What is a Stale Check? – Definition, Explanation, And Features

Definition:

A Stale Check is defined as a check that is presented to the bank after a considerable amount of time from the date that has been mentioned on the check. The dating timeline in this regard is mostly of a duration of 6 months or more.

While the bank might not always refuse to accept the stale check, yet it is often a cause of concern for the bank because it tends to be inconsistent because of the delay in the time period from when the check was issued, and when it was presented to the bank to be honored.

In simpler terminology, it can be seen that stale check is a check that is presented to the bank after 6 months of the date when the check was initially issued.

Explanation:

Stale Checks are often a cause of suspicion when it comes to the bank, and therefore, many countries have the rule that banks are not always obliged to honor such checks, and they can refuse to accept them on grounds of irregularity and suspicion.

In this regard, banks are a holistic term that is used to define commercial banks, as well as other financial institutions that include checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, as well as credit unions.

The concept of stale checks does not only apply to personal banking accounts but might also apply to business accounts. To further explain this concept, the following example can be used:

A company, Gen X Co. issued checks against inventory purchases from ABC Co. in January 2018. However, due to some reason, ABC Co. did not present these checks at the bank until 30th June 2018.

When the accountant found out that these checks had not been deposited in the bank, he sent them out to the bank to be subsequently filled.

However, to his dismay, the bank refused to deposit them and declared that those checks as stale. Hence, they were returned back to ABC Co.

Subsequently, ABC Co. requested Gen X Co. to reissue those checks, or have them verified again by their bank in order for the transaction to process in a smooth manner. 

Features of Stale Check:

The main underlying feature of a Stale Check is the fact that it has not been presented to the bank after a considerable time has passed.

Regardless of the reason behind the check not being presented, it would be considered stale, and might not be accepted by the receiving bank in the first go.

Moreover, even if the check has other subsequent information presented in a logical manner like signatures, names, etc., it can be seen that the check would still be considered stale because of the delayed deposit procedure.  

What is considered as a Stale Check?

A check is considered to be a stale check if it is not presented by the receiver of the check to the bank after a considerable amount of time.

Therefore, banks are reluctant to accept it without proper verification with the bank. In the same manner, it is also imperative to consider that checks are considered stale primarily because of the reason that banks find it harder to rationalize why checks that were dated months back, have not been presented to date.

Therefore, because of the delay involved, checks are considered to be stale.

How many months is a Stale Check?

Different countries have different requirements when it comes to the classification of stale checks. However, the general rule of thumb is that any check that has not been presented to the bank up to a period of 6 months is considered to be a stale check.

However, some banks also consider a check to be a stale check if it is not presented for encashment up till three months after when it has been issued.

Can a Stale Check be cashed?

Banks and other financial institutions are often reluctant to process stale checks because of the inherent risk and ambiguity involved.

Therefore, they always ask for verifications or check reissuance in cases where a stale check has been presented to the bank for encashment.

However, it can be seen that under special circumstances banks can choose to cash stale checks, given that they are well aware of the risks involved, and they have sufficient reasoning to back the claim that it is not a case of fraud or any sort of impeachment.

Hence, stale checks can generally not be cashed, unless there are measures and verifications taken either by the issuer of the check, or the person who is getting it cashed.

What is an Accounting Worksheet?

Introduction

During the normal course of business, record keeping and bookkeeping tends to be increasingly important in order to ensure that businesses have proper clarity and understanding regarding their financials. It is also considered pivotal because of the fact that it marginally improves the management within the company on grounds of enabling users of financial information to make decisions based on authentic historical information regarding the transactions that took place over the course of time in the company.

Therefore, numerous different tools are utilized by accountants in order to facilitate an improved record keeping system. Accounting worksheet is considered one such tool that helps companies to keep a proper record of the financial activities over the respective period of time, so that it can act as an aid for reconciliation, and relevant positing at year ends.

