CHECK REGISTER BOOK: How to Get One

check register book

As a small business owner, you understand the importance of keeping track of your company’s finances. However, your business bank statement may not always be up to date with the most recent information. A check register book can provide you with an up-to-date snapshot of your bank transactions. So, in this article, we’ll learn how a check register book can help your business, whether large or small. 

What is a Check Register Book?

A check register, also known as a cash disbursements log, is where you record all of your business’s check and cash transactions over the course of an accounting period. A check register is used by businesses to calculate the running amount of their checking account.

Depending on the needs and preferences of your business, you may want to keep a separate business check register book for each checking account (e.g., payroll account and operating account check registers).

Columns in a cash disbursements log let you organize and categorize transaction information. A check register book typically contains the following components:

  • Transaction date
  • Check the number or the category (e.g., electric bill)
  • Notes or description
  • Debits and credits incurred as a result of the transaction
  • The account balance

Why Do You Need a Check Register Book?

A check register book allows you to keep track of all transactions in your bank account. Even if you check your account balance online, your available balance may contain inaccurate information. Banks make mistakes from time to time, and you may sometimes forget about transactions.

Your check register will assist you in the following ways:

  • Recognize bank errors: These are rarely favorable to you and should be notified as soon as feasible.
  • Detect and prevent identity theft: If you notice something unexpected, disclose it as soon as possible to receive full legal protection in the United States. 
  • Avoid having your checks bounced: These are costly and have a knock-on effect on your budget. 
  • Determine how much you can afford to spend: You’ll be able to tell if you need to move funds to your checking account to cover expenses. You can, for example, prevent overdraft penalties by transferring funds from your savings account to cover upcoming needs.
  • You should be aware of what you’ve paid off: Keep a record of all your settled bills, including the amounts and dates, in case you require proof of payment.
  • Examine the following expenditure patterns: Manually entering your spending pushes you to pay attention to what you’re spending and make changes if necessary.

If you’ve forgotten about overdue checks or automatic withdrawals, online account information can be deceiving. A check register book allows you to keep track of how much money you have available.

The Advantages of Using a Check Register Book

A check register is an essential component of your accounting process. Your register indicates the types of purchases made by your business and might assist you in making necessary budget modifications.

Check registers, as opposed to online bank statements, provide a real-time record of your bank account balance and how much money you have available to spend.

There are numerous benefits to employing a check register book in your small business. It can help you with:

  • Trying not to overspend.
  • Improving your financial situation
  • Maintaining an orderly and up-to-date record of your transactions.
  • Looking for an accurate balance.
  • Keeping track of your spending.
  • Identifying flaws (e.g., missing check)

Example of a check register

As a business owner, you must understand how to keep a check register book. Before entering business transactions in your general ledger, record them in your check register book.

To ensure an accurate balance, update your check register every time you spend cash or write a check.

When filling out your check register, you must know all the data about the transaction, such as the transaction amount, the date of the transaction, and the purpose of the transaction.

A credit (deposit) adds to your cash disbursements journal, whereas a debit (payment) subtracts from it.

Here’s an illustration of how one of your business’s check registers might look:

DateDescriptionCheck NumberDebitCreditBalance
8/1/2020$5,000
8/7/2020Office expense123$200$4,800
8/20/2020Electric bill$150$4,650
8/25/2020Cash deposit$500$5,150
8/28/2020Sales income$250$5,400
8/31/2020Supply purchase124$100$5,300

As you can see, you have a $5,000 balance at the start of the month. You have $5,300 at the end of the month after accounting for income and expenses in your check register. If you have a monthly accounting period, the $5,300 balance will become your starting balance at the start of the next month.

Where Can I Get a Check Register?

If you didn’t get a check register with your checkbooks and want one, you have various options, some of which are free:

  • Download a free Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets template.
  • Order a fresh register book from your bank or an online check printer.
  • A register can be purchased at an office supply store.
  • Take a check register out of the back of an old checkbook.
  • Create a simple register in your preferred design or spreadsheet software.
  • Make or Print Your Own Check Register.

Paper checkbook registers have been around for a long time, and some people still prefer to record this information by hand. A basic register, which is available online, can also be printed.

Making your own register on paper or in a spreadsheet is a simple process that may be tailored to your specific needs in terms of size, structure, and column headings. To build a check register, create a document with the following columns across the top:

  • Check the box next to items that have cleared your bank.
  • Check the following numbers or categories: Keeping track of check numbers
  • Date: The transaction’s date.
  • Notes regarding the transaction that are useful
  • Debit/Payment (-): Withdrawals, fees, and payments
  • Deposit/Credit: Interest and deposits
  • Current Account Balance: The current account balance following a transaction.

