What is a checkbook register?

A checkbook register, which is sometimes referred to as cash disbursements journal, is used to track all of the cash and check deals a certain company has made during a certain period of accounting. In here, the payment dates, amounts, names of the payee, and check numbers are included in order for you to record respective financial transactions and keep them up to date, which is a characterization that is inherent to a checkbook register, making it stand out among the other ways of having financial deals accounted for. This is also used by the company to check and balance amounts during bank reconciliation processes to be able to identify the issued checks that have not been cleared yet, and those that have been successfully cleared.

Why should you use a checkbook register?

Considering the plethora of existing methods or alternatives to keep track and records of your business transactions, why exactly should you opt to use a checkbook register? Here, some of the multitude of benefits checkbook registers can grant to the efficiency of your business will be tackled, as they truly are an essential part in the accounting process through the real time depictions of your transactions, which is an exclusive good of the checkbook register.

Accuracy and Maximum Coherence : There are a lot of methods to keep a textbook register, such as manually through paper, using a spreadsheet, or having a software that has the record computerized. The most preferable option is the digital choice because of the ease in the navigation and operation of technology, however, the checkbook register in and of itself truly is a good choice because of how it is formatted. Checkbook registers are very specific, containing important details such as the payment date, the bank or source of the payment, issuing party, nature of transaction, summing up to a total balance.Adjustment of Budget : Because this method of record-keeping is done in real time, you are able to adjust your budget better with respect to what is reflected in the checkbook register.  Unlike online bank statements that are relatively assessed later due to its retrospective nature, checkbook registers allow you to actively weigh in your spending and cash flow, hence enables you to project your future deals more efficiently.Organization : Organization is a very important aspect in keeping records since it makes auditing much easier. Because of how checkbook registers are structured, it becomes very undemanding for you to identify what you mean to find within the document.Spotting Discrepancies : Discrepancies or the inability to balance amounts due to glitches are inevitable in business. However, checkbook registers gives you a less harder time in dealing with these. In an almost paperless world, this tool enables you to spot errors very quickly, and even provide the best solutions in order to align all the amounts in the document.

How to Balance a Checkbook Register

Your financial health is a priority especially when you are managing a business company. Balancing your checkbook register is a critical aspect in making sure your spending is still within the budget, and to see if your cash flow is doing well. Aside from that, balancing your document means that you are able to detect errors within the system which is something not easily done when records are all over the place and may cut you short due to cases relating to the delay in generating the actual expenses, hence making the process a lot more taxing. With this, you are able to make projections that allow you to have a more strategic way in managing your company and its transactions. In here, the process in balancing your checkbook register both manually and digitally will be tackled.

Step 1: Recording The Current Available Balance

The total available balance you own is important to keep track and take note of in making sure your document is holistic, and in order to obtain accurate results. To do this, go to your checking account and look for the current available balance, which is visible in your bank’s website and available to view using your electronic device. Record this amount in the area where you reflect your transactions.

Step 2: Recording Pending Transactions

Pending transactions are also a crucial part in balancing your checkbook register. The transactions that have not been cleared yet should be reflected in the document. These include checks that have been given by your company albeit not being cashed yet, or any forms of debit and credit. In this portion, you should write the date these amounts were given, as well as a description of the nature of this transaction.

Step 3: Debit and Credit

Debit and credit are two big parts in the world of transaction. In dealing with them, you must subtract the debits from your total balance. On the other hand, you must also add the credits to the overall amount.

Step 4: Checking the Register

Decide on a duration of time in order to settle on a period of how often you total and check if you have balanced your amounts. Check your bank account and compare it to your document to see if the transactions match and do not have any deficiencies. Double check your document as well to see if all of the contents are correct.

Step 5: Digital Options

As mentioned in the introductory part of what a checkbook register is, it has been mentioned that aside from manual methods of keeping such document, there is always the digital method, which is majorly universally considered as more efficient and more strategic in maintaining accuracy and even speed. Digital options are important to consider, such as software that does the job for you. Examples of which are Mint.com and Personal Capital which are generally called account aggregators. Their main purpose is to accumulate all of your financial accounts and project them in one place, making tracking easier for you. But of course, being shown your balance and finished transactions isn’t quite enough, which is why it is also advisable to use accounting programs that not only populate your spending and earning, but also walk you through how to balance your records efficiently.

FAQ

What types of transactions appear on a checkbook register?

All types of payments are present in a checkbook register since it is an all-recording tool used by companies to check and balance their spending. This includes, cash, wire transfers, checks, as well as credit and debit cards. The amounts reflected in a checkbook register are inclusive of any method of payment.

How different is a checkbook register from a general ledger?

A checkbook register is posted in a general ledger after being completed. A general ledger is a compilation of accounts used by the company. It is very detailed, and contains the important account activities made by the company in a certain period of time. With that said, a checkbook register is part of the general ledger and does not make it up as a whole since the latter is only a summary of the accounts aspect of the company.

Are there checkbook register applications?

Yes. There are a lot of applications that make it easier for people to balance their transactions. These applications are not only for the benefit of small or big business companies, but also individuals on the ground who want to keep track of their spending and cash flow. Examples of which are Volkron Checkbook, Checkbook Pro, My Budget Organizer – Budget Planner with Sync, Chear Checkbook Money Management, and Mint: Budget, Bills, and Finance Tracker.      

How can one maintain a checkbook register?

For businesses, it is important to hire a good accountant to make sure that the financial skills needed to be able to keep a holistic checkbook register are present. Aside from that, the applications mentioned earlier on are also very helpful in making the task a lot easier and more comfortable for the working end. But generally, the most important skill to possess in being successful in maintaining a checkbook register is consistency. This is important in making the timely entries in the checkbook register, as it is a document that should be kept up to date, as well as ensuring that the entries are accurate in and of themselves. This cautionary trait is something that should be sustained in order to efficiently maintain our friendly accounting tool.

Going through the extra mile to secure your finances is a way of taking care of your business. It is entirely strategic to have the maintenance of a checkbook register as an integral part of the company for the many benefits that it brings. Given the digital privileges we have as of today, keeping up a checkbook register is not as hard as it may have been before, hence, we should utilize the current landscape and use it well for the betterment of our collective interests. Checkbook registers, with the precedence of being used in companies, could also descend to an individual level and teach us a thing or two about sustaining financial health. Either way, and in all ways, records are supplementary in making our lives easier as a whole.