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Outstanding Checks: What They Are and Why They Matter

Once you’ve figured out the reasons why your bank statement and your accounting records don’t match up, you need to record them. There’s nothing harmful about outstanding checks/withdrawals or outstanding deposits/receipts, so long as you keep track of them. If you do your bookkeeping yourself, you should be prepared to reconcile your bank statements at regular intervals (more on that below). If you work with a bookkeeper or online bookkeeping service, they’ll handle it for you. Bouncing an outstanding check can lead to financial consequences, such as fees imposed by the bank, damage to your credit rating, and potential legal actions from the payee. Be mindful of what outstanding checks you’ve written before drawing down your bank balance.

Business Z discovered a balance of $12,000 in outstanding checks during the November bank statement reconciliation process. You receive a bank statement, typically at the end of each month, from the bank. The statement itemizes the cash and other deposits made into the checking account of the business. The statement also includes bank charges such as for account servicing fees. The very purpose of reconciling bank statements with your business’s cash book is to ensure that the balance as per the passbook matches the balance as per the cash book. NSF cheques are an item to be reconciled while preparing the bank reconciliation statement.

  • This is possible because electronic check conversion and other forms of electronic bank draft conversion make it possible to clear transit items faster.
  • For now, if you already recorded a journal entry and matched it to the bank record, you can delete that deposit.
  • Now, while reconciling your books of accounts with the bank statements at the end of the accounting period, you might observe certain differences between bank statements and ledger accounts.

When you receive a check and do not cash it right away, the check is outstanding. The time it takes for the postal service to deliver the check and the payee to deposit it results in a multi-day delay between when a check is created and when it is presented for payment. If the issuing entity delays mailing the check for any reason, the check may be delayed as well.

An outstanding deposit is a receipt shown in your accounting books but not on your bank statement. Receipts include money you’ve received, such as cash and checks. Bank reconciliation done through 10 myths about entrepreneurs accounting software is easier and error-free. The bank transactions are imported automatically allowing you to match and categorize a large number of transactions at the click of a button.

Deposits in Transit

Before the reconciliation process, business should ensure that they have recorded all transactions up to the end of your bank statement. Businesses that use online banking service can download the bank statements for the regular reconciliation process rather than having to manually enter the information. Ideally, you should reconcile your books of accounts with your bank account each time you receive the statement from your bank.

When the machine is completed in 2023, Ace will debit Customer Deposits for $50,000 and will credit Sales Revenues for $50,000. You come to know about such deductions only when you receive the statement from the bank. Therefore, such adjustment procedures help in determining the balance as per the bank that goes into the balance sheet.

  • Below is a video explanation of the bank reconciliation concept and procedure, as well as an example to help you have a better grasp of the calculation of cash balance.
  • Sometimes, items are recorded on one financial record but not the other.
  • In order to do this effectively, you must first understand how to prepare a cash flow statement.
  • Be mindful of post office conditions and potential delays for seasonality, weather, or staffing issues.

Reconciling your bank account helps you avoid accounting issues. Sometimes, items are recorded on one financial record but not the other. For example, you record an outstanding deposit in your books before it’s on the bank statement. In that case, you must adjust your books to match the bank statement balance. According to, business Z had $200,000 in checks drawn from its general account in December.


You can avoid accounting problems by reconciling your bank account. Bank Reconciliation is the process of comparing your business’ books of accounts with your bank statements. It is done periodically to check whether the bank-related transactions are recorded properly in your books of accounts.

The payor is the entity who writes the check, while the payee is the person or institution to whom it is written. An outstanding check also refers to a check that has been presented to the bank but is still in the bank’s check-clearing cycle. Instead, you wait until you’ve collected several checks or when you have time.

Reconciliation of bank statements with outstanding deposits

Your bank may collect interest and dividends on your behalf and credit such an amount to your bank account. This is also known as unfavorable balance as per the cash book or unfavorable balance as per the passbook. Not Sufficient Funds (NSF) refers to a situation when your bank does not honour your cheque. This is because the current account on which the cheque is drawn does not have sufficient funds to honour the cheque. If a check is destroyed or never deposited, the money remains in the payer’s account.

The company needs to add the outstanding deposits to the balance per bank in order to reconcile the bank balance with the company’s books. When you look at your books, you want to know they reflect reality. This can also help you catch any bank service fees or interest income making sure your company’s cash balance is accurate. In this case, the $1,000 is an outstanding deposit, also known as a deposit in transit.

Why are outstanding checks subtracted from the bank?

Sometimes, you record a receipt in your books before it appears on your bank statement. With banking becoming progressively electronic, using the checking account’s online bill pay service is another way to avoid writing a check and forgetting about it. This will have to provide real-time data on the total dollar amount of checks outstanding as well as the total dollar balance in the account. When you prepare the bank reconciliation statement for the month of November as on November 30, 2019, the cheque issued on November 30 is unlikely to be cashed by the bank. To remedy these situations quickly, be proactive with outstanding checks. After all, you still owe the money, and you’ll have to pay it sooner or later.

How Do You Tell If a Check is Outstanding?

One is making a note in your cash book (faster to do, but less detailed), and the other is to prepare a bank reconciliation statement (takes longer, but more detailed). When you record the reconciliation, you only record the change to the balance in your books. The change to the balance in your bank account will happen “naturally”—once the bank processes the outstanding transactions. Any credit cards, PayPal accounts, or other accounts with business transactions should be reconciled. When you “reconcile” your bank statement or bank records, you compare it with your bookkeeping records for the same period, and pinpoint every discrepancy.

How to Find Outstanding Checks on a Bank Statement- Expert Guide

This reduces your bank balance as reflected in your bank statement. It is important to note that such charges are not recorded by you as a business till the time your bank provides you with the bank statement at the end of every month. In addition to ensuring correct cash records, the bank reconciliation process also helps in keeping track of the occurrence of any form of fraud.

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