In a bank reconciliation, what happens to the outstanding checks of the previous month?

personal or business
unclaimed property

If you receive a cashier’s check, look for a “void after X days” disclaimer and make sure you cash or deposit the check before then. If you discover an old cashier’s check, contact the issuing bank and ask them what they need from you to handle the transaction. Cashier’s checks are a type of “official check” and the rules surrounding them can be complicated. There’s no set or specified expiration date for cashier’s checks.

outstanding check

That said, both outstanding checks and outstanding deposits refer to transactions that have not yet been posted to your account. Personal checks are typically good for 6 months , but business checks, government checks, U.S. Treasury checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, and traveler’s checks are different.

It may be necessary to issue a new check without getting the old check back if the original check was lost or destroyed. This presents a thorny situation—two checks might be circulating for a single payment. If the old check is deposited, your bank might honor it, and you could consequently end up paying double. Individuals can reduce surprise withdrawals in personal accounts by using online bill payment instead of issuing paper checks. If a check is destroyed or never deposited, the money remains in the payer’s account. At first glance, this may seem like a positive turn of events for the payer.

How long is a check good for: Do checks expire?

This language may include phrases like “valid for 90 days”. However, in most cases, this language is not enforceable. Money orders are a substitute for checks and generally used for lower value transactions. If you’re trying to figure out if a cashier’s check or a money order would better suit your needs, read our article Cashier’s Check vs Money Order. Cashier’s checks are a special type of check and they’re typically used for larger transactions.

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Read on if you need information about a specific type of check. If the outstanding check is less than six months old, you should not write another check. The original check is still valid, and the payee can cash or deposit it. It’s fine to contact the recipient after a few weeks to find out if they’ve lost the check or when they plan on cashing it. If they can’t get to the bank, you may want to ask them to return the check to you and you can pay them using another method.

What Does Outstanding Checks Mean?

It can be corrected by reviewing the bookkeeper definition numbers, whether it belongs to the series. In addition, they should not be already stale to be valid. Stale checks are reverted to accounts payable and added back to the cash balance. Some issued checks are erroneously recorded by accounting in another bank account. Indeed, because of too many transactions being processed, mistakes are unavoidable.

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These numbers represent the bank’s routing number, the payor’s account number, and the check number. Read on…A subsidiary ledger , at a minimum, should comprise 9 essential things. Based at Harvard Business School, a balance sheet shows the book value of an entity.

History of Checks

For example, a check recipient has no proper accounting. Good accounting helps payees determine all cash collections and deposits. It ensures that all cash collections are recognized in the records so that deposits are done on time. Also, the receiver has no Identification card or a bank account. This is common among third-world countries but in the United States, it is not a problem. People without work do not usually have identification cards and bank accounts.

Also, the amount in numbers is not equal to the words written on it. The words on the check should equal the numbers written on it. A check with an unreadable check number will not be accepted by a bank. So, the issued checks will never clear in a bank if they have so many inaccuracies and become outstanding checks. According to Investopedia, an outstanding check is a check issued by a payor but still not encased or deposited.


This can help prevent any unnecessary NSFs if the payee decides to cash the check at a later date. Issued checks with too many errors in words and figures get rejected by a bank. In this case, the check could have errors in words in the amount section. Legible words on a check are required for it to be valid.

Check: What It Is, How Bank Checks Work, and How To Write One

Lending products are subject to credit application and approval. Continue to keep track of the value of the check in your account register. Please contact your Company Administrator to reset your password if you continue having problems logging in. Your Company Administrator is the only individual able to reset your password. Businesses that mishandle these kinds of accounting situations are effectively in violation of the law. Khadija Khartit is a strategy, investment, and funding expert, and an educator of fintech and strategic finance in top universities.

