Why bother with unpresented cheques for bank rec

LondinaLondina Experienced MentorPosts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
Can't wait cheques to be phased out, as I'm finding quite annoying to do a bank rec and include the unpresented cheques....I prefer to see in the final accounts the bank balance as per bank statement, not a "fake" bank balance and also on creditors!

I also discovered that some clients too prefer this way :-)

Comments

  • sdvsdv Experienced Mentor Posts: 585Registered
    Londina wrote: »
    Can't wait cheques to be phased out, as I'm finding quite annoying to do a bank rec and include the unpresented cheques....I prefer to see in the final accounts the bank balance as per bank statement, not a "fake" bank balance and also on creditors!

    I also discovered that some clients too prefer this way :-)

    So... what you are saying is that you should NOT show on your balance sheet the monies recived from a DRAGON, who sent your compny a cheque of £100,000 that you have just deposited on the last day of your yearly accounting period.

    Your balance sheet as at year end, will show an overdraft of £60,000 instead of showing a true possition of a positive balance of £40,000 as a current asset, and a liability of £100,000 to a DRAGON

    do you thik this meets the requirement of IAS8?

    Maybe the IAS's doen't really matter, so long as we can can do the work to the best of our ability and the interested parties in our company's finacial statements should adopt to our prefered method of showing the finacial informtion.
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor Posts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    sdv wrote: »
    So... what you are saying is that you should NOT show on your balance sheet the monies recived from a DRAGON, who sent your compny a cheque of £100,000 that you have just deposited on the last day of your yearly accounting period.

    well, in this particular case I would put the cheque in, since it's a lot of cash from a Dragon ;-)

    However what about several cheques to suppliers? Do I need to include those? I'm wondering this because in a previous job I used to write lots of cheques than at the end of the day they weren't sent to the suppliers for months and they were actually sitting in my drawer....as a result the creditor balance was always little when in reality it wasn't!!

    Do IAS8 allow this?
  • BluewednesdayBluewednesday Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 1,624Registered
    You've just strengthened the case of unpresented cheques!

    By putting the correct balance in the bank you have followed the transaction through, the cheques have been written so therefore must have been taken out of the bank and shown as unpresented cheques.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 4,071FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    It's important to include those cheques that have been issued but not yet cleared the bank, otherwise you'd be overstating your creditors, and indeed overstating your bank balance when there are items that are going to alter it in the very near future and those transactions have already been set in motion.

    If we're not going to bother with uncleared items in the bank, let's not bother with prepayments or accruals or depreciation either.... :)

    In the case of cheques sitting in the drawer, I would argue if they weren't issued to the supplier on the date of the cheque (or very shortly thereafter) they should not be included as these also distort the picture in an inaccurate way.
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Posts: 1,002Registered
    I used to act for a client who was constantly at their overdraft limit and actually got a stern telling off from their bank manager for writing out cheques that were left in a drawer until there was a slim chance they'd clear. The bank were actually threatening to withdraw the chequebooks and probably would have done if the company didn't go into liquidation shortly afterwards.
    I realise that the 'cheque is in the drawer' practice is not limited just to companies like this, but yes, it's a pesky thing to deal with. It might be best to cover your back by having a section in the bank rec specifically for 'cheques in the drawer' and that way everyone can see the true position.
  • RichardRichard Trusted Regular Posts: 373Registered
    Where I work, if a client has cheques that are still unpresented more than 14 days after the year end, we transfer them back to creditors.

    This would deal with the "cheque in a drawer" issue.
  • PrimblePrimble Experienced Mentor Posts: 734Registered
    why don't people just post the cheque straight away. seems a bit of an effort too write the cheque in the first place if you're not going to send it
  • MoneySavingBankMoneySavingBank Well-Known Posts: 143Registered
    Cheques

    Some Reasons for this cheque:

    > Sometimes the clerk raise and post in the system but the directors dont sign them.

    > or the directors dont retrun the check to post. He/she holds them...

    > or the Directors sign the cheque and ask the clerk hold it until futher instructions.

    > Finally Cheques get lost in Post

    (But most of the time i faced directors related issues)
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 1,954Registered
    Londina wrote: »
    well, in this particular case I would put the cheque in, since it's a lot of cash from a Dragon ;-)

    However what about several cheques to suppliers? Do I need to include those? I'm wondering this because in a previous job I used to write lots of cheques than at the end of the day they weren't sent to the suppliers for months and they were actually sitting in my drawer....as a result the creditor balance was always little when in reality it wasn't!!

