Reconciliation discrepancies - basic checks

Reconciliation process can get very frustrating. One must TAKE CHARGE and INVESTIGATE discrepancies.

See Neglect Card Payment Reconciliation at Your Peril

Start by checking the following steps and work with your team + get help from your providers/vendors.

- Understand the processes
Make sure you understand the card payment processes and reconciliation processes. If you do not understand how it works and what needs to be accomplished chances it is not done right.
Note to new merchants: Bank deposits are not instantaneous. There are several days between payments completed on a payment application and the bank deposits. In addition, depending on the country and the card type, the number of days can vary. In other words, not all payments for one day will get deposited into your bank account on the same day.

- Make sure your process is accurate. Don't assume it is.

- Create a Reconciliation table
Do not review individual reports to compare data. Input data into a single reconciliation table and then look at the data side by side. Basic reconciliation table should at least allow to account for payment date by card type and bank deposit date by card type.

- Is your data accurate?
You must be absolutely sure that the data you are using is in fact what you need to use or what you think you have. One obvious mistake is when one uses reports that are created based on the wrong querries and parameters. For example, a report by settlement date when one is thinking it is by capture date (=payment completed date). 2 apples will never match with 2 pears.

- Ensure that the revenue reports you compare are based on the same time frame
Example: if one report includes revenue for 24 hr period from 8 pm to 8 pm while the other from 12 midnight to 12 midnight, they will not match.
In this situation, you need to decide what your business day should be from a card processing standpoint and ensure that all your systems / reports open /close at the same time.

- Not all transactions are part of revenue
Make sure you do not include any declined/errored transactions that are not completed payments.

- Make sure to account for all transactions and adjustments
One must be sure to include all refunds / charges from all payment solutions using the same set of merchant IDs + all refunds / charges created/issued by various parties within the organization (for example finance or customer service groups) + account for all charge back and disputed amounts.