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Understanding Bank Statements: Definition, Benefits, and Requirements for Easy Banking

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Understanding Your Bank Statement: A Guide to Bank Transactions, Savings Accounts, and Checking Account Matters

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So you're running a business. You must balance inventory and staff, and continue your course toward sustained growth. In the meantime, you must ensure your finances are in order. From bookkeeping to tax filing, there are a lot of concepts to grasp. 

Luckily, you don't need to worry too much. If you're a business owner and want a better understanding of how your bank statement affects your finances, this article can help. 

Why Your Bank Statement Matters

 Your bank statement matters because it provides a clear picture of your financial health. It shows how much money you have coming in and going out, allowing you to track your spending habits and identify potential issues. Your bank statement records your transactions, which is important for budgeting and tax purposes. It can also help you detect unauthorized or fraudulent activity on your account. Regularly reviewing your bank statement lets you stay on top of your finances and make informed decisions about your money. Your bank statement is a valuable tool for managing your finances and ensuring everything is in order. 

What is a Bank Statement?

A bank statement is an official summary a financial institution provides detailing the activities in your checking or savings account over a specific period, typically monthly. It lists all transactions, including deposits, withdrawals, and fees incurred. The statement also shows the opening balance at the beginning of the period and the closing balance at the end. It is a reliable record for monitoring financial activities and is essential for personal financial management.

How to Get a Bank Statement

Customers can choose between several methods to obtain a bank statement. Most banks offer electronic statements through online banking platforms, which can be viewed or downloaded anytime. Alternatively, paper statements are often mailed to the customer's address on record, usually monthly. Customers can also request a printed statement at their bank branch. It's important to ensure your contact information is up-to-date with your bank to receive these statements without delay.

Understanding and Reading a Bank Statement

Understanding your bank statement involves identifying several key components. The statement period dates indicate the time frame covered. Each transaction entry includes a date, description, amount, and sometimes the location of the transaction. The statement also displays the total amount of deposits and withdrawals. Regularly reviewing these details helps manage finances accurately and spot any potential errors or unauthorized transactions.

The Importance of Regularly Checking Your Bank Statement

Regularly reviewing your bank statement is vital for your financial health. It helps track spending, identify any unusual or fraudulent transactions, and ensure all recorded activities are accurate. This practice also aids in managing budgets effectively and spotting trends in spending or saving. Please regularly review bank statements to avoid unnoticed errors or fraudulent activities affecting your financial stability.

Keeping Your Bank Statements Secure

Bank statements contain sensitive personal and financial information, making their security paramount. It's crucial to store paper statements in a secure location and shred them before disposal. For electronic statements, secure your computer and email with strong passwords and avoid accessing them on public Wi-Fi networks. Regularly updating your passwords and monitoring your accounts for unusual activities are effective measures to protect your information.

Security Aspect Action Explanation

Types of Transactions Found in Bank Statements

Bank statements reflect various types of transactions. Deposits include salary, transfers from other accounts, and cash or check deposits. Withdrawals encompass ATM transactions, debit card purchases, and automatic payments. The statement may also show interest earned, especially for savings accounts, and any fees charged by the bank, such as for overdrafts or maintenance. Understanding these transactions is crucial for accurate financial tracking and management.

Paper Statement vs. Online Bank Statements: Pros and Cons

Paper bank statements provide a tangible record and do not require computer access, which can benefit individuals less comfortable with digital technology. However, they pose environmental concerns and risk of theft or loss. Online statements are eco-friendly, easily accessible, and typically more secure but depend on internet access and digital literacy. Choosing between the two often depends on personal preferences and lifestyle.

Detecting Fraudulent Activity in Bank Statements

Detecting fraudulent activity in bank statements requires vigilance. Regularly review transactions for unrecognized charges, even small ones, as fraudsters often test with small amounts. Look out for duplicate transactions and withdrawals you did not authorize. If you spot suspicious activity, contact your bank immediately to report it and secure your account. Early detection is key to preventing further unauthorized access to your funds.

How Bank Statements Can Help in Budgeting and Financial Planning

Bank statements are instrumental in budgeting and financial planning. They provide a clear picture of your spending habits, helping to identify areas where you can cut back. Tracking regular payments and subscriptions can aid in managing recurring expenses. Additionally, reviewing deposits and interest earned can help assess income stability and plan for future financial goals. Regular analysis of bank statements can lead to more informed and effective financial decisions.

Contacting Your Bank for Issues

If you encounter discrepancies in your bank statement or have questions, it is essential to contact your bank. Most banks offer customer service via phone, email, or in-person at branches. For immediate concerns, such as suspected fraudulent activity, calling your bank's helpline is advisable. Keep your account information handy when you contact them for efficient service. Prompt communication with your bank can resolve issues quickly and safeguard your finances.

