.00 beginning balance, or
2) you are beginning to use QuickBooks, reconciling an already-existing account with a beginning balance other than zero; that beginning balance was entered when it was set up as a bank account in the chart of accounts.
3) All activity from the bank statement period has been entered into QuickBooks.
Bank reconciliations in QuickBooks are simple; the task comes built in with the software for your convenience. Once you have your bank statement, perform the following steps.
- From the Banking menu, choose “Reconcile.” Alternatively, if you are using the home screen “flow chart,” simply click the “Reconcile” icon located in the Banking section toward the bottom right of the home screen.
- When the “Begin Reconciliation” window appears, choose the appropriate bank account from the drop-down menu.
- Enter the statement date. This should be the ending date on the bank statement itself, not the current date. Note: This is not always the end of the month. The date will depend on your cycle with the bank and should be what the bank deems the end of the period, not a date of your choosing.
- Verify that the beginning balance in QuickBooks matches the beginning balance on your bank statement. These balances should always match.
- Enter the ending balance as it appears on your bank statement.
- If there are any service charges or there is interest earned on your account, use the appropriate boxes below to enter them if you haven’t already entered them prior to starting this reconciliation. Make sure you use the correct dates and accounts (i.e., Bank Service Charges/Interest Income) when entering them on this screen.
- Once you have verified that the information entered on this screen is correct, click the “Continue” button at the bottom of the window. This opens the reconciliation window for the specific bank account, and all previously unreconciled items will appear here. One side shows all checks and payments, and the other side shows all deposits and other credits to the account. (Depending on your version of QuickBooks, the debits are generally on the left and the credits on the right, but there have been versions where these are reversed. Each column is labeled at the top so that you know which is which.) Tip: If you have a very large number of transactions each month, it might be helpful to check the “Hide transactions after the statement’s end date” box in the upper-right corner of the reconciliation window, which will remove items that occur after the statement end date.
- Now find each transaction from the bank statement in the QuickBooks reconciliation window, and click to the left of it to select it as reconciled for this period. A check mark will appear to confirm that it is selected.
- Once you have checked off each item from the bank statement, the “Difference” in the lower-right corner should read “0.00.” If it does not, you have missed something or checked off something that did appear on the bank statement, and the reconciliation should not be completed. Tip: To help determine the error, the lower-left area of the reconciliation window has totals for what you have checked for both your checks and your deposits. Most banks print these totals at the beginning of your bank statement so that you can compare them separately to verify which section the error is in. Simply go back through your transactions, and find the transaction that does not match.
- Your difference should now read “0.00”. Congratulations! You have reconciled your bank account for the month. Click the “Reconcile Now” button in the lower-right corner of the “Reconcile” window to complete the reconciliation and print your report.
- A “Select Reconciliation Report” window will appear, giving you the option of printing a summary report (one page), a detail report (all reconciled/unreconciled items) or both. It is recommended that you print both and store them with your bank statements for your records. If you have a problem with reconciliation in the future where the beginning balance doesn’t match, it’s helpful to have the detail from previous reconciliations to compare and find the error, especially if you have many transactions. Once you have selected the report or reports you would like to print, click the “Print” button. A “Print Reports” window appears.
- Select the appropriate printer, and click the “Print” button to actually print your report.
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