General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Now that every bank in America has electronic banking services, and you can check your balance with the click of a mouse, does anyone still actually do the whole "check reconciliation" thing?

Asked by elbanditoroso (15096 points ) January 11th, 2013

Back when I was younger, and wrote a lot of checks (in the days pre-computer-banking) I and most of my friends would do the work on the back of the checking account monthly statement (balance + deposits – outstanding checks) to make sure that what we thought we had in the account was actually there.

(My ex-wife was particularly obsessive about making sure that it balanced to the penny each month…)

But now I can log into my bank 10 times a day, from my smartphone and my laptop and any computer in the world. I have immediate access to my account information. So of course, I don’t do the reconciliation thing any more.

Does anyone? Or is that one of those ‘skills lost to the ages’?

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7 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have to write several checks a month…to the snowplow guy, to most of my home contractors (roofers, guys who installed my new skylights, arborists), the man who mows the lawn of a pocket park funded by my family 200 miles from here, and some odds and ends.

The rest is EFT. I like to have a reconciliation within $10. It’s straightforward. (The interest the account generates per month is .05 but I still feel a need to write it down.)

On the occasional month that I get it down to the penny, I can hear my dead father praising me.

CWOTUS's avatar

There’s nothing for me to reconcile any more. I no longer maintain a balance in my checkbook. All I do is write down the check information; I don’t even tick them off as cancelled or not.

It’s surprising to me how easy it was to give that up. I started my career in construction as “the number dummy”: a timekeeper responsible for making payroll (and paying it in cash, so I had to go to the bank every week with not only the amount of the withdrawal I needed to make, but the exact count of each denomination of bills and coins in order to fill the envelopes, too). I balanced that account exact to the penny every month for two years – until I moved on. It was second nature to me to reconcile bank accounts.

Bellatrix's avatar

Not in the US but I haven’t written a cheque in years and years. I can’t actually remember the last time I did write one. I still have a cheque book – somewhere…

I do skim my account to make sure there isn’t anything odd listed there. Just in case someone accessed my account who shouldn’t have. I don’t ‘balance’ my account though.

Pachy's avatar

I write a few errant checks each month but do all the rest of my banking online. I keep a very close watch on my checking and credit card balances, and when occasionally one is different from the one in my Quicken register, I find the error (usually mine but every once in a while the merchant’s) and I fix it immediately. I hated reconciling and can’t imagine doing it now. My own ex, who had no problem whatsoever running up my credit cards, had an almost pathological aversion to bank fees. She would do anything to avoid paying even the smallest one. It was one of her few good habits, and one I adopted with similar zeal.

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marinelife's avatar

I don’t reconcile my bank statement anymore, but I keep a careful eye on it.

wundayatta's avatar

I reconcile my quicken account to what the bank has to say every month.

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