What is Account Reconciliation? Definition, Types and Steps

balance sheet

And, at the end of the day, it’s a business leader’s responsibility to ensure all accounts are balanced and accurate. Every account from bank accounts, to accounts payable ledgers and accounts receivable reports, must be accurately reconciled using real numbers that represent the true business activities. Businesses use these numbers for creating operating budgets, applying for loans, and meeting payroll. Some companies use manual methods to complete the account reconciliation process. This leaves companies unable to pinpoint if all the transactions in their statements are accurate or if they require further revision.

Three-quarters of entrepreneurs feel they need more cash, and the second-biggest reason they fail is because they run out of it; 20% of small businesses inevitably fold in their first year. Some banks call the ending balance a “new balance” or a “closing balance.” Make sure the beginning balance in QuickBooks matches the one on your statement. From the Account ▼ dropdown, select the account you want to reconcile. Learn more about setting a solid foundation for your close process by downloading the 5 Tips to Improving Your Transaction Matching Reconciliation Process eBook.

What Solutions Does BlackLine Offer?

You’ll know exactly how much money you can budget for vendors, operating expenses, and other payments. Allowing finance teams to spend less time inputting data and more time analyzing, modeling and focusing on strategic, decision-driving roles. Processes that rely on error-prone data can easily lead to costly consequences for any business—particularly publicly traded or otherwise regulated companies.

  • Effective collaboration is vital in creating exceptional customer experiences while simultaneously achieving your efficiency goals—like improving the account reconciliation process.
  • An outstanding check for $1,365 which has been posted in the general ledger, but has not been cashed by the recipient.
  • Run your reconciliation reports with general ledger, receivables, or payables access.
  • Simplify your close processes with financial close automation solutions that work to solve any problem, no matter how complex.
  • Maximize working capital with the only unified platform for collecting cash, providing credit, and understanding cash flow.

Companies generally perform balance sheet reconciliations each month, after the books are closed for the prior month. This type of account reconciliation involves reviewing all balance sheet accounts to make sure that transactions were appropriately booked into the correct general ledger account. It may be necessary to adjust journal entries if they were booked incorrectly.

Ways to Enhance Your Account Reconciliations

Bank Reconciliation involves determining exactly how much money your business has in the operating checking account at a given period. Posting every transaction, such as deposits and checks issued, provides the basis for an accurate, up-to-date daily checking account balance. The end-of-month reconciliation is a process that ensures invoices and contract payments were accurately posted to appropriate individual ledgers. Here, a company will compare its outstanding customer balances to the accounts receivable captured in the general ledger to unveil any irregularities in customer-level accounting. Companies typically perform customer reconciliation before issuing their monthly financial statements.

What is the main purpose of an account reconciliation?

Account reconciliations are activities performed by accountants, typically at the end of an accounting period, to ensure the general ledger account balance is complete and accurate.

By avoiding making these errors, you can run processes more smoothly and be confident in your records. No matter how hard you try or how much experience you have, avoiding errors entirely will always be a challenge. They can happen both on your end and with the bank, so it’s important to notice discrepancies and find out which entry is accurate, and which needs to be addressed. Bank errors don’t occur very often, but if they do, the proper amount needs to be added or subtracted from your account balance, and you should contact the bank immediately to report the error.

Vendor Reconciliation

Identifying exceptions to review, adjust, reconcile and post to the GL in final form. Rolling forecasts, analyzing variances between their actuals and forecasted numbers and determining any course corrections required of a company to stay on track to meet its performance targets. Sub-ledgers – two of the most common include payroll or human resources information systems and fixed asset tracking systems. Account reconciliations come in various forms and can be for personal or professional use. And what if a document is missing or incomplete—a control issue for auditors to feast on. When discrepancies are found, accountants investigate and take appropriate corrective action.

What are the four types of reconciliation?

  • 1 Deep, mutual healing. The first is the one we long for the most in which both people grow and change, and there is a deep healing in the relationship.
  • 2 Shifting your expectations.
  • 3 Agreeing to disagree.
  • 4 Inner resolution.

Mary Girsch-Bock is the expert on accounting software and payroll software for The Ascent. Remember, it’s your name on the bank account, and if there’s an error, it’s ultimately your responsibility to resolve it promptly. Anytime something appears out of the ordinary, you’ll want to review the originating documents such as invoices entered to determine if they were posted properly and whether any adjustments need to be made.