The cash balance is calculated through the addition of cash collections and subtraction of disbursements to the beginning cash balance. You can tell if a check is outstanding by reviewing your online bank account. From there, you can confirm whether or not the check has been processed. Alternatively, you can contact your bank directly with the check number and ask them to confirm. Lastly, you can contact the recipient of the check and ask them to confirm whether they have deposited or cashed the check. It could be difficult to cash a possibly expired cashier’s check or to get a replacement cashier’s check.

The payee cannot cash or deposit the check once a stop payment has been issued. Here are some tips about dealing with outstanding checks. If you’ve been given a check, it’s best to cash or deposit it as soon as feasible.

A check is a written, dated, and signed instrument that contains an unconditional order directing a bank to pay a definite sum of money to a payee. As businesses have to abide by the unclaimed property laws, any checks that have been outstanding for a long time must be remitted to the state as unclaimed property. An outstanding check is still a liability for the payor who issued the check. One example is a certified check, which verifies that the drawer’s account has enough funds to honor the amount of the check. To certify a check, it must be presented at the bank on which it is drawn, at which time the bank will ascertain its authenticity with the payor. A series of coded numbers are found along the bottom edge of the check, directly underneath the memo line and the payor’s signature line.

If a check was issued to you and it’s still outstanding after six months, contact the check issuer and request a replacement. As mentioned above, you may need to return the original check or sign documents confirming the check is lost or destroyed. If you cannot find the issuer, consult your state’sabandoned property program to claim assets.

  • The use of checks cuts out the need for one party to transfer a large sum of physical cash to another party.
  • Balancing your checkbook is akin to what professional accountants do during reconciliation.
  • They must make sure that enough money remains in their checking account to cover the check until it is paid.

Another example is a payroll check, or paycheck, which an employer issues to compensate an employee for their work. In recent years physical paychecks have given way to direct deposit systems and other forms of electronic transfer. While not all checks look alike, they generally share the same key parts. The name and contact information of the person writing the check is located at the top left-hand side. The name of the bank that holds the drawer’s account appears on the check as well.

Outstanding Deposits

You can also call or write to remind the payee that the check is outstanding. If they haven’t received the payment, this may nudge them to notify you to reissue the check. Checks can be used to make bill payments, as gifts, or to transfer sums between two people or entities. They are generally seen as a more secure way of transferring money than cash, especially when there are large sums involved. If a check is lost or stolen, a third party is not able to cash it, as the payee is the only one who can negotiate the check.

The value of the investment may fall as well as rise and investors may get back less than they invested. Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking into what an outstanding check is. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.


It is common to have outstanding checks at the end of the month. For instance, the check remains outstanding because of bank clearing. In addition, payees often have to schedule the deposit date. Some companies would transmit collections to a bank daily, every three days, or weekly.

  • For example, they should be reviewed regularly to see whether they are recorded in the right bank account.
  • We will also answer a few important questions and compare outstanding checks to outstanding deposits.
  • They are still undeposited by payees as of the bank reconciliation date.

An outstanding check draws on the funds in an individual’s or business’ bank account but has not yet been cashed or deposited by the payee. Those are common to entities that do not have monthly Bank Reconciliation Reports. Second, outstanding checks were cleared in the bank, but for some unknown causes, a bank made several errors. These errors are not common since bank employees are well trained. Outstanding checks appear in a bank reconciliation statement because of many reasons.

Read our article about What’s a Cashier’s Check if you’d like more information about cashier’s checks themselves. The amount of outstanding checks is sometimes referred to as float. Ask the payee to sign a document promising not to deposit both checks. This won’t prevent banks from processing two deposits, but the document can provide a useful paper trail if you want to dispute one of the deposits.

Hence, stale checks in accounting are debited to Cash in Bank Account and Credited to Accounts payable. Outstanding checks are normally deducted from the bank statement balance every month to calculate the correct balance sheet‘ cash balance. In this case, they are still valid and recorded in the right account in the cash record. That is to say, they are normally cleared within a few banking days. Generally, the cash balance in a balance sheet usually differs from the total bank statement balances at the end of the month.

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