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Help! My Brightpearl bank reconciliation doesn’t reconcile

my brightpearl bank reconciliation doesn't reconciliate

Bank reconciliation is very important – whatever system you are using for your accounting.  It helps you make sure that everything has been accounted for – not just those supplier payments, but also the bank charges, regular direct debits, and debit card payments that you forgot to get receipts for.

The principle of bank reconciliation is that you have an opening and closing bank balance for a period of time (often a bank statement for example) and you check that all the transactions you have in that time period match the change in the balance.  For example, you have an opening balance of £100 and a closing balance of £150 – you need to make sure that all your transactions added together give you a total of +£50.

But what do you do in Brightpearl when you don’t get to the correct closing balance and the lovely green box saying ‘Close Statement’ doesn’t appear?  There are a few things you can look at.

  • You simply haven’t found and ticked all the transactions that you need to.  Go back through the bank statement in a methodical way, making sure that everything matches.  If in doubt, get a second pair of eyes to check for you!  Looking at the overall difference may help locate the transaction that is giving you a problem.
  • Check that your Brightpearl opening and closing balances are correct.  A common mistake is to not notice that one of the figures is negative – this is especially true when reconciling credit card statements where the statement tends to show a positive number as a negative and vice versa.
  • Check that your dates are correct.  Some bank statements may continue the same day onto further statements.  It is fine to take a point midway through a day, but make sure you only tick transactions up to that point rather than all of them.

Even once an individual bank statement has been reconciled, there can be further problems where the overall balance on the bank account doesn’t match what is on the statement.  There can be various reasons for this.

  • No opening balance (or the wrong opening balance) was entered for the bank account. When you started using Brightpearl, a set of opening balances should have been entered into the system so that Brightpearl knows from what point to start.  If the bank balance was missing or incorrect, then any balance after that is also going to be wrong.
  • Brightpearl has bank transactions that haven’t been reconciled.  The bank reconciliation process is very good at making sure that all the transactions that should be present are actually there, but it isn’t so good at finding transactions that are there but that shouldn’t be!  Go the Activity Report for the bank account and use the filter to find transactions that haven’t been reconciled. These may be the ones causing you a problem.
  • Transactions may have the incorrect date on them. If a transaction has been dated earlier than when it actually appears on a bank statement, then it will be making the bank balance incorrect.  If it has been reconciled on a later statement then it can be tricky to track down as the filter for unreconciled transactions won’t find it. An alternative is to review earlier bank reconciliations and look for transactions that are colour coded grey (‘saved on another statement’). This is a good pointer that a transaction may have the wrong date on it.

If you have any questions about bank reconciliation or Brightpearl accounting in general, get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!


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