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What are the Steps for Credit Card Reconciliation?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 November 2016
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Credit card reconciliation is the process of matching credit statements with receipts to find and fix any discrepancies. There are many ways to handle this process, with the help of advanced software, careful accountants, or even a trusty calculator. Keeping good records and checking statements frequently is often recommended by financial experts as the best way to manage credit card reconciliation issues.

The first of the many important steps for credit card reconciliation is getting ahold of a bank or credit card statement. This may be a paper statement that is mailed to an account holder, or may be an online statement that can be found on the lender or bank website. Usually, statements are given once per month, but may be issued more often at the account holder's request. People with online banking options may be able to get an up-to-the-day statement at any time simply by signing into their accounts online.

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It is important to keep receipts that can be checked against a credit card statement. Be certain to always ask for a receipt when paying with a credit card, and try to keep them organized by date. For online transactions or those that do not issue receipts, keep a ledger of amount spent and date of purchase. Many businesses have a different name for charging purposes than that of their store or operation; for instance buying a hot dog at a carnival might result in the charge being listed to Bob&Co Amusements, the owner, rather than Hot Dog A-Go-Go. As long as the total and date match up with receipts, it can generally be assumed as a match.

Once statement is available and receipts are organized, the real process of credit card reconciliation begins. Check through the statement and make sure that receipts match in total and date. Mistakes are fairly common in the credit card industry, and it may be surprising to find how many errors have been made. Circle or highlight any discrepancies and get ready to contact the credit card company and ask for a refund of an unauthorized transaction. Different lending institutions have different policies regarding credit card reconciliation; try to find an organization with lenient policies about money return.

Some people use reconciliation software or get professional help with credit card reconciliation. Software programs allow the synchronization of a statement with receipts, and take all the math out of the process. These programs are also excellent for businesses that process large amounts of credit card transactions, as they can quickly create a link between cash registry systems and credit card machines, making sure that the total of the purchase is the same amount that was charged. Professional accountants can manage the process for clients, and will be able to investigate any discrepancies and provide documentation that can be given to the creditor in order to obtain a refund.

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