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Advice on how to check you bank statement and keep home finances in check


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Bank statements should always be checked and this is best done
immediately they arrive so that your bank can be notified of any discrepancies as soon as

There are various ways of doing this, if a cash book has been kept as suggested on another of
our pages, this can be checked as follows:-

  1. Enter any bank charges shown on your Statement into your cash book on
    the “withdrawals” side.
  2. Total the “deposits” (monies paid into your account) side
    of the cash book.
  3. Total the “withdrawals” (monies paid out) side of the cash
  4. Deduct withdrawals total from deposits total (even if this results in
    a minus figure).
  5. Check all entries on  the bank statement with those entered in
    your cash book and tick.
  6. If there are any items on the statement which have not been ticked,
    these should be checked.  Have you forgotten to enter a cash withdrawal, cheque or
    direct payment  into your cash book? If after checking thoroughly you cannot identify
    the entry this matter should be raised with your bank immediately.
  7. Total all entries on the “withdrawal” side

  8. Total all entries on the “deposits” side remaining
  9. Using the total reached in Item 4 ADD back the total of
    unticked items on the “withdrawal” side, (remember if you are starting
    with a minus figure this will be reduced by adding back these items) then SUBTRACT
    the total of unticked items on the “deposit” side (once again, if dealing with a
    minus figure this will be made greater by this amount).
  10. The result of this should be the same figure as shown at the end of
    your bank statement.

If, however, you do not keep a cash book you can
check you statement as follows:-

  1. Check off every counterfoil in your cheque book with the relevant
    entry on your statement.
  2. Add up all cheques issued but NOT shown on your bank statement and
    subtract this total from the final amount shown on your statement.
  3. If you include “deposits” on your cheque counterfoils, add
    up any deposits made but not shown on the statement and add this to the statement total.
  4. Deduct from your cheque book total all interest, service charges,
    direct debits, standing orders and add in any “deposits” shown on your statement
    but not entered onto your counterfoils.
  5. Your cheque book and statement should now balance.

If they don’t, subtract one total from the other and if the
difference is 1, 10, 100, 9 or 99 you have probably made an error in addition.

If the difference is divisible by 9 you have probably transposed a
figure (i.e. written 89 instead of 98)

If it still does not balance check you have not omitted anything and
recheck you maths.


Hints and
Things endeavours to provide general information in relation to various
financial products. We hope you find this information useful. In no
circumstances should the information we provide be construed as Hints and
Things providing you with specific advice in relation to your own
circumstances, or on the suitability for you personally, of any product or
service referred to in this article.