I’m often surprised at how often mistakes are made on checkbook and credit card statements. Interestingly enough, even the most careful business owners will miss these hidden errors, costing them a lot of money every year.
It seems that the mistakes boil down to a few common themes:
- Fraud – The waitress received a tip of $4.00 but changed it to $8.00
- Double swiping – credit or debit card didn’t seem to go through the first time so the cashier swiped the card again, effectively doubling the charge
- Bank (or credit card company) error – overcharging bank fees, depositing money into the wrong account, etc.
Recently I complained to Bank of America because my checking account was assessed a $25 monthly fee. I was told that it was a “known issue”, and was refunded six months of bank charges. Shame on me for not catching it sooner, shame on them for not telling me (or the thousands of other customers affected).
Get into the habit of entering credit and debit card transactions into QuickBooks, directly from the receipt. When your monthly statement comes, the reconciliation process will clear up any mistakes. This sounds awfully basic, but again, you’d be surprised how often I find mistakes on statements coming from institutions you’d otherwise trust.