6 Reasons Your Bank Statement Doesn’t Reconcile

There are several reasons a monthly bank statement in QuickBooks might not reconcile to zero. Here are some tricks to find—and solve—these problems. 

  1. A previously reconciled item (deposit, check) has been deleted or changed. Pull a report in QB that shows you items that have been edited or deleted since the previous reconciliation. From the pull-down menu, go to Reports > Banking > Reconciliation > Discrepancy.
  2. A transposition of numbers of the transaction amount. If your bank reconciliation is off by a number that is evenly divisible by nine, there’s a good chance the error is a transposition. For example, if you are off $90, then it could be that the amount in QB is $120 when it should be $210. If you are off .27 cents, then the amount occurs in the cents part of the number – $4.63 should be $4.36.
  3. Too many or not enough checks or deposits were cleared in the bank reconciliation. You can compare the total debits/deposits you have cleared in QB with the total debits/deposits clearing on your bank statement. In QB, look at the bottom middle of the bank reconciliation window for “Deposits and Credits” and “Checks and Payments.” Compare these totals with the totals on the first page of your bank statement. If the deposits totals don’t match, you know you’ve got to review that side.
  4. Missing checks or deposits. Missing checks or deposits can be reviewed using No. 3 as well. If you have reviewed everything and are still stumped, try the following: Export your banking transactions to Excel and then sort by amount. Then sort the bank reconciliation transactions by amount, and begin comparing this way. Sometimes a different view helps you see the problem.
  5. Erroneous dates or a check cleared the bank before the date on the check. This can be a problem if you selected “Hide transactions after the statement end date” in your bank reconciliation window. Go into the QB check register, and at the bottom right in the “Sort By” field, choose Cleared Status. Then, scroll up in the check register until you get to the last transaction with an asterisk by it. Review the dates of the transactions below the last transaction with an asterisk and see if any transactions have dates after your bank statement ending date, but in fact cleared on the bank statement. This can happen if, for example, you date a rent check for the 1st, but the landlord received it and cashed it on the 31st.
  6. Checks were cleared only by check number, and there are incorrect check numbers attached to checks in QB. The bank export trick in No. 4 and the tip in No. 3 can help find this. But often, a review of checks you cleared by comparing only amounts, not check numbers, will find this error.

Stephanie G. Travis is the owner of One Source Accounting, LLC, which provides outsourced bookkeeping, consulting and managerial accounting services. She holds a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Florida and is a 37-year resident of Gainesville.


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