There are several reasons why a monthly bank statement in QuickBooks (QB) does not reconcile to zero.  And, there are also tricks to find these problems.

Errors Causing Your Bank Statement Not To Balance

  1. A previously reconciled item (deposit, check) has been deleted or changed.
  2. A transposition of numbers of the transaction amount.
  3. Too many or not enough checks or deposits were cleared in the bank reconciliation.
  4. Missing checks or deposits.
  5. Erroneous dates or a check cleared the bank before the date on the check.
  6. Checks were by check number only, and there are incorrect check numbers attached to checks in QB.

How To Find the Errors Corresponding To The Reasons Listed Above

  1. Pull a report in QB that shows you items that have been edited or deleted since the previous reconciliation.  From the pull-down menu, Reports/Banking/Reconciliation Discrepancy.
  2. If your bank reconciliation is off by a number that is evenly divisible by nine, there’s a good chance the error is a transposition.  For example, if you are off $90, then it could be that the amount in QB is $120 when it should be $210.  If you are off .27 cents, then the amount occurs in the cents part of the number - $4.63 should be $4.36.
  3. You can compare the total debits/deposits you have cleared in QB with the total debits/deposits clearing on your bank statement.  In QB, look at the bottom, middle of the bank reconciliation window for “Deposits and Credits” and “Checks and Payments.”  Compare these totals with the totals on the first page of your bank statement.  If the deposits totals don’t match, you know you’ve got to review that side.
  4. Missing checks or deposits can also be reviewed using # 3 above.  If you have reviewed everything and are still stumped, try the following.  Export your banking transactions to Excel and then sort by amount.  Then sort the bank reconciliation transactions by amount, and begin comparing this way.  Sometimes a different view helps you see the problem.
  5. This can be a problem if you selected “Hide transactions after the statement end date” in your bank reconciliation window. Go into the QB check register, and at the bottom right in the “Sort By” field, choose Cleared Status.  Then, scroll up in the check register until you get to the last transaction with an asterisk by it.  Review the dates of the transactions below the last transaction with an asterisk and see if any transactions have dates after your bank statement ending date but in fact cleared on the bank statement.  This can happen if you date a rent check for the 1st, but the landlord received it and cashed it on the 31st.
  6. The bank export trick in # 4 and the tip in # 3 can help find this.  But often, a review of checks you cleared by comparing only amounts, not check numbers, will find this error.