It's possible to use Excel for checking reconciliation, even for beginning spreadsheet program users. Reconciling your checking account on a daily or weekly basis will allow you to stay on top of your financial transactions, monitor funds moving in and out and watch for issues such as bank fees or identity theft. Instead of struggling with paper, pen and calculator, let Excel do the math for you.
Setting Up The Spreadsheet
In Excel, create the number of columns you wish to track, including type of transaction, the date, check numbers and a totals column. Set it up similar to your checking account register, specifying a column for withdrawals and deposits as well. Don't forget to format the columns to handle numbers with two decimal places. Set up the columns using the Excel formulas for adding and subtracting amounts and presenting the sum in the totals column. Enter in a few practice deposits and withdrawals to ensure that the spreadsheet cells are linked properly.
Entering The Data
Once the spreadsheet template is set up, enter your beginning balance at the top of the totals column. Then, enter in the appropriate information for each transaction: withdrawal totals with check numbers and dates as well as deposits. The Excel spreadsheet will keep an accurate and running total of your bank account balance.
Pros And Cons
Many bank customers find that entering in information manually in Excel helps them keep better track of their finances. Instead of relying on memory to guess approximately where their checking account balance is, they are able to see the balance immediately as well as identify spending habits and work more closely with a budget. Even using automatic financial programs such as Quicken or Quick Books takes away that hands-on familiarity with each transaction.
The cons of using Excel to track checking accounts is the time it takes to enter transactions. It's easy to skip entering transactions due to time constraints, and when that happens, the tasks tend to pile up, things get lost and account balances are suddenly inaccurate.
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