Key Takeaways: Keep Bank Statements Secure and Review your Bank Statements

  • Get a Bank Statement: Regularly request or access your bank statements to keep track of financial activities.
  • Read and Check Your Bank Statement: Carefully read and check your bank statement to ensure all transactions are accurate and authorized.
  • Bank or Credit Union: Whether you use a bank or credit union, you should understand how to access and interpret your account statement.
  • Keep Your Bank Statements: Securely keep copies of your bank statements for future reference and financial tracking.
  • Use Your Bank Statement: Utilize your bank statement as a tool for financial management and budgeting.
  • Checking or Savings Account: Review statements for both checking and savings accounts to monitor all financial activities.
  • Monthly Statement Review: Examine your monthly statement for any discrepancies or unusual activities.
  • Bank Statement Provides Insights: Your statement provides insights into your bank balance, financial activities, and account over a specific period.
  • Interest-Bearing Accounts: Pay attention to interest earned over the statement period, especially for interest-bearing accounts.
  • Types of Bank Statements: Understand the different types of bank statements available, such as paper statements in the mail or online e-statements.
  • Bank Statement Security: Ensure your bank statements are secure, whether they are paper bank statements or online versions.
  • Activity on Your Account: Regularly monitor activity on your account to stay informed about your financial status.
  • Closing and Opening Balance: Note the closing balance and opening balance for each statement period to track your finances effectively.
  • Bank Statement as a Reconciliation Tool: Use your bank statement to reconcile your account and verify bank transactions.
  • Contact the Bank for Queries: If you have any queries or notice discrepancies, contact the bank immediately.
  • Bank Statements for Fraud Detection: Regularly review bank statements to spot and report any fraudulent activity to your bank immediately.
  • Access Your Bank Statements Regularly: Ensure you receive a bank statement and access your bank statements monthly or per statement period to stay updated on your account status.
  • Bank Statements as Financial Documents: Treat your bank statement as a detailed financial document covering all transactions during the statement period.
  • Statement Period Dates: Always be aware of the statement period dates covered by your bank statement.
  • Bank Information Accuracy: Verify that the personal and bank information listed on your bank statement is correct.
  • Interest Earned Over the Statement Period: Review interest earned, particularly if you have an interest-bearing account.
  • Bank May Issue Electronic Statements: Be aware that your bank may issue statements electronically, known as e-statements.
  • Account Holder's Responsibility: As an account holder, you must check your bank statement regularly.
  • Bank Statements Every Month: Expect to receive or access your bank statements every month to keep a consistent check on your account.
  • Bank Statement Is Like a Financial Snapshot: Consider your bank statement as a snapshot of your financial activities over a specific period.
  • Bank Statement to Ensure Accuracy: Use your bank statement to ensure the accuracy of recorded transactions.
  • Activity on Your Account: Stay vigilant about all activity on your account, as detailed in your statement.
  • Paper Statement in the Mail: Some account holders may receive paper statements for a physical record.
  • Bank Statement Serves Multiple Purposes: Remember that a bank statement serves as a record of transactions, a tool for financial planning, and a means to detect errors or fraud.
  • Bank Statement Is a Monthly Record: Recognize that each bank statement is a monthly record of your financial activities and balance changes.
  • Bank Statement Is a Document of Record: Treat your bank statement as an official record document for your financial transactions.
  • Bank Statement Shows Detailed Transactions: Your bank statement shows detailed transactions, including dates, amounts, and descriptions.
  • Access Your Bank for Clarifications: Don't hesitate to access your bank's customer service for clarifications or issues related to your bank statement.
  • Bank Statement May Also Indicate Fees: Your statement may indicate any fees the bank charges for services.
  • Online Bank Statements Offer Convenience: Utilize online bank statements for convenience and quicker access to your financial information.
  • Statement Can Help You Spot Irregularities: Use your bank statement to help you spot any irregularities or unexplained transactions.
  • Top of the Statement Contains Key Information: Pay attention to the top of the statement, which often contains key information like your account number and the statement period.
  • Bank Right Away for Immediate Concerns: Contact your bank immediately for immediate concerns related to your bank statement.
  • Copies of Your Bank Statements for Records: Keep copies of your electronic and paper bank statements for your personal records and financial reconciliation.

How can Taxfyle help?

Finding an accountant to manage your bookkeeping and file taxes is a big decision. Luckily, you don't have to handle the search on your own. 

At Taxfyle, we connect small businesses with licensed, experienced CPAs or EAs in the US. We handle the hard part of finding the right tax professional by matching you with a Pro who has the right experience to meet your unique needs and will manage your bookkeeping and file taxes for you.

Get started with Taxfyle today, and see how finances can be simplified.

Legal Disclaimer

Tickmark, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide legal, tax or accounting advice. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, tax or accounting advice or recommendations. All information prepared on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be relied on for legal, tax or accounting advice. You should consult your own legal, tax or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. The content on this website is provided “as is;” no representations are made that the content is error-free.

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published

December 19, 2023

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Luis Rivero, CPA

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