image courtesy of SeniorLiving.Org
One of the most common QuickBooks’ misunderstandings is the difference between downloading credit card or bank account transactions and reconciling. Downloading the transactions is only one step in the process. If you enter your bank transactions into QuickBooks as you make them, downloading may not even be a step you need in the reconciliation process.
QuickBooks is designed by humans and operated by humans which introduces the possibility of human error. Sometimes items are downloaded twice, sometimes the download duplicates a manual entry, and sometimes the download misses a transaction. The reconciliation process is designed to catch these types of issues.
In QuickBooks for Windows the two most common ways to start the reconciliation process are:
- Click the reconcile button in the Banking section on the QuickBooks’ home page (in the software not on the internet).
- Click “Banking” in the menu bar and then select “Reconcile.”
Enter the date of your most recent bank statement and the bank balance and then click “Continue.” If you do not know what to do on the next screen, please check online help or look at the reconciliation instructions from your bank. The process is similar in QuickBooks.