Sure Quicken and Your
Admit it: Your least favorite part of having a checking account is the monthly
struggle to make your handwritten register agree with the bank’s balance. (The
technical term for this is reconciling.) No matter how carefully you record every
check, debit card withdrawal, and ATM fee, the numbers never seem to match.
Tracking down the error is an exercise in frustration: Did the bank make an error,
or do you have to redo your math yet again? And though you probably don’t keep
a handwritten register for your credit card, it’s a good idea to reconcile your
Quicken credit card account, too, by comparing it to the monthly statement you
get from your credit card company.
Note: If you’ve never experienced the pleasures of reconciliation firsthand, the process (at least in theory) is
pretty simple. You simply review each transaction listed on your monthly bank statement, and then make
sure there’s a corresponding entry in your own records (a paper checkbook, Quicken, or whatever you use).
Don’t despair—Quicken takes the agony out of reconciliation. If you download
transactions from your bank (or credit card company), you may be able to recon-
cile with as little as a single click, since your register and the bank will always agree
on which checks have cleared. If you accidentally transpose numbers or forget to
record an ATM withdrawal, Quicken has tools to help you find the problem. And
here’s the best part: Quicken does the math for you, error-free.
With Quicken, reconciliation is so easy, there’s no excuse for not doing it. And it
happens to come with loads of benefits: Never again will you bounce a check
because you thought you had more funds available. You may even get lucky and