When Should You Use Your Check Register Book?

It is critical to keep your check register up to date with each transaction so that it can serve as a dependable source of your financial activities. When you write a check or use your debit card, you should immediately record the transaction in your check register. At the very least, save your ATM and debit card receipts and enter them into your accounting software on a weekly basis. The more issues you have with insufficient cash, the more frequently you should update your check register.

You should also compare your check register book with recent bank statements to search for any inconsistencies. Bank statements also display items that may not yet be in your check registers, such as fees paid tobank. bank

Bank interest payments Automatic/ACH activities, such as direct deposit of your paycheck, or automatic payment of bills from your bank account.

Check registers assist you in keeping track of all your transactions in order to avoid penalties such as overdrafts or late fees. They can provide a precise record of your financial condition, allowing you to manage your money more effectively.

How do You Fill Out a Check Register?

Begin by writing your current balance in the top right-hand column of your check register. In the register, record all checks, debits, credits, and deposits. List the check or transaction number, date, description, and debit or credit amount for each transaction. Subtract credits from debits to update your balance on each transaction line. When transactions clear your bank account, mark them with a check.

When it comes to entering transactions in your check register as a business owner, you have a few alternatives. You may:

  • Record your transactions on paper by hand.
  • Make use of a spreadsheet
  • Use accounting software.

If you want to save money, you can create your check register by hand with a pencil and paper. However, it can be time-consuming and prone to errors.

A spreadsheet is an improvement over a manual check register. It still requires you to enter your own data. However, depending on the type of spreadsheet you use, you may be able to create formulas that perform the balance calculations for you (e.g., beginning, current, and ending balances).

Simple accounting software can assist you in organizing transactions in your check register. The software can keep your running balance up to date and provide you with a snapshot of your transactions for the period. You may even be able to sort the register by a specific date or attach a file to a transaction, depending on the software (e.g., a copy of the receipt). Accounting software, while more expensive than alternative options, can help you avoid costly check register errors and save time.

Check Registers and Business Bank Accounts

Consider creating a business checking account to help you organize your check register book. A business bank account allows you to segregate business and personal costs. Combining personal and business transactions can lead to problems with taxation, financial reporting, and budgeting.

You can open a business checking account at your local bank. Alternatively, you can set up a small business bank account online. A business checking account allows you to track the success of your firm and file your business income tax return. 

Bank Check Register Book

It is critical that you compare your checkbook register to your bank account on a frequent basis. Automatic deposits (such as interest payments) or withdrawals (such as service fees) are frequently left out of the checkbook register.

Maintaining an accurate checkbook requires continuously recording transactions when a check is written or a transaction is authorized. This allows you to verify that there are sufficient funds in the account for future transactions, reducing the possibility of overdrawing the account.

Check 233, for example, was written on June 28, and it may take a few days for the check to clear the account. The balance indicated by your bank, either online or on the June statement, will not match the register book until the check posts. In the instance of an unpaid check, the bank’s balance will exaggerate the amount of money accessible in the account. An unposted deposit, on the other hand, will lead the bank balance to understate the amount of money accessible in the account.

To indicate when a transaction has been posted to the bank, there is normally a column between the debit and credit columns where you can insert a checkmark. If your register does not include a “cleared” column, you can also place a check in the transaction’s margin to the right.

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of entering transactions in your checkbook register, you might wish to go into greater depth. If your farm or ranch is like most, the person who writes the checks is not the same person who balances the books or categorizes transactions for tax purposes. Additional information may assist both parties in understanding the goal of each transaction.

To summarize,

Maintain a check register for your business’s checking account. By creating a check register, you can examine how much money is available to spend in your business checking account.

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of entering transactions in your checkbook register, you might wish to go into greater depth. If your farm or ranch is like most, the person who writes the checks is not the same person who balances the books or categorizes transactions for tax purposes. Additional information may assist both parties in understanding the goal of each transaction.

Check Register Book FAQs

Do banks give out check registers?

Your bank can provide you with a check register. They are normally included with your checkbook (inside, kept in the back of the checkbook.) Your bank can also connect you to their online check register, which is typically included in the financial institution’s online personal banking package.

Can you buy check registers?

You can buy blank check registers from a variety of local and online retailers, including office supply stores, Walmart, and Amazon. You can also get them from the firm that refills your checks.

Is there any reason to keep old check registers?

Check registers are small and compact, and some people want to keep them for historical purposes as a record of their prior income and expenses. There is nothing wrong with this. You could save 20 to 50 years’ worth of check registers while taking up very little space.

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