Chapter 11

Reconciling Accounts

In This Chapter

Calculating your opening bank balance

Getting your first bank reconciliation off the runway

Keeping reports that show you’ve done the deed

Employing tricks of the trade when all seems lost

Lining up for even more fun — reconciling other kinds of accounts

When you reconcile a bank account, you compare the transactions in your set of accounts to those on the corresponding bank statement. You tick these entries off one by one and check that you and your bank agree, down to the very last cent.

Reconciling bank accounts isn’t some arcane activity invented by masochistic bean counters. Rather, reconciling accounts is the only sure-fire way to identify if you have made any mistakes, such as a payment entered as $900 instead of $90, a deposit entered twice or missing bank charges.

The good news is that reconciling bank accounts is surprisingly quick and easy and, although you may find this hard to believe, can even be rather satisfying in a weird, nerdish kind of way. (I’m not really a boring person. Just sometimes, I get excited over boring things. Spot the difference . . .)

Getting Started

Did you ever see that old movie A Christmas Carol, based on the book by Charles Dickens? The beleaguered accounts clerk Bob Cratchit, under pressure from his heartless employer Ebenezer Scrooge, spends Christmas Eve completing the final bank reconciliation for his employer. Only when this reconciliation is complete is he permitted to go home for Christmas ...

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