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Bank reconciliation is a periodic procedure that allows a company to balance bank balances with amounts recorded in accounting ledgers. A reconciliation accountant could be an accounting clerk or a senior accounting specialist, depending on the company size and job responsibilities. This specialist typically holds an associate or a bachelor's degree in business, finance or accounting but also could receive on-the-job training.
A reconciliation accountant ensures that cash amounts in a company's accounting ledgers agree with bank balances. A reconciliation specialist also ensures that guidelines and policies around cash processes are adequate and effective, and that such policies prevent significant errors in cash balance calculation. An effective procedure remedies problems in cash reconciliations properly. An adequate procedure provides a detailed list of instructions that employees involved in cash transactions—such as payroll or treasury employees—must follow. An accountant also reviews a company's bank accounts, checks balances against ledger amounts and verifies that such amounts agree with financial statement items—such as an asset, a liability, a revenue or an expense. A typical account reconciliation occurs at month end, when an accounting specialist receives a company's bank statements. The expert confirms every bank item with an accounting entry in the ledger and then researches items that do not match.
A reconciliation accountant usually holds an associate or a bachelor's degree in accounting, audit or business. This specialist also could hold a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training.
A reconciliation accountant's income levels depend on qualifications, responsibilities and industry. The U.S. Labor Department data indicate that median wages of bookkeepers and accounting clerks were $32,510 in 2008, with the top 10 percent earning more than $49,260 and the bottom 10 percent earning less than $20,950. Experienced reconciliation professionals with more responsibilities earn more than most accountants. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average wages of reconciliation accountants were $59,430 in 2008, with the bottom 10 percent earning less than $36,720, and the top 10 percent earning more than $102,380.
A reconciliation accountant with a two-year college degree who wants to move up to senior roles could seek a bachelor's or a master's degree—in accounting, tax, audit or finance—or a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license.
A reconciliation accountant works on regular business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. but may stay late at work at month-end or quarter-end to aid in monthly close procedures or income tax filings. This specialist usually lives in a metropolitan area or in the suburbs.
Marquis Codjia is a New York-based freelance writer, investor and banker. He has authored articles since 2000, covering topics such as politics, technology and business. A certified public accountant and certified financial manager, Codjia received a Master of Business Administration from Rutgers University, majoring in investment analysis and financial management.