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Accrual Accounting

Bank Reconciliation: Why?

by Sanjeev Archak Sanjeev Archak No Comments

Bank Reconciliations. Sounds very tedious. But doing some boring and tedious work can save you from pitfalls. So sit back and read more about the need to do bank reconciliations.

What is bank reconciliation?

As the word reconciliation suggests, you will be comparing bank statements with your books of accounts for the same period. The idea of any comparison is to find discrepancies and rectify them.

Who is responsible for bank reconciliation?

If you do your own accounting, then it is you. If you have an accountant then it is the accountant. You will need to do bank reconciliation only if you are following the accrual method of accounting. If, on the other hand, if you are following the cash method of accounting, then you record every transaction at the same time as bank does; there should be no discrepancy between your books and your bank statement.

Still wondering which method of accounting to use? Read our Cash vs Accrual accounting for more.

Why should we do bank reconciliation?

1.So you don’t spend the money that you don’t have

If your bank account and your books don’t match up, you will end up spending money you don’t really have or holding on to the money you could be investing in your business.

2. To track cash flow

Cash is king. Reconciling your bank statements lets you see the relationship between when money enters your business and when it enters your bank account, and plan how you collect and spend money accordingly.

3. To detect frauds

Bank reconciliation will not stop frauds but will help you detect when it has happened. For instance, you could pay a vendor by check, but they could tamper with it, making the amount withdrawn larger, and then cash it. The discrepancy would show up while you reconcile your bank statement.

4. To detect errors

Banks are not infallible, they do make mistakes. Such errors maybe rare. If there’s a discrepancy in your accounts that you can’t explain any other way, it may be time to speak to someone at the bank.

5. Stay on top of accounts receivable

If you use the accrual system of accounting, you might “debit” your cash account when you finish a project and the client says “the cheque is going in the courier today, I promise!” Then when you do your bank reconciliation a month later, you realize that cheque never came, and the money isn’t in your books (even though your bookkeeping shows you got paid).

Bank reconciliations are like a fail-safe for making sure your accounts receivable never get out of control. And if you’re consistently seeing a discrepancy in accounts receivable between your books and your bank, you know you have a deeper issue to fix.

Conclusion

Doing bank reconciliation sounds easy but in reality it is not so. Here is where Zoho Books can help. You can sync your bank accounts with Zoho Books and even make vendor payments directly from Zoho books using the ICICI+Zoho Books integration. Reach out to us today to learn more.

Cash Basis Accounting vs. Accrual Accounting

by Sanjeev Archak Sanjeev Archak No Comments

In our previous post we have touched upon how to make your accounting effective. In this post we will explore ” Cash Basis Accounting vs Accrual Accounting” in detail.

The difference between cash and accrual accounting lies in the timing of when sales and purchases are recorded in your accounts.Cash accounting recognizes revenue and expenses only when money changes hands, but accrual accounting recognizes revenue when it’s earned, and expenses when they’re billed (but not paid).

Cash Basis of Accounting

Cash basis is simplest method of accounting.Revenues and expenses are accounted when they are paid.Consequently, this method does not recognize accounts receivable or payable.

This method is best suited for small businesses as it is easy to determine when the transaction has occurred.Moreover, there is no need to track receivables or payables. One has to look at the bank balances to understand the money available. 

Accrual basis accounting

Accrual accounting is a method of accounting where revenues and expenses are recorded when they are earned, regardless of when the money is actually received or paid. Revenue is recorded when the delivery of the product or service is complete, rather than waiting for payment.

Accrual method is an improvement over the cash method of accounting. This provides a realistic, long term view of the business finances. A possible downside is is that accrual accounting doesn’t provide any awareness of cash flow; a business can appear to be very profitable while in reality it has empty bank accounts.Accrual basis accounting without careful monitoring of cash flow can have potentially devastating consequences. 

The effect on cash flow

The method of accounting has an impact on the cash flow. Let’s look at an example of how cash and accrual accounting affect the bottom line differently.

Imagine you perform the following transactions in a month of business:

  1. Sent out an invoice  for Rs 5,000 for service completed this month
  2. Received a bill for Rs 1,000  in developer fees for work done this month
  3. Paid Rs 75 for a bill received last month
  4. Received Rs 1,000 from a client for a project that was invoiced last month

The effect on cash flow

  1. Using the cash basis method, the profit for this month would be Rs 925 (Rs 1,000 minus Rs 25)
  2. Using the accrual method, the profit for this month would be Rs 4,000 (Rs 5,000 minus Rs 1,000)

Which method to Choose?

The Income Tax Act in India allows non corporate entities to maintain books of accounts under cash basis. Non corporate entities in India may include an individual, a proprietary concern, a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), a partnership firm, a LLP, a trust, etc.A corporate entity viz public & private limited companies, LLP’s are required to maintain the books of accounts only under accrual basis. 

A change in the method of accounting has to be stated in the income tax returns filed every year.