Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Bank and Credit Card Statement Tips
The other very important set of papers you need for doing your books is a set of bank and credit card statements used for your business. Some small businesses, especially when starting out may use a personal credit card and even their personal bank account for purchases. As in my previous post, I advise to not do this or at least keep it to a minimum.
It is also a good idea to request the canceled checks from the bank. Some banks send only a copy of the checks in the statement but the important thing is that the print on the check is readable. Some banks make small copies of the check that is almost impossible to read. This is where it is helpful to keep a check register where you note the checks you have been writing. If you don't have a copy of the check or have an incomplete register then you need to write down by each check who the check was made to and the amount. Otherwise if you can't read it you can't record it properly.
Although banks offer "Online Banking", I have generally found that you may not able to view a check immediately and either you have to request the bank copy and wait a day or two to view it, or the bank may charge you to request a copy that is over 60 days old, sometimes as much as $3.00 a copy, which is bullshit. That is just another fee banks can hit you with so don't depend on online banking.
Also make sure that you have every month needed and are not missing a month or two because that will delay and/or throw off the bookkeeping records. I inevitably get people who bring me their statements and have one or two months missing. That causes delays and interruptions in the work flow.
If you are using a personal credit card, I recommend you highlight the items that pertain to the business to make it easier to go through the statements.
Usually the first month or two you may need to attach an explanation as to what some of the expenses are for. I recommend you do this for items that are not obvious as to what the expense is for.
Posted by Alamo Bookkeeping Associates