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Business Financial Reconciliations. Why you need them.

Updated: Feb 12

Financial management involves regularly checking and reconciling your financial records to ensure accuracy, consistency, and compliance with financial regulations.
Financial Reconciliations essential for business survival

In this blog post, we will provide a detailed overview of business financial reconciliation, including its definition, types, benefits, and steps to conduct it effectively.

What is a Business Financial Reconciliation?

Financial reconciliation is the process of comparing and verifying your financial statements, such as bank statements, credit card statements, supplier statements, and invoices, with your accounting records to ensure they are consistent and accurate. It involves identifying errors or discrepancies, such as missing or mismatched transactions, and resolving them to ensure that your financial information is reliable and up-to-date.

Example: Let's say you run a retail store and you receive daily sales deposits in your bank account. You need to reconcile your daily sales deposits in your bank statement with the corresponding sales transactions recorded in your accounting system to ensure that all sales have been accurately recorded and there are no discrepancies.

Four Types of Business Financial Reconciliation

There are several types of financial reconciliation that businesses may need to perform, depending on their size, operations, and transactions.

1. Bank Reconciliation

Bank reconciliation involves comparing your business's bank statement with your accounting records to ensure that all transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals, and bank fees, have been recorded correctly. It helps you identify any discrepancies, such as unrecorded transactions or errors in recording, and reconcile them to ensure that your bank account balance matches your accounting records.

Bank Reconciliation

Example: You notice that a deposit made to your bank account is not recorded in your accounting system, resulting in an overstatement of your cash balance. By reconciling your bank statement with your accounting records, you identify the missing deposit and update your records to reflect the accurate cash balance.

2. Credit Card Reconciliation

Credit card reconciliation involves reconciling your business's credit card statements with your accounting records to ensure that all charges, including pending transactions, have been accurately recorded. It helps you track your credit card expenses and ensure that you have accurate information about your credit card liabilities.

Credit Card Reconciliation

Example: You have multiple employees who use company credit cards for business expenses. By reconciling your credit card statements with your accounting records, you identify any discrepancies, such as unauthorized charges or missing transactions, and take appropriate actions, such as disputing unauthorized charges or updating your records with missing transactions.

3. Supplier Statement Reconciliation

Invoice Icon

Supplier statement reconciliation involves comparing your supplier vendor statements with your accounting records to ensure that all invoices have been paid and recorded accurately. It helps you prevent errors in paying your suppliers and maintain good relationships with them.

Example: You receive supplier statements from your suppliers on a monthly basis. By reconciling the vendor statements with your accounting records, you verify that all bills have been paid and recorded accurately, and you can promptly address any discrepancies, such as duplicate payments or missed invoices.

4. Intercompany Reconciliation

Intercompany reconciliation involves comparing financial records between two or more companies within the same organization, such as divisions, subsidiaries, or franchises, to ensure that transactions are recorded accurately and consistently. It helps you ensure that intercompany transactions are properly eliminated in consolidated financial statements and prevent any discrepancies.

Inter Company Transactions

Example: Your company has multiple subsidiaries in different locations, and they conduct transactions with each other, such as sales, purchases, and transfers. By reconciling the financial records between the subsidiaries, you ensure that all intercompany transactions are properly recorded and eliminated in consolidated financial statements, preventing any inconsistencies or errors.

Benefits of Business Financial Reconciliation

Financial reconciliation is a crucial tool for effective financial management in businesses, and it offers several benefits, including:

1. Accuracy and reliability

Financial reconciliation ensures that your financial records are accurate and reliable by identifying and resolving errors, discrepancies, and inconsistencies. This helps you make informed decisions based on accurate financial information and minimizes the risk of financial misstatements or fraud.

2. Compliance

Financial reconciliation helps you ensure compliance with financial regulations, such as tax laws, accounting standards, and industry regulations. By reconciling your financial records, you can identify any discrepancies that may result in compliance issues and take appropriate actions to rectify them, avoiding penalties or legal consequences.

3. Fraud detection

Financial reconciliation serves as a tool for detecting and preventing fraud. It helps you identify any unauthorized transactions, duplicate payments, or irregularities in your financial records that may indicate fraudulent activities. Early detection of fraud allows you to take prompt actions to mitigate the risks and protect your business's financial assets.

4. Better decision-making

Accurate and reliable financial records obtained through reconciliation provide a solid foundation for making informed business decisions. By having a clear understanding of your financial position, cash flow, and expenses, you can make strategic decisions on budgeting, investment, and resource allocation, which can impact the overall financial health and success of your business.

Steps to Conduct Business Financial Reconciliation

The process of conducting business financial reconciliation may vary depending on the type of reconciliation and the complexity of your financial records.

However, here are six key steps to follow:

1. Gather relevant financial records

Collect all relevant financial records, such as bank statements, credit card statements, supplier statements, and invoices, that need to be reconciled.

2. Compare records

Compare the financial records with your accounting records, such as general ledger, accounts payable, and accounts receivable, to identify any discrepancies or errors.

3. Investigate and resolve discrepancies

Investigate the discrepancies identified during the comparison process. This may involve reviewing transaction details, contacting suppliers or customers, verifying supporting documents, and updating your accounting records to reflect the accurate financial information.

4. Document and track changes

Keep a record of all the changes made during the reconciliation process, including the discrepancies identified, the actions taken to resolve them, and the updates made in your accounting records. This documentation serves as evidence of your reconciliation process and helps with audits or reviews.

5. Review and confirm

Review the reconciled financial records to confirm that all discrepancies have been resolved and the financial information is accurate and consistent.

6. Follow up

Implement measures to prevent future discrepancies, such as improving internal controls, enhancing communication with suppliers or customers, and conducting regular reviews of financial records to ensure ongoing accuracy and reliability.

Business financial reconciliation is a critical process for maintaining accurate and reliable financial records in your business. It helps you identify and resolve discrepancies, ensure compliance, detect fraud, and make informed decisions based on accurate financial information.

By following the steps outlined in this blog post and conducting regular financial reconciliations, you can effectively manage your business finances and mitigate financial risks, leading to the success and sustainability of your business.


Philip Seigel CPA FFIN

Comdex Training 2023

Financial Reconciliations

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