Purpose of a Bank Reconciliation Process

Bank reconciliation is the process of reconciling the bank statement balance, with the book bank account balance in the customer’s (client’s) books of accounts. The procedure should result in the tallying of the two balances, i.e., the adjusted bank balance calculated must equal the adjusted book bank balance figure. The process of preparing a reconciliation statement is a structured one, where bank reconciliation forms containing pre-printed items leave omission errors out. These forms are found on the back side of your monthly bank statement hard copies and make the process a whole lot easier. Read the following paragraphs to understand the purpose of a bank reconciliation process.

The purpose behind bank reconciliation is to identify and rectify divergences between the two bank balances. A divergence of the two balances can occur because of one of the following two things:

– Entries counted in the bank statement, not reflected in the account books.
– Entries made in the books of accounts, that are yet to be known to the bank.

Some entries that get missed out in the books of accounts are as follows:

– Bank charges and fees that are directly deducted from the bank’s side, are mostly only known by the business when the bank statement arrives.
– Bank’s collection of receivables, on the business’s behalf, does not get recorded in the books, till the actual bank intimation of receipt, arrives in the form of a bank statement.
– Any deposits made, directly in the bank account, without intimating the business, are recorded in the bank statement, but obviously not in the account books.
– Any interest earned on the bank balance is something that does not get calculated on the business’s side, and hence does not get recorded in the books till an official intimation arrives.
– Any errors from the bank side get noticed only after the arrival of a bank statement.

Some items that are recorded in the books of account, but are not reflected in the bank statements, are as follow:

– Outstanding checks that are yet to be encashed or settled from the bank’s side, i.e. checks that are still in transit, get recorded in the books but are only accepted by the bank once the settlement is done.
– Any bank errors, either positive or negative, sometimes get reflected in the accounts but not in the bank statement.
– Any deposits in transit that were recorded on the account books are only recorded in the bank statement once they are cleared

The Process

The reconciliation process starts with adjusting the balance as per bank. This is done by taking the actual balance given, adding the deposits in transit and the balance increasing bank errors, and deducting any outstanding checks and balance reducing bank errors. Then come the adjustment of balance as per the books of accounts. This is done by deducting the bank charges and fees (plus any other deductions) and any balance increasing accounting errors, and adding the interest earned, the bills receivables collected by bank and the balance reducing accounting errors. After the balances are individually adjusted, they are compared and expected to tally. Then the process shifts to journal entries. These are necessary to incorporate the necessary corrections in the books of accounts.

The Purpose

– Bank reconciliations prevent overspending by keeping strict accounts of cash outflows. They also check for any overcharging of fees, done on the bank’s side.
– They aid in the timely correction of bank errors. They also check duplication of transactions.
– They help in tracking and correcting employee errors. Regular bank reconciliations help in avoiding payment problems and delays due to insufficient balances.
– It puts an active check on the embezzlement of money and ensures responsible accounting.
– They help in reaching the correct account balance figures and this provides external auditors with easily verifiable documentation.
– If the process is done regularly, it can reduce accounting errors drastically and makes the finding of missing purchase and sales invoices, easy in the accounting system.
– They make it easy to identify whether the accounting errors are actual errors or errors of a timing mismatch.
– They make it possible to keep track of checks that are cashed, separate from those that are outstanding or in transit.

Basically, the purpose of bank reconciliations is to introduce efficiency and transparency into the business accounting systems. It is highly worthwhile to take time and do them, as it helps in avoiding situations like the one mentioned in the description. Nowadays, the bank reconciliation process can also be outsourced to specialist companies.

Mobile Banking Services

Mobile phones are basically communication devices that can be used for several other purposes, such as for executing financial or banking transactions. After internet banking, mobile banking has added another dimension to banking by enabling us to carry out any kind of transactions like payments, balance inquiry, and the transfer of funds, using our mobile phones.

Banking transactions over the mobile phone are usually performed either by sending an SMS message to the bank or by using mobile internet. When you send an SMS message requesting a financial transaction, it goes to the SMS center of your cellular service provider, and from there it travels to the bank’s system. You then receive the response that is sent by the bank via the service provider, all within a few seconds.

Doing Bank Transactions with Your Mobile Phones

Nowadays, banks have come up with a range services for reducing their cost of operation, while providing more easily accessible and faster services to the customers. You can use your mobile banking facilities to inquire the balance of your account, and request a statement or details of the last few transactions and the management of pension and insurance policies. In addition to these, you can request the bank to activate alerts, such as the minimum balance alert.

You can order or request a checkbook or card, and pay bills with the help of mobile banking. It has also made fund transfer (both national and international) quite simple and fast. It can give you the facility of carrying out cash deposition and withdrawals. Some other services include portfolio management services, personalized alerts, notifications on security prices, mobile recharging, etc. You can also receive online updates of stock prices, and perform stock trading as well.

Classification
There are generally two ways to classify mobile banking services. The first method classifies the banking services as ‘Push’ or ‘Pull’, depending on the originator of a service session. If the bank sends information as per the already agreed rules, then it is categorized as ‘Push’. An example of ‘Push’ is a minimum balance alert, which the bank sends whenever your balance goes below a particular amount.

On the other hand, when the bank sends information as a response to the request sent by a customer, it is termed as ‘Pull’. So, if you request the bank to send a statement for the last few, say 3 or 5 transactions, then it is a Pull-based service.

The second classification depends on the nature of the transactions. So, if you request the bank to send a bank statement, it is an inquiry-based service, while a request for fund transfer is classified as a transaction-based service.

Benefits
These services are not only beneficial for the customers but for the banking institutions as well. These services can significantly lower the operating cost of banking institutions by reducing the dependence on costly call centers. They can also lower the frequency of errors that are usually committed in paper-based payments.

Mobile banking can considerably reduce the financial risks associated with starting a new business initiative. It can also enable banking institutions to closely monitor their new campaigns. Moreover, it can provide a new avenue for selling their products like insurance packages and other banking services.

It also helps the customers by ensuring fast processing of their banking transactions. As any kind of financial transactions are immediately reported to the customers, they can monitor and detect any error like an unauthorized transaction quite easily.

Today, the mobile and wireless market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. However, a lack of trust and general awareness have been observed when it comes to mobile banking. Therefore, it is essential to address issues, like the security of the banking transactions that are executed from a distant place. It is equally important to ensure the security of the financial transactions if the device is stolen by hackers. The popularity of mobile banking can be increased by instilling a sense of trust among the customers by addressing the aforementioned security concerns.