In QuickBooks, sometimes the check register can go awry between the monthly bank reconciliations. Here are simple directions to reconcile the check register, even without the regular monthly bank statement:
1. From your web browser, go to your bank’s website and print a detailed listing of all banking transactions that have occurred since the last time you reconciled (presumably since the last statement).
2. Go through this printout and make sure all transactions that appear on it also appear in QuickBooks. ATM withdrawals, automatic payments, and other transactions of this type sometimes get overlooked – be sure these are current in QuickBooks.
3. From the Banking menu in QuickBooks, select Reconcile. The Begin Reconciliation window opens.
4. Select the correct account, enter today’s date, enter the ending balance from the printout, and enter any banking fees that may appear on the printout that have not already been entered into QuickBooks. Click Continue. The Reconcile window opens.
4. In the same way that you would balance a regular bank statement, with the printout in hand, go through the Reconcile window and place a checkmark next to any item that appears in both the printout and in QuickBooks. With a pencil, write a checkmark on the printout next to any item that you also checked in QuickBooks.
5. When you have checked all items from the printout, look at the Difference (located in the bottom right corner of the Reconcile window). It should be zero. If it is, then you are finished. Do not click Reconcile Now. Instead, click Unmark All, then click Leave.
6. If the Difference amount is not zero, errors were made. Verify that all entries in QuickBooks match the bank’s entries exactly; verify that all transactions from the bank printout have been entered into QuickBooks; verify that all entries that appear on the bank statement AND also appear in QuickBooks have a checkmark next to them; and verify that in QuickBooks there are no checkmarks on items that do not also appear on the bank printout.
A Difference amount that is positive means that a deposit is missing in QuickBooks, or that there are too many withdrawals or checks in QuickBooks. A Difference amount that is negative means that one or more withdrawals or checks are missing in QuickBooks, or that there are too many deposits in QuickBooks.
At this point, if you still cannot get the Difference amount to be zero, then you may need to call an experienced QuickBooks professional to help. Remember that accounting problems do not get better as time goes on, they get worse. If you need help, it is better and less expensive to get it before the problem gets too big or has gone on for too long.