Reconciling the bank statement can be challenging and time consuming for a small business depending on many factors: how much volume is involved, how many different bank accounts, the details of what types of transactions occur etc. There are many things you can do within QuickBooks to make sure you not only do your monthly reconciliations efficiently, but also accurately.
- Take care to set up a method of recording sales and expenses that matches the way they hit the checking account. If you settle credit cards once per day as a batch make sure you come up with a sales recording system that mirrors the way the deposits hit the bank.
- QuickBooks reconciliations screens can be sorted (2009 versions and higher). This is a big feature that many people fail to utilize. Any of the columns can be clicked to sort that column either ascending or descending. This comes in very handy when you have a large amount of checks or deposits. When reconciling checks your bank usually lists them in check number order and notes gaps in the sequence. You can see why sorting by check number can be advantageous. The same can be applied when you have a large amount of deposits. I sometimes find it faster to sort by deposit amount to find and clear transactions
- There are a few time saving features that if used properly can save large amounts of time. The "Mark All" and "Unmark all" buttons can be used if most of your transactions clear on a monthly basis. Sometimes it is easier to mark all the transactions and uncheck those transactions that did not clear. This typically works better for businesses with low transaction volume. Another feature that can save time is that you can drag the check mark to clear multiple transactions in a row rather than checking each individual transaction. I use this feature a lot when I am marking off a large sequence of cleared checks. For example if check numbers 1-38 all cleared it is much faster to drag the check mark through those checks rather than clearing each one individually.
The monthly bank reconciliation(s) can be a difficult and painful monthly chore. However, by developing and following a consistent system it can get done efficiently each month.