    Do IAS8 allow this?

    The cheques should be dated with the date they are sent out, and then the unpresented cheques are really cheques in transit.

    Our auditors instructed us to do it this way. Although in reality its somewhere between this and being sat in a drawer...
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor Posts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    PGM wrote: »
    The cheques should be dated with the date they are sent out, and then the unpresented cheques are really cheques in transit.

    How can you do that? then the cheques will not be in date order!

    The reason of my cheques in the drawer is this one suggested my Moneysavingbank, at the end of every month I prepared all the due cheques, however the director decides later which one to send and which one to keep for a while...
    Some Reasons for this cheque:

    > or the Directors sign the cheque and ask the clerk hold it until futher instructions.
  • PGMPGM Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 1,954Registered
    Londina wrote: »
    How can you do that? then the cheques will not be in date order!

    My system is the one told to us by the auditors, but their system is based on everything being a lot more simple and straightforward than things often are!

    1, we identify what needs paying according to the system agreed by the directors
    2, cheque run
    3, director signs them
    4, sent out same day

    (But this assumes the director will always agree to what the system says needs paying, which they should in theory, but...)
  • MoneySavingBankMoneySavingBank Well-Known Posts: 143Registered
    PGM is right

    Hey,

    PGM using different system. In that system, They print only what the director agrees. But when we manually run Cheques, We face this problem with directors.

    Ta
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor Posts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    as a result of this discussion, I strongly disagree to include the unpresented cheques in the bank rec, too much problems, it's not the same situation with prepayments & accruals.

    If I want to know if the bank balance in the software is correct, I check if it matches the bank statement balance, that's it, at first instance I get my answer, instead going through every single cheque, check which one has been posted and which one not, check the bank rec and delete the ones presented afterwards in the bank, no, no...too much time wasted when it's not really necessary.
  • PrimblePrimble Experienced Mentor Posts: 734Registered
    we work like PGM by sounds of it. but its good to get an idea of how other companys work
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenPosts: 258Registered
    The point of carrying out a bank rec is too prove that that the balances recorded by a third party (the bank) agrees to one of the organisations prime records, the cash book. this is a bedrock reconcilation which picks up: bank errors, cash book errors, duplicate payments, out of date cheques, unbanked income and fraudulent cash activities. It also provides confidence for your reporting accountantant and auditors that all transactions are recorded so that the final statement of accounts are complete (not necessarily correct, but all transactions are present). Given the importance of the reconciliation it should be carried out regularly, timely and signed off.

    As said, the reconciliation is between the cash book and the bank statements. The cash book should record payments and receipts as they occur, therefore there will always be a time lag between the cas book and bank statement, ie delays in BACS tape runs, the clearing process on receipts and cheques not being presented for payment for a number of reasons.

    Given that the whole point of the reconciliation is to identify errors and fraud, all the timing differences have to be identified before the errors can be identified for investigation. To not take account unpresented ceques in a bank reconciliation statement would make the whole process meaningless and worthless. Without a meaningful bank reconcilliation process as Head of Finance, I would feel very uncomfortable and exposed, I would also anticipate a qualified audit report on my accounts.

    The balance sheet records the cas book balance, the real cash balance, not the bank statement total which may be incomplete.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 4,071FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Londina wrote: »
    as a result of this discussion, I strongly disagree to include the unpresented cheques in the bank rec, too much problems, it's not the same situation with prepayments & accruals.
    Sorry Londina, I disagree.
    In the case of cheques in the drawer, that's a separate issue.

    But in the case of cheques that have left your hands, that are either in the post, or with the cheque's recipient ready to be banked, they must be included on the bank rec as they will happen without any further action from you, you have already 'released' that transaction into the world, so to speak.

    If my bank balance says I have £200, I think I can take £200 out of the cashpoint and I won't go overdrawn. If there is a cheque for £50 in the post that's going to clear in 2 days, I need to know that my true balance is only £150, otherwise I might go overdrawn. That's just one practical example of why it is very important.
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,453Registered
    That reminds me of a mistake made in our company when I just started.

    I send out an Euro cheque for around 80,000 and put it in the weekly cash flow forecast. The next week it hadn't been cleared yet, but I didn't include it in the cash flow forecast again, as it would fall under timing differences as far as I knew.

