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In bookkeeping, a bank reconciliation statement is a process that explains the difference on a specified date between the bank balance shown in an organization's bank statement, as supplied by the bank and the corresponding amount shown in the organization's own accounting records.
Such differences may occur, for example, because
- cheques issued by the organization have not been presented to the bank
- a banking transaction, such as a credit received, or a charge made by the bank, has not yet been recorded in the organization's books
- either the bank or the organization itself has made an error.
Sometimes it may be easy to reconcile the difference by looking at very recent transactions in the bank statement and the organization's own accounting records (cash book) and seeing if some combination of them tallies with the difference to be explained. Otherwise it may be necessary to go through and match every transaction in both sets of records since the last reconciliation, and see what transactions remain unmatched. The necessary adjustments should then be made in the cash book, or reported to the bank if necessary, or any timing differences recorded to assist with future reconciliations.
For this reason, and to minimise the amount of work involved, it is good practice to carry out such reconciliations at reasonably frequent intervals. Reconciliations may be assisted by specialised accounting software.
A Bank reconciliation statement is a statement prepared as part of the reconciliation which sets out the entries which have caused the difference between the two balances.