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5 Reconciliation Tricks for QuickBooks

Reconciling bank and other accounts in QuickBooks is something you'll need and want to do. Such work improves the accuracy of your data. Also, the work may catch serious problems (such as employee fraud or embezzlement).

Unfortunately, reconciling bank and other accounts often turns into a frustrating work because accounts seem to be impossible to reconcile. If you're encountering an irreconcilable difference, though, don't give up — at least, not yet. Instead, try the five tricks listed below:

  • Verify the account. Here's a first trick or tip if you're trying to reconcile an account (such as a bank account) in QuickBooks and the work isn't going smoothly. Are you sure that you're working with the right account? That sounds pretty dumb, doesn't it? But if you have several bank accounts, for example, you may be trying to reconcile the wrong account or using the wrong statement to reconcile your account.

  • Check for missing transactions. Here's a second trick to try. Can you spot any missing transactions? If you're trying to reconcile a bank account, for example, check the bank statement to see whether the bank has recorded transactions that you haven't. These missing transactions, obviously, can cause your ending balance to not equal your cleared balance. After you record these transactions and mark them as cleared, your account may reconcile.

  • Double-check your data entry. Here's another thing to watch for. Have you recorded transactions correctly? This may also sound silly, but if you recorded the transaction, and you're a few pennies or a few dollars off — perhaps you've transposed a couple of numbers — you won't be able to reconcile your account. It's probably very common when you're entering dozens and dozens of transactions to occasionally record a transaction wrong. The occasional errors need to be fixed before you can reconcile an account.

  • Go online. Here's one really simple idea (maybe for the future reconciliations you'll need to do). Reconciling an account is much easier if you're using online banking. With online banking, you electronically grab and input much of your data, which basically eliminates data-entry errors.

  • Take a break. Here's a final tip. If you've checked everything and still can't find the discrepancy in your accounting records (or the problem in the bank's statement), give yourself a break. Set the reconciliation aside for a day or two. If you come back to the reconciliation later, with a fresh set of eyes, you often find the problem you couldn't spot before.

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