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Credit card reconciliation – How to reconcile a credit card statement

Reconciling your credit card statement is easier than you think once you have the right knowledge and tools to make sure that all the figures balance out

Taking your credit card statement at face value and just going ahead and making the required payment can be a big leap of faith on your part. Mistakes are made even by large banks, and fraud takes place when you least expect it, meaning you shouldn’t assume that what your statement says is always accurate. Before your next statement arrives, learn how to reconcile it for accuracy and what steps to take if you do find something that is out of place.

Why would I need to reconcile my credit card statement?

Reconciling your credit card statement sounds more intimidating than it really is. This is nothing more than the process of verifying that you actually made the purchases that you are being charged for. Additionally, you are checking that the cost of all charges match the cost that you were told at the time of purchase. Credit card companies are not exempt from making mistakes, nor are the merchants that you make purchases with. Reconciling your statement will catch any of those errors, along with any fraudulent activity on your credit card, right away and allow you to avoid having to pay for something that you did not receive.

What is required?

Reconciling your credit card statement will be easy if you have three important elements:

  • Current statement. A copy of your recent statement may be mailed to you, or you can retrieve it online if your account is set up with online banking.
  • Current receipts. You should save any and all receipts for transactions made with your credit card. This includes those for the purchases and withdrawals you made during that statement period.
  • System for reconciliation. This could be as simple as a pencil, paper and calculator, or a software program designed for accounting purposes. One of the easiest and most effective systems of reconciliation is to enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet.

Once you have the paperwork and tools required, reconciling your credit card statement will be easier than keeping your transaction account balanced. If you are unsure of what the items on your credit card statement mean, you can learn how to read your credit card statement by clicking here. With that knowledge you should have no trouble in checking to make sure that your credit card statement is accurate before you make your monthly payment.

How can I sort my receipts?

Keep your credit card receipts in a separate compartment in your purse or wallet so that they are not accidentally lost or thrown away before you reconcile your credit card statement. If you are using a software program or an excel spreadsheet, consider entering them as you get them throughout the month. This will help you to avoid the frustration of having to search through receipts or forgetting about a purchase made early in the month. This is especially helpful for Australians who use their credit card for daily expenditures and may forget about the time they topped up their petrol on the way to work.

If you are using a contactless card to make purchases, such as Visa PayWave or Tap and Go, you will want to be extra careful about keeping records of those transactions with the exact amount that you were given by the cashier. Once you feel confident that you have all of your receipts for the month, sort them by date to make it easy to mark them off from your statement.

Matching my receipts to the credit card statement

With your receipts in date order, it should be easy to go through the listed items on your credit card statement and mark each one that you have a receipt for. Don’t just stop at checking for a receipt however, you should also be looking to ensure that the amount on your receipt matches the amount that is listed on your statement. Once you have gone through every receipt that you have, there should be no unmarked items left on the statement other than any fees and interest charges.

Notifying the bank

If you do note an error on your credit card statement, it is in your interest to notify the issuing bank immediately. The sooner you contact them, the more likely it will be that they will be able to find the reason for the error and correct it. The process involved in notifying the bank will vary depending on the institution, but in most cases you should be able to contact them online to begin a dispute resolution process. Note the item number on the statement, the date of the transaction and the amount. Be specific about what type of error it is. For example, if you have a receipt for that date, but the amount is wrong, note this in your request. If you suspect fraud, make sure that you indicate this so that the bank can take the necessary steps to ensure that no other fraudulent purchases are made with the credit card.

It is important to understand that the disputed item may not be cleared from your statement immediately, as the bank will likely need to conduct its own investigation first. How long that will take is dependent on the type of error. To help speed the process along, provide your bank with any requested information immediately and sign the form authorising them to investigate as soon as it is sent to you. You stand a better chance of having errors removed from your statement if you give the bank notice immediately of the mistake.


Every one of your dollars counts, especially if you are going to be charged interest on it. Review your credit card statements carefully every month to ensure that each dollar you are sending as a payment is actually going towards a purchase that you made.

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14 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DebbieJune 5, 2014

    Can you toss the receipts after reconciling?
    Thanks, Debbie

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJune 6, 2014Staff

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for your question.

      This decision is entirely up to you. You can disregard the receipts that you feel as though you’ll never need again.


  2. Default Gravatar
    CaseyApril 23, 2014

    I reconcile the company credit cards. Can you confirm if I don’t get some receipts I can’t claim the GST.
    I am new to the bookkeeping industry.

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyApril 24, 2014Staff

      Hi Casey,

      Thanks for your question.

      The ATO website states that “You need to keep receipts and other evidence of all sales and purchases you have made for the business. You also need to have tax invoices and all documents relating to GST, wage and salary records.”


  3. Default Gravatar
    RickyMarch 31, 2014

    Can you recommend a system to help record credit card transactions for reconciliation later when the statement arrives?

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 31, 2014Staff

      Hi, Ricky.

      There are a number of systems cardholders can use to keep track of credit card spending. Banks and lenders will offer online platforms which can be used to view recent account activity. You can also use accounting software to record and monitor account activity. Unfortunately Ricky, I can’t recommend one particular piece of software over another. You may want to have a conversation with your lender about whether they’re able to provide a solution that fits with your current account set up.

      Thanks for your question.

  4. Default Gravatar
    hemathFebruary 13, 2014

    How do I reconcile a credit card transaction?

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobFebruary 14, 2014Staff

      Hi, Hemath.

      Once you’ve read through this page and have an idea of the information you will be required to provide to your lender, the next step is to get in touch with the lender and let them know that there may be a discrepancy in your card statement and your spending records.

      Thanks for your question.

  5. Default Gravatar
    kristyApril 22, 2013

    What is the easiest way to reconcile a visa card with multiple credit cards attached to it ?

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobApril 22, 2013Staff

      Hi Kristy. Thanks for your question. This basically refers to budgeting and planning. If you have a number of supplementary cards linked to the one account., each of these cards will have its own number and person’s name on it. You can manage these accounts, and keep track of their spending online easily enough, and you can use budgeting or planning software to record purchases, bills and repayments. Jacob.

  6. Default Gravatar
    PIERREJuly 18, 2012

    Is this available for me who lives in Gatineau, Quebec CANADA ??

    Thank You

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 19, 2012Staff

      Hi Pierre. This is an Australian service only. Cheers.

  7. Default Gravatar
    claudeOctober 18, 2011

    which credit cards offer a user-friendly method to reconcile your payments? thanks!

    • finder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 28, 2013Staff

      Hi Claude. Thanks for your question. With most credit cards, they offer online banking facilities, Electronic funds transfer is by far the easiest way to pay your card. Hope this helps — ask us a question if you would like to know more. Jacob.

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