what is an account reconciliation

Using the double-entry accounting system, she credits cash for $2,000 and debits her assets, which is the lawnmower, by the same amount. For her first job, she credits $500 in revenue and debits the same amount for accounts receivable. However, generally accepted accounting principles require double-entry accounting—where a transaction is entered into the general ledger in two places—and is the most prevalent tool for reconciliation.

And if you want to make it even easier, Wave Money includes a free business bank account with built-in bookkeeping. With Money, your transactions sync with Wave Accounting, letting you take back your time to focus on other parts of your business. When you review and match the transactions in Wave to those on your bank statement, it makes correcting errors simple. You can add and modify transactions right in the Reconciliation view, so it’s easy to manage duplicates, add missing transactions, and fix mistakes. To ensure all the transactions in your account are accurately recorded, it’s important to check them against your bank statement. The reconciliation process is necessary if you use manual ledger accounting to ensure that general ledger balances are accurate.


The process ensures that the data sets are correct, comparable and matching. In the world of finance and accounting, businesses need to ensure the validity of their transactions and the accuracy of company accounts. For this purpose, they reconcile their various accounts at the end of a particular accounting period and confirm their balances. Account Reconciliations are a key control in ensuring the accuracy of financial statements published by private and publicly-held companies. Modern CPM solutions like OneStream Software help complex global enterprises automate their account reconciliations processes and streamline the financial close. Learn how OneStream’s account reconciliation features can help accelerate the delivery of financial statements to internal and external stakeholders. The main reason for performing account reconciliations is to ensure consistency and accuracy in financial reporting.

  • Account reconciliation controls are key controls that every company should have implemented in a business process.
  • The analytic method is a high-level approach that uses estimates and assumptions to check a GL balance.
  • The primary tool used by many organizations from the reconciliation process all the way to month-end close is spreadsheets, even though this is manual and not best practice today.
  • Account reconciliation is simply the act of reconciling one set of transactions with another set to ensure both sets match.
  • If not, records are to be investigated to find out reasons for imbalance.

For example, the Accounts Receivable balance could begin by comparing the balance with an aging of the accounts receivable. The reconciliation process includes reconciling your bank account statements, but it also includes a review of other accounts and transactions that need to be completed regularly. Reconciling your general ledger accounts is one of the most overlooked tasks in accounting. Account reconciliation is simply the act of reconciling one set of transactions with another set to ensure both sets match. Check that all incoming funds have been reflected in both your internal records and your bank account. Find any deposits and account credits that haven’t yet been recorded by the bank and add these to the statement balance.

Benefits of General Ledger Reconciliation and Automation

Reconciling an account is an accounting process that is used to ensure that the transactions in a company’s financial records are consistent with independent third party reports. Reconciliation confirms that the recorded sum leaving an account corresponds to the amount what is an account reconciliation that’s been spent and that the two accounts are balanced at the end of the reporting period. Without account reconciliation, businesses would have a hard time identifying and preventing balance sheet errors, which could raise concerns in the event of an audit.

  • Some level of exceptions is to be expected in your accounting ledgers.
  • Vendor reconciliations review supplier-provided statements and the balance owed with the payable ledger and overall balance internally.
  • To better explain account reconciliation, it is one of the most common yet important actions taken for managerial accounting.
  • With automation, you can let the system carry out the work and take care of the heavy lifting like data collection and comparison.
  • In these cases, you’ll need to get in touch with the customer, which could delay the reconciliation process.
  • Enter the ending balance from your statement into the corresponding field in your accounting software or ledger.

If you use accounting software you can skip this step, as it’s completed automatically. However, if you’re managing your accounts manually, you’ll need to reconcile your general ledger balance to your sub-ledger balance. Learn which general ledger accounts should be reconciled regularly, and key things to look for during the account reconciliation process. To make things simple, begin by focusing on the debits to your accounts. Check if you have every transaction for outgoing funds recorded in your internal ledger. Finally, check that your independent or third-party invoices and statements match the ones in your accounts and note the discrepancies. Start comparing your statements to the external ones and note the records you don’t have.

What is a bank reconciliation?

According to a recent study, 43% of companies surveyed used a fully manual or low level of automation account reconciliation, and another 46% had only partially automated this accounting subprocess. So, it’s easy to see why many companies resort to doing the bare minimum beyond bank reconciliations, often leaving other accounts, like inventory, intercompany and equity to languish. Account reconciliation is the accounting process of comparing two sets of financial records.

In addition, regular reconciliations to outside information can uncover fraud and anomalies. For example, an account reconciliation for inventory compares the GL account balance of the items believed to be held in inventory to an actual physical count of warehouse stock. When large discrepancies are discovered, the company may find that they’re due to theft. This type of account reconciliation refers to the process by which a company compares its bank account balance as reported in its books to bank statements from its financial institution.

It takes in data from various sources of financial information, such asERP systems, bank files or statements, credit card processors, and merchant services. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and CEOs of large corporations are all responsible for monitoring an organization’s financial health. And, at the end of the day, it’s a business leader’s responsibility to ensure all accounts are balanced and accurate.

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.

Double-entry accounting is a useful way of reconciling accounts that helps to catch errors on either side of the entry. In double-entry accounting—which is commonly used by companies—every financial transaction is posted in two accounts, the credit account, and the debit account. Companies use reconciliation to prevent balance sheet errors on their financial accounts, check for fraud, and to reconcile the general ledger.

Depending on the size of your business, there are multiple challenges you might face with reconciling accounts across your organization. Many of these challenges revolve around technical expertise and the number of records to reconcile. There are eight steps in the documentation method for reconciling accounts. It’s possible to conduct financial processes with some level of variance. However, there are generally best practices to follow as guidelines, which will help to standardise and execute processes such as account reconciliation. The most daunting reason for account differences may be attributed to fraud. By performing reconciliations regularly, you’ll be able to spot fraud and thievery early on, which makes it easier to rectify and stop from becoming an even bigger issue.

what is an account reconciliation

In most cases, accountants perform account reconciliations at the end of accounting periods. This helps to make sure that general ledger account balances are accurately reflected. 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. The customer reconciliation statement serves as proof that there’s no material inaccuracy in the accounts. By comparing two sets of data, business owners and accounting departments can ensure that financial movement and account balances are being properly recorded and transacted. Typically, it’s performed by comparing two sets of records– one internal and another external (i.e. bank statements or supplier or customer documents).

For Better Account Reconciliation, Consolidate Your Data With Datarails

While that seems simple enough, don’t confuse simplicity with importance. When you have all your data in one place, comparing accounts and https://www.bookstime.com/ spotting errors is easier. An effective reconciliation tool is essential to avoid challenges that come with reconciling accounts manually.

What is intercompany reconciliation with example?

Intercompany reconciliation is the verification of transactions that take place between two units or subsidiaries of the same parent company. Many businesses have divisions, subsidiaries, franchises, or other units that act independently but are owned by a larger parent company.