We Are Here to Help

You may not need to hire a professional, but you still have an occasional question. We hope we can save you the cost of consulting with an accountant or other professional for these simple, intermittent issues.

Send us your question today - we would love to help.

The information is not meant as tax or legal advice. Please verify all information with your tax or legal professional.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reconciling Your Credit Card - How To Post The Finance Charge

I worked with a client recently who contacted me because they were having issues in Quickbooks for Mac.  After a brief online conversation I quickly determined that they obviously knew the basics of what they were doing and that we probably just needed to do a little bit of detective work to solve the problem.

The problem resolved around the fact that every time they entered the finance charge amount from their credit card statement into the reconciliation page, that same amount was showing up as a payment made on the account.  Not only were these "payment" entries continuing to pile up without being reconciled, but the book balance of the account grew more and more inaccurate. 

The process, in both the Mac and PC version of Quickbooks, involves entering the finance charge amount in the appropriate box of the reconciliation screen, and choosing the correct expense account to assess this charge to. 

So the simplest questions to ask were, are you choosing the correct expense account and is it properly set-up as an  Expense account "Type".  The answer to both was yes.

Everything the client was doing was correct, so I asked them to send me a copy of the screen shot from their reconciliation screen.  Quickbooks retains the expense account information applied to the previous reconciliation so this screen shot would confirm the proper entry (or not).  The screen shot gave us the answer to the clients dilemma.  Even though they knew where the finance charge should have been expensed to, the screen shot revealed that they were actually posting this charge right back to the credit card.  And since the finance charge journal is a debit to the expense account it was appearing as a payment, as a credit card payment is also a debit posting.

New versions of Quickbooks will catch this error and not allow you to post the finance charge to the same account you are reconciling.  This clients version did not have that protection.

I would strongly recommend that you consider upgrading your software if your version is at least 4 years old.  There are many great features that each new version brings on board and you may be missing out on changes that can make your bookkeeping easier and more accurate.

Email your question

No comments:

Post a Comment