Definition

An accounting worksheet can simply be defined as a tool that helps bookkeepers and accountants to complete the accounting cycle, and prepare year-end reports in a manner similar to unadjusted trial balances, adjusting journal entries, as well as year-end financial statements.

An accounting worksheet is therefore, a simple representation in the form of a spreadsheet that helps to track each step across the accounting cycle. It normally constitutes of five sets of columns, which begin with the unadjusted trial balance accounts, and end with the subsequent year-end financial statements. These columns majorly include Trial Balance, Adjusting entries, Adjusted Trial Balance, Income Statement and Balance Sheet. Alternatively, accounting worksheets can simply be defined as a spreadsheet that shows all the major transactions and steps in the accounting cycle in a parallel fashion.

Therefore, with each step that is represented on the accounting worksheet, it can be seen that each step properly lists down debits and credits and totals are subsequently calculated at the bottom. Similar to trial balance, the accounting worksheet is also supposed to be headed with the company name, title of the report itself, as well as the time period during which these transactions have occurred within the company.

However, it must also be noted that accounting worksheets are mainly created for internal purposes within the organization, and therefore, this working paper is never publicly made available for any of the external parties. The fact that this is an internal document gives flexibility to the companies to prepare it according to their own requirements, so that they are able to adjust the format as per their own need.

Advantages of Creating an Accounting Worksheet

The main advantage of creating accounting worksheet mainly lie on the realms of effective management or resources, which can help companies to keep a track of their records and transactions for proper reconciliation.

Firstly, it can be seen that the accounting worksheet helps accountants to complete the process of preparation of financial statements in a much easier manner. This is because they have all the balances listed in a single worksheet that helps them to easily prepare the final year statements with relative ease. In the same manner, it also ensures the bookkeeper of the company to ensure that all the adjustments have subsequently been carried out by the company.

In the same manner, creating and preparing an accounting worksheet also helps to have a generic idea about the financial health of the company (by looking at the year end balances), before the actual financial statement of the company is prepared and subsequently published by the company.

Examples

A suggested model for preparation of the accounting worksheet is given below:

Conclusion

To summarize the definition and the usage of the accounting worksheet, it can be seen that it is best described as an accounting spreadsheet that summarizes the year end balances of almost all the accounts at the end of the given year. Hence, it is considered to be an extremely phenomenal and resourceful tool for organizations who want to ensure that book keeping and subsequent preparation takes place with authenticity and there are no items left out.

Regardless of the fact that it is not entirely biding to create an accounting worksheet, yet it considered as a good practice to prepare it for purposes of internal efficiency. However, this does not mean that accounting worksheet can solely be used for preparation of the financial statements. In fact, it is considered to be a subsiding aid to the process, with the help of which accountants can reconfirm account balances at the end of subsequent year. However, it still requires the accountants to reconcile balances at the end of every subsequent year to ensure that transactions and account balances have not been missed out upon.

Difference Between Rules and Policies

In Financial Accounting, both Rules and Policies help determine how a company prepares its financial statements. So, the differences between the two concepts might not be readily obvious.

Generally, rules and policies combine to form the body of guidelines that guides a company’s financial statements. The goal is to ensure that a company’s financial statements conform to the legally accepted standards.

But before we consider what makes rules and policies different, it is important to understand what each of them means and the connection between them.

What are the Rules?

Rules in Accounting are a set of principles that “must be” adhered to by a company in the preparation and presentation of financial statements.

They are the legal guidelines regulating the recording and reports of the financial data of companies within a particular state or country. Usually, these rules are set by the financial accounting governing bodies in a place.

In the United States, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) specify the rules guiding the quality of the financial reports of companies. The GAAP is set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).

It is a requirement for all publicly traded companies in the US to adhere to the GAAP. It also guides the activities of non-publicly traded companies too.

Failure to adhere to these rules might attract legal actions against a company by the governing bodies.