    My manager then happily sweeped the Euro account and left only enough for the weekly cash flow and a bit reserve for just in case situations and then supplier tried to cash the cheque. Both my manager and me were not happy...
  • RichardRichard Trusted Regular Posts: 373Registered
    Londina wrote: »
    If I want to know if the bank balance in the software is correct, I check if it matches the bank statement balance, that's it, at first instance I get my answer, instead going through every single cheque, check which one has been posted and which one not, check the bank rec and delete the ones presented afterwards in the bank, no, no...too much time wasted when it's not really necessary.

    Surely that method will only work if there are no unpresented cheques?
  • LondinaLondina Experienced Mentor Posts: 814MAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Monsoon wrote: »
    If my bank balance says I have £200, I think I can take £200 out of the cashpoint and I won't go overdrawn. If there is a cheque for £50 in the post that's going to clear in 2 days, I need to know that my true balance is only £150, otherwise I might go overdrawn. That's just one practical example of why it is very important.

    Monsoon I understand your point, however bookkeeping speaking, it's such a long process and wondering if it's really that necessary, considering all sort of problems that can happen
    Richard wrote: »
    Surely that method will only work if there are no unpresented cheques?

    Exactly, if I don't post any unpresented cheques, I will always know the correct bank balance in the software.
  • stevefstevef Well-Known CarmarthenPosts: 258Registered
    You seem to have this check the wrong way around. You seem to be saying that you want to ensure that the balance as shown on the bank statement is recorded in your ledger. But the bank statement is a record provided by a third party, it may be wrong and will almost certainly not reflect all the organisations transactions at a given date.

    The cash book is the prime record within the organisation, it is maintained by the organisation under its internal control procedures. It should be upto date and accurate and is part of the double entry system. The cash book is a prime record of assets and therefore, it is the cash book balance that has to appear in the balance sheet (otherwise the balance sheet won't balance).

    The point of the bank reconciliation statement is to account for any differences between what the bank think the organisations cash position is (the bank statements) and what the organisation knows the cash position is (the cash book). The most common difference is unpresented cheques, so they must be listed as part of the process. As a by product, it prodes a ready record to show cheques going stale that need writing back into the accounts.

    The bank rec procedure is a essential process for establishing completeness of records and for protecting cash. It will always be subject to audit review so must be carried out fully and properly.
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 4,071FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Londina wrote: »
    Monsoon I understand your point, however bookkeeping speaking, it's such a long process and wondering if it's really that necessary, considering all sort of problems that can happen

    I'd be more concerned with the problems that can happen if you don't account for items already committed to, but not yet cleared.

    I've explained as best I can - am happy to agree to disagree, as long as you carry on doing bank recs properly - the profession would have done away with them years ago if they weren't necessary :)
  • MonsoonMonsoon Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 4,071FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant
    Londina wrote: »
    Exactly, if I don't post any unpresented cheques, I will always know the correct bank balance in the software.
    The point is that it's most definitely NOT the correct bank balance. That would be like saying a debit card transaction that happened today doesn't count because it won't show on the bank balance til Tuesday. Your bank will tell you you have available funds LESS that amount as it has already been initiated, it just hasn't cleared yet. It still forms part of the bank balance. Cheques that have been posted are exactly the same.
  • PrimblePrimble Experienced Mentor Posts: 734Registered
    Bank recs are good as they help us spot when the machine in the bank where you put your cheques to be processed when there isn't a massive queue ate our bankings so they got lost and the machine then had to be taken apart to retrieve them
  • *Jo*Jo Experienced Mentor Posts: 509Registered
    With regard to the unpresented cheques, as well as all the other valid points on the importance of bank rec's.

    When you get authority to post the cheques in the drawer out to say, Fred, Joe and Clive you duly post the cheques.

    How without loging un presented items do you know the correct balance at the bank or if Joe's cheque got lost in the post or Clive forgot to pay his in or if Fred being a bit devious altered the cheque and it cashed for an amount different to that what was written by the company?

    Even If the cheques are sitting in a drawer noting the unpresented items is essential. These are then "ticked off" as they present. It also doubles up as a list to ensure that no one has stolen any of the cheques in the drawer or sent any off by mistake.

    Your balance at the bank is only the balance of cleared items subject to checking by you. It does not guarentee that after all items have cleared that will be the actual balance available to draw on.
  • Paul CPaul C Well-Known Posts: 193Registered
    Keeping a solid record of uncleared cheques also helps cash flow planning - big organisations could have lots that add up to big sums.

    When I worked in Health, bank balances were cleared daily to accounts with higher interest and only what was needed brought back into the main account each day. Uncleared cheques were an important part of that calculation.
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