Chapter 8. Reconciling: Making Sure Quicken and Your Bank Agree
Admit it: Your least favorite part of having a checking account is the monthly struggle to make your handwritten register agree with your 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.
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 reconcile with as little as a single click because your register and the bank will almost 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 ...