Types of Reconciliation in Accounting Definition, Purpose, Explanation, and Example

Types of Reconciliation in Accounting Definition, Purpose, Explanation, and Example

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GAAP requires accrual accounting to record accounts payable and other liabilities in the correct accounting period. Accounting PeriodAccounting Period refers to the period in which all financial transactions are recorded and financial statements are prepared. Some businesses with a high volume or those that work in industries where the risk of fraud is high may reconcile their bank statements more often . Reconciling the accounts is a particularly important activity for businesses and individuals because it is an opportunity to check for fraudulent activity and to prevent financial statement errors. Reconciliation is typically done at regular intervals, such as monthly or quarterly, as part of normal accounting procedures. You can use different sets of figures depending on what you are trying to achieve.


This may be done by comparing a spreadsheet calculation to the balance in the general ledger account. It may seem obvious, but this is essential for making sure the accounting records are right. In both cases where mistakes are identified as a result of the reconciliation, adjustments should be undertaken in order for the account balance to match the supporting information.

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For a small business or an account with very few transactions, reconciliation may not be a challenge. But for high-volume accounts — like cash in a busy organization— you may be looking at thousands of transactions. Doing that work manually is tedious and time-consuming to say the least, and it’s easy to make mistakes.

Most typically, an employee performing duties away from company premises will be expected to report all expenses incurred during that activity – such as transportation, lodging, and meals. Expenses are either paid directly from company funds or paid by the individual and reported for reimbursement. A FMS is the software and processes used to manage income, expenses, and assets in an organization. A check for the amount of $470 issued to the office supplier was misreported in the cash payments journal as $370. Next, use the company’s ending cash balance, add any interest earned and notes receivable amount. All deposits and withdrawals posted to an account must be used to prepare a reconciliation statement.

Manual reconciliation to automation

After all adjustments are made to the books, the balance should equal the ending balance of the bank account. If the figures are equal, then a successful bank reconciliation statement has been prepared. The balance of the cash account in an entity’s financial records may require adjusting as well. The bank typically withdraws and processes the fees automatically from the bank account.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about account reconciliation including how account reconciliation software works. Account conversion – where accounting records are compared with source documents. Account conversion is when source documents like cancelled checks, receipts and supplier invoices are compared to the corresponding journal entries in the ledger. Learn more about types of reconciliation and what it means to reconcile accounts with the help of examples.

The general ledger balance of an account is compared to independent systems, third-party data, or other supporting documentation to ensure the balance stated in the general ledger is extremely accurate. This process confirms that records of transactions are complete and consistent, helping companies make important business and financial decisions using very accurate records. Account reconciliation is a key accounting process for businesses of all sizes.


Cash flow may also be affected if general ledger account balances are inaccurate. The first step in reconciling a bank statement is to compare financial record activities to bank statement activities. For any bank errors, unaccounted-for deposits, and unpresented checks, adjustments to the bank statement balance should be made. Some personal or business accounts do not account for bank-related additions and charges, such as interest and maintenance fees. Adjustments should be made to the cash account records for these differences. Once corrections and adjustments are made, compare the balances to see if they match.

They also find that the check for $397 was mistakenly cashed for $367 instead. They can now take steps to rectify the errors and balance their statements. Bank reconciliation statements ensure that payments have been processed and cash collections have been deposited into the bank.

More specifically, companies must reconcile all balance sheet accounts that could contain a significant or material misstatement. Doing so allows entities to identify and post all necessary adjustments to the general ledger in a timely manner. Financial statements should also be compared with general ledger balances for agreement in amount.

Reconciling your accounts is important because it helps detect any mistakes, discrepancies, or fraud in your accounting books that could severely impact the financial health of your company. Reconciliation is a good business practice that can help the success of a business. If the indirect method is used, then the cash flow from the operations section is already presented as a reconciliation of the three financial statements. Other reconciliations turn non-GAAP measures, such as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization , into their GAAP-approved counterparts. It’s also possible to make a double-entry journal entry that affects the balance sheet only. For example, if a business takes out a long-term loan for $10,000, the accountant would debit the cash account and credit the long-term debt account .

What is Activity-Based Costing and How Does It Work (Explained)

This review or reconciliation method is mostly carried out using accounting software. The first step is to get the monthly statement from the bank and compare it to the cash balance in the accounting records. They never agree because the amounts are calculated on different days, but the difference should be something that can be explained. Configurable validation rules allow for the auto-certification of low-risk accounts, significantly reducing the workload of accounting staff.

  • The reconciliation spreadsheet should be carried forward from month to month for each yearly accounting period.
  • In these instances, a reconciliation report needs to be produced, which quantifies and explains the reasons for the closing balance between the two data sources.
  • When you use accounting software to reconcile accounts, the software does most of the work for you, saving you a good deal of time.
  • As important as account reconciliation is in accounting, there is not much focus on it in accounting classes.
  • BlackLine’s Modern Accounting Playbook delivers a proven-practices approach to help you identify and prioritize your organization’s critical accounting gaps and map out an achievable path to success.
  • Companies use reconciliation to prevent balance sheet errors on their financial accounts, check for fraud, and to reconcile the general ledger.

BlackLine and our ecosystem of software and cloud partners work together to transform our joint customers’ finance and accounting processes. Together, we provide innovative solutions that help F&A teams achieve shorter close cycles and better controls, enabling them to drive better decision-making across the company. By highlighting and finding out these errors, businesses can ensure that their records show a bank balance that is at par with the actual bank balance held in the business account at the bank. Further, this also allows the business to identify any unusual transaction or any fraud or theft. Bank reconciliation statements are useful check-and-balance tools used to detect errors, omissions, and fraud.

