A smarter way to work with clients when reconciling the bank

Idea suggested by Kevin Doran 8 years ago


Client uses Clear Books to record sales & purchases and to perhaps input payments made/received if they remember.

Accountant pretty much does everything else, including that all important bank rec.

Having just brought a new client over where we're backdating everything to 1/4, i'm left with approx 50 bank transactions that still need explaining via bank imports split over 4 separate statements.

The question at this stage is, how best to run through these queries??

At the mo the options in my mind are:

  1. talk them all through on the phone
  2. copy and paste everything to an excel spreadsheet to be worked on outside of Clear Books (my current approach)
  3. direct the client into the bank imports, show him/her how to filter out items already reconciled then ask them for an explanation on anything remaining (or trust them to mark them correctly within the system which i'm afraid at present i'm not comfortable with)

What would be great would be to somehow generate a master list of 'still to explain' transactions that could easily be viewed by the client on a single screen instead of fiddling around with filtering stuff out over a number of different imports. To then go a step further, if this list had a small space on each line for some client notes or something similar that would be perfect. That way the client could give their insight without causing any damage within the books.

5 Replies

Hi Kevin, In Money > Bank Accounts > All, you should be given a full list of all transactions which are as yet unexplained from all the accounts listed together. However, as yet there is no feature available once you go through the explain option to see everything in one go. I can see that this would make it easier and more time efficient as you would not need to keep skipping back and forth. Although, this may well depend upon the number of transactions one has to explain as, if they have a great deal, they could be confronted with information overload and may well prefer the more specific/refined approach.

If this is a popular idea, it could be possible for our developers to find a way of making this available (as an option) so as not to overload people with information.



I've had several of these over the past couple of years and I don't upload any transactions into Cloud, or any other, accounting software unless I'm pretty sure I know what all the transactions are for.

So I'll send the client the bank export csv either highlighting the items I don't know or, more often, asking them to annotate every line, if nothing else it makes them appreciate what's involved and is also a good start to educating them in finally handling all the bank stuff themselves.

In cases where there are lines in unexplained statements then the filter mechanism is great and I tend then to email them a screen shot of the 4-5 items.

Xero provides a "discuss" tab on each unexplained item for the user or accountant to leave comments or questions, which is a great idea for one offs but you still have to email each other to say it's there or trawl through pages of items if there are loads.

I really like the discuss tab idea, maybe with an inbuilt notification trigger to the other party or something along those lines.

As CB's accountant base grows I can see this cropping up more often.

Another vote for the "Discuss" tab. I use it in Xero and it works really well.

I can see the value of the discuss option; my old cloud-based software had a "flag for attention" button which generated a list of lines which I wanted my accountant to check for me (make sure they were in the right accounting code, etc).

As a feature-set the report on all unexplained items across all bank imports as well as the discussion of single line-items would in my opinion be a Very Good Thing™ to implement.

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