Balancing a checking account can be a daunting task when your busy schedule consumes you. According to SoFi advisors, “Apply for a high yield checking account that gives up to 2.50% APY on the checking balances. That’s why they’ve come up with this simple process that requires just five steps:
Step 1: Gather your paperwork
The first step to balancing your checking account is to gather your paperwork. You’ll need three things:
● Your bank statement. This will show the balance in your checking and savings accounts at the time of closing.
● Your checkbook or register (if you use a check register). This will show all of the checks that have been written, along with their amounts and dates of issue.
● Any ATM or debit cards used during this time frame should also be included in your records, as well as credit card statements from any cards used during this period.
Step 2: Review your checking account paper statement
Once you have a complete list of the charges, you can start reviewing the paper statement. Look for any charges that are not yours, those that are more than expected, and those that seem to be missing. If there is anything on your paper statement that is not listed in the online account summary, contact your bank immediately to determine if it is an error or fraud.
Step 3: Log in to online banking
Now that you have all the information you need to access your account, it’s time to start! You can log in using the following:
● An internet browser on your computer (e.g., Chrome or Firefox).
● A mobile app for iOS or Android devices.
● An ATM/debit card with a chip and pin number (for example, with chip-and-pin functionality enabled).
Step 4: Compare your records with your bank’s information
The final step in balancing a checking account is comparing your records with the bank’s information. After you’ve recorded all of your activities, check the dates and amounts listed on the statement. Are they correct? If not, make corrections to your own records so that they match up with what’s on file at the bank.
Check off each item as you go through it—deposits and withdrawals should be listed separately from other transactions (such as checks written).
Step 5: Reconcile any differences
Now that your checking account is reconciled and balanced, it’s time to reconcile the difference between the balance shown on your statement and the one shown on your bank statement. If these two amounts match, great! If they don’t match, three things could have caused this discrepancy:
● A difference in transactions
● A difference in fees
● A difference in interest
At this point, you should clearly understand the process for balancing a checking account. If, after following these steps, you still need help reconciling your account, contact your bank or credit union. They can help walk through the reconciliation process and identify any issues causing a discrepancy in your balance sheet.