This ensures smooth operations, supplier relations, market reputation, and much more. Financial InformationFinancial Information refers to the summarized data of monetary transactions that is helpful to investors in understanding company’s profitability, their assets, and growth prospects. Financial Data about individuals like past Months Bank Statement, Tax return receipts helps banks to understand customer’s credit quality, repayment capacity etc. A bank reconciliation statement summarizes banking activity, allowing individuals and companies to compare their records to the bank’s records. If there are any differences between the accounts and the amounts, these differences need to be explained. Reconciling your bank statements allows you to identify problems before they get out of hand.

Some or all of these will happen at some point in the life of every business. But if you don’t reconcile your accounts regularly, you might not catch mistakes as they arise. Whilst there is no prerequisite for most businesses to reconcile regularly, doing so is a good habit as it will mean that business and financial information is up to date. Additionally, reconciling regularly will make it easy to spot and explain any reconciling transactions or errors. SMBs which produce monthly management accounts will need to reconcile their bank, receivables and payables at a minimum of once per month for the correct information to be presented in their accounts.

Every reconciliation meaning in accounting transaction at Big Box is recorded with both a debit and credit entry. When a customer buys merchandise, the cash account is increased with a debit and the inventory account is reduced with a credit. This type of reconciliation is the process of comparing a company’s or person’s credit card statement with their own records of transactions to ensure that all transactions have been accounted for properly. BlackLine Transaction Matchingfurther automates processes by enabling the comparison and validation of transaction-level account data. This allows accountants to view the exact transactions that are not matching in various systems and statements, decreasing the time spent locating discrepancies. This is particularly useful for high-volume reconciliations, such as credit card reconciliations.

There are several possible reasons why there may be discrepancies between accounts. Examples of account reconciliation discrepancy causes include things such as timing differences, mistakes, missing transactions, and fraud. There are various types of reconciliation in accounting and finance that each help to ensure the accuracy of different types of records. Each type of reconciliation can help to ensure the accuracy of different types of records.

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It gives accountants more time to focus on analyzing discrepancies, risk mitigation, and exception handling. It’s the most important one, as any fraudulent activity will show up in the cash account first! It will also catch any errors made by the bank, and JoAnn has caught a few of those. BlackLine Account Reconciliationsis designed to streamline all aspects of the account reconciliation process. It adds proper controls and automation, imports data from any source, and is compatible with all major ERP systems. The revenue cycle refers to the entirety of a company’s ordering process from the time an order is placed until an invoice is paid and settled.

Companies tend to invest in some projects or for taxation purposes or due to many other reasons. Periodic accounts reconciliation will ensure that the true value of the investments is reflected in the book of accounts. Correct the Incorrect Entries Once the accountant figures out which entries are causing the mismatch, those entries can then be analyzed and corrected to reflect the right balances. Reconciling your bank statement can help you avoid bounced checks to partners and suppliers. In a general sense, it demonstrates that balancing the books gets taken seriously. That can be vital should a company need to borrow, attract investors, or even put itself up for sale.

What is an Account Reconciliation

For example, a schedule with beginning balance, cost of new insurance policies or renewals received minus amounts amortized for time usage creates the new ending balance for prepaid insurance. The ending balance in the schedule should agree with the general ledger balance. Annual SaaS subscriptions are another example of prepaid assets amortized over twelve months as each month elapses. In this section, we look at some examples of accounts reconciliation to understand the scope of work involved in accounts reconciliation and the tools that can help ease the process. Petty cash is a small amount of cash on hand used for paying expenses too small to merit writing a check.

Together with expanding roles, new expectations from stakeholders, and evolving regulatory requirements, these demands can place unsustainable strain on finance and accounting functions. F&A leadership can have a significant impact by creating sustainable, scalable processes that can support the business before, during, and long after the IPO. This company-wide effort crosses multiple functional areas and is reinforced by critical project management and a strong technology infrastructure. Our solutions complement SAP software as part of an end-to-end offering for Finance & Accounting. BlackLine solutions address the traditional manual processes that are performed by accountants outside the ERP, often in spreadsheets. It’s time to embrace modern accounting technology to save time, reduce risk, and create capacity to focus your time on what matters most.

To ensure the reliability of the financial records, reconciliations must, therefore, be performed for all balance sheet accounts on a regular and ongoing basis. A robust reconciliation process improves the accuracy of the financial reporting function and allows the finance department to publish financial reports with confidence. Account reconciliation is particularly useful for explaining the difference between two financial records or account balances. Some differences may be acceptable because of the timing of payments and deposits.



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This statement is used by auditors to perform the company’s year-end auditing. For example, a business has an operating account with a balance of $15,000 on July 1. During the course of the month, they write three checks for $1,000, $397, and $1,900. According to their reconciliation statement, they have a balance of $18,703, but the book balance shows a balance of $18,648. Upon looking at the bank reconciliation statement, they found that they didn’t record the account’s $25 monthly service fee.

The account reconciliation process typically takes place at the end of a financial or accounting period and these processes are generally executed on general ledgers. This is one very important cause of discrepancies account reconciliation aims to deal with. The perpetuation of fraud is one of the very common problems facing a lot of financial institutions. Even though accounting processes help to monitor every transaction, fraudsters work with accountants to make changes to accounting records. The time difference between when a payment or deposit was made and when this transaction is eventually recorded is one reason for discrepancies in accounting records.

All fees charged on an account by a bank must be accounted for on a reconciliation statement. Sure, there are a number of professionals that can provide expertise in this task, the most obvious being an accountant. If you decide to hire someone to help, make sure they are following GAAP, or have credentials and experience that you trust. However, if you decide to tackle the task on your own you can save a lot of money. Also, if your business is small and you’re just starting out, reconciling your own accounts can be a valuable learning experience.

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