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Bank and credit card reconciliations
Bank and credit card reconciliations
Andrew Robinson avatar
Written by Andrew Robinson
Updated today

A reconciliation might sound scary, but — unlike old-school bank reconciliations — a Puzzle reconciliation is designed to require very little effort and no accounting expertise. Since we already use bank and credit card APIs to directly pull your activity into our system, all your activity should already be listed in Puzzle. Just compare it to your bank or credit card statement (or the activity on the financial provider’s website or app) to make sure nothing is missing.

Ensuring that cash activity and cash balances each month agree between Puzzle and your bank records is a crucial first step towards having confidence in your Puzzle financials and closing your books!

Purpose of bank and credit card reconciliations

The purpose of a bank or credit card reconciliation in Puzzle is to confirm that the amounts of your Puzzle transactions are complete and accurate by matching it to your bank or credit card statement balances and activity.

Modern data integrations via Plaid or directly to other financial institutions are amazing, but occasionally data is not transmitted or updated correctly via the API. Doing this simple reconciliation step gives you confidence that your Puzzle reports match your bank and credit card transaction records.

Steps to perform a bank reconciliation in Puzzle

Within Puzzle’s reconciliation tool, you can compare each account’s activity and balances in Puzzle to your bank or credit card statement. If there are differences, you can then make the adjustments within the reconciliation.

Step 0: Select the account you want to reconcile.

Within the Reconciliation tab, identify the account you want to reconcile. Either select an account in the account summary at the top, or select a pre-drafted reconciliation below.

💡 Reminder: You cannot complete a bank or credit card reconciliation for a given period until you have reconciled all previous periods for that account.

For credit card reconciliations, you can select any end date you want for your reconciliation. Typically, reconciliations are performed for each monthly statement period. However, you can reconcile longer or shorter periods of time as you see fit.

Step 1: Upload the relevant statement.

This will allow you to see the beginning balance, ending balance, and activity from the bank statement side-by-side with the Accounting Ledger in Puzzle.

💬 This step is optional. However, statements often provide useful records as evidence that the reconciliation is based on reliable third-party source data. However, it is possible to complete reconciliations using sources other than bank or credit card statements.

Step 2: Compare the beginning and ending balances in Puzzle to your bank statement.

If there is a difference between the ending balance in Puzzle and your bank statement, no need to panic. This likely means the bank balance Puzzle pulled from your bank’s API differed slightly from the actual, finalized bank balance. This is typically based on timing differences and does not indicate a problem. Simply edit the ending balance to match your true ending bank balance.

Your beginning balance will be the ending balance of your previous reconciliation. You may need to set a beginning balance for your first reconciliation if Puzzle’s estimate is incorrect. (Puzzle will estimate this balance to start.)

Step 3: Review the transactions in Puzzle with a green check. Do they match the bank statement activity?

If any should be removed from the current month, uncheck them.

If any should be added to the current month:

  • If the transactions are listed but not checked, click the circle next to the transaction to add a green check.

  • If you are missing transactions…

    • Check that your bank account connection is active on the Integrations page.

    • Check for any possible time zone differences between your financial institution and your Puzzle account settings.

    • You can manually add them by clicking “+ Add transaction.”

    • Contact [email protected] for any persistent issues. We’re here to help and will respond quickly!

Step 4: Once your balances and activity within the statement match your reconciliation, the “Remaining” balance should show as zero, and the final.

When you have reviewed all your balances and activity in comparison to your bank or credit card statements

Click “Continue.”

Step 5: Confirm that your “Final balance check” is zero.

The “Ending balance” should match what is included on your bank or credit card statement for that date (see Step 2). The line below is the balance that will be displayed on your financial statements for the line corresponding to this account. Any differences indicate an error; please reach out to [email protected].

Step 6: Review the summary to make sure everything appears correct, and click “Save & Approve.” Your reconciliation is now complete!

Step 7: Repeat for each bank and credit card account.

The reconciliation summary section will show you the most recent reconciliation status of each account.

Step 8: Breathe a sigh of relief! You have now verified that all your bank and credit card transactions are included Puzzle!

Now you’ll want to make sure all of them are categorized correctly within the Transactions page.

Re-opening completed bank reconciliations

If you need to review past reconciliations, you can click on the individual reconciliation on the Reconciliation page to see the reconciliation in both summary and transaction-level views.

If you need to modify past reconciliations, you can click on the three-dot symbol in the upper-right corner of the reconciliation display. This will allow you to restart the reconciliation.

Because reconciliations build on each other, opening one reconciliation will re-open all subsequent reconciliations too.

Using source data other than bank and credit card statements

Reconciliations can be performed by comparing the balances and activity in Puzzle to the data on a financial institution’s website or in a mobile app for your account. Especially if performing reconciliations for a period other than a single month that corresponds to a statement period, this may be preferable.

Still Puzzled?

Reach out to the Puzzle team at [email protected], and we can help you troubleshoot your reconciliation process. If you would like to receive ongoing support from an accountant, check out our accounting partners or contact [email protected] for a curated professional accounting recommendation that fits your circumstances.

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