Our consulting partners help guide large enterprise and midsize organizations undergoing digital transformation by maximizing and accelerating value from BlackLine’s solutions. From onboarding to financial operations excellence, our customer success management team helps you unlock measurable value. Through workshops, webinars, digital success options, tips and tricks, and more, you will develop leading-practice processes and strategies to propel your organization forward. While the responsibility to maintain compliance stretches across the organization, F&A has a critical role in ensuring compliance with financial rules and regulations.

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For example, you can analyze each accountancy listed in the financial statements to corresponding ones on the bank statement by crossing them out. You can then take note of any transactions that do not appear in the financial report so you can address them later. For many businesses, reconciliation is a time-consuming, tedious process. Small and large businesses alike often face issues with delays in receiving detailed statements from vendors and banks. This means a user must employ various file formats, requiring them to first standardize files before uploading.

When you reconcile accounts, you compare two or more sources of a company’s accounting to check for errors and bring them into agreement. An NSF check is a check that has not been honored by the bank due to insufficient funds in the entity’s bank accounts. This means that the check amount has not been deposited in your bank account and hence needs to be deducted from your cash account records.


GAAP requires accrual accounting to record accounts payable and other liabilities in the correct accounting period. Types of intangible assets include goodwill and brand value from M&A, intellectual property , licenses, R&D, and customer lists. Based on a periodic analysis and evaluation, intangible assets like patents are amortized over time and reduced for asset impairments when necessary. Fixed assets should be rolled forward by ensuring that purchases, sales, retirements and disposals, and accumulated depreciation are correctly recorded.


Cash flow may also be affected if general ledger account balances are inaccurate. Account reconciliation is the process of comparing general ledger accounts for the balance sheet with supporting documents like bank statements, sub-ledgers, and other underlying transaction details. If the ending balances don’t match, accountants investigate the cause of the discrepancies and make adjusting entries required to resolve differences from errors or missing transactions.

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Intercompany reconciliation is used by parent companies to unify all the accounts and ledgers from their subsidiaries. An intercompany reconciliation looks for mismatches within and between any two subsidiaries that may have resulted from billing errors involving loans, deposits, and payment processing activities. You can then rectify any errors in the company’s financial statement. 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.

Make any required adjusting journal entries for general ledger balances to correctly reflect short-term and long-term notes payable components. The allowance for obsolescence and the inventory valuation at lower of cost or market are reconciling items to consider in the inventory recording and reconciliation processes. Click Fix to review transactions within the oldest unreconciled period. You can also click on the Needs Attention icon for a specific period to view only the transactions within that period. If a period is unreconciled, you’ll see a red Needs Attention indicator on the timeline for that account. You can review all unreconciled periods within an account on the timeline to see where we’ve identified any issues.

If you find a transaction that needs to be modified, click on the transaction to Edit it. You can select the check boxes on the left-hand side of a transaction to Merge duplicates, or Delete inaccurate records. There are three easy-to-follow steps to performing an account reconciliation in Wave. You can follow them below, or check out our handy video guide.But first, make sure you have either a physical or digital copy of your bank statements handy.

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Most accounting software applications offer automatic bank reconciliation, which reduces the work. However, if some of your bank accounts aren’t connected to your software, you’ll have to reconcile those manually. If you use double-entry accounting in your business, you need to do account reconciliations monthly. The most important account reconciliation your business can perform is the bank reconciliation.

Accountants must manage workloads individually, set calendar reminders, and follow up with managers via email to complete reconciliations on time. Leadership must then rely on word of mouth or manual checks to ensure policies were properly followed. Accountants are freed from worrying about incomplete or messy reconciliations and can instead focus on the high-risk accounts, analysis, and adding strategic value to the organization. They may be caused by a variety of factors including timing differences, missing transactions, or mistakes. Companies come to BlackLine because their traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable.

What is an example of reconciliation?

Examples of reconciliations are: Comparing a bank statement to the internal record of cash receipts and disbursements. Comparing a receivable statement to a customer's record of invoices outstanding. Comparing a supplier statement to a company's record of bills outstanding.

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