Cost, Accrual, Conservatism, Monetary Unit, Full Disclosure, and Reliability principles are some of the rules that consistent with the GAAP.

What are the Policies?

A company’s accounting policies are the standards set by the company for preparing its financial statements.

Simply put, policies are internally established procedures for financial reports. In essence, it is a company’s specific guidelines for following the general rules. They are specified by a company itself and not by external bodies.

Company policies are designed to help the company achieve its goals while still conforming to the generally specified rules.

Rules Vs Policies

To draw the line between these two concepts, you need to understand the connection between them.

Rules determine generally accepted financial report practices, while company policies are based on rules.

From its policies, a company can also derive internal rules for its operations.

The internal rules ensure that company policies are properly adhered to. The policies are designed to help the company maximize its potentials while conforming to the general rules.

The differences between Rules and Policies can be summarized thus:

While Rules are general accounting principles binding every company, policies are implemented by a company to help her adhere to the rules.

Rules are specified by the Financial Accounting governing bodies such as the FASB and IFRS. On the other hand, companies decide their policies and how to implement them.

Rules help regulate and maintain the quality of financial reports within a territory. Policies help a company to tailor the rules to achieve its goals.

Bottom Line

Having a lawsuit filed against a company for violation of rules can be detrimental to the reputation of the company. To avoid this, every company needs to ensure that it is guided in all its activities.

Adherence to rules by making effective policies will help a company stay out of trouble and maximize its aims and objectives.

Best Way to Organize Digital Invoices

Introduction

All businesses obtain receipts, invoices, and other documents in a bulk quantity. These documents should be neatly organized in an accurate office filing system. It is crucial to learn this organizing skill in order to not lose money, time, and other resources.

The invoices and documents should be organized in such a way that whenever one wants to access or retrieve them, they should be in easy reach.

The importance of all documents and files should be known by a business owner. Nowadays, the best businesses are those which have gone digital with the invoices. However, it is still important how to store and organize these digital invoices.

Description

A digital invoice eliminates a big percentage of cost and time in a payment flow. It is a modernized version of the payment through which the sending and receiving of invoices have been made convenient. There are many advantages of digital invoices which is why many companies and businesses are digitizing their invoices.

A tool automatically creates a digital invoice which extracts information from the accurate sources. An option is given to the person to check the precision of the information before the invoice is sent. Afterward, the tool sends the invoice by electronic means.

The receiver is notified when it will arrive. The recipient has the option to either receive the invoice in the bank or through email.

Steps to organize digital invoices

Choose a filing system

Before actually starting to organize, it is important to decide which filing system should be followed. Each system will have its own positive impact on the functioning of the business. The digital invoices can be organized in an alphabetical or numerical method.

The decision should be made on the way you usually access invoices. If the invoices are searched by account number or name, decide accordingly. Similarly, check the way your paperwork is assembled

i.e the category of finance, expenses or marketing.

Check the office and personal habits

Think which invoices need to be accessed frequently and which of your employees usually want instant access to the files. Monitor the work stations of all employees and the type of work they all do. Have a meeting with the staff to judge the location of the filing cabinet.

Check the storage needs

If the digital invoices are in a bulk quantity, then it is important to organize in such a way that they can be accessed daily. If the invoices are not checked daily, it is not necessary to have the filing system at the workspace. Moreover, there are some files which need to be stored for long-term and others need to be on the watch daily.

Benefits of digital invoices

Whenever a digital invoice is received, there is no need to scan the document. The details of account, due date and the invoice number is always accurate because this information is extracted from the correct sources. Automatic suggestions are given to the person for the bookkeeping purpose. More than 9 euros are saved upon receiving a digital invoice.

Whenever a digital invoice is sent, more than 5 euros are saved. The payment is received much earlier because the invoice is sent directly to the receiver’s bank or email. In case if the invoice does not reach the recipient, it is immediately known to the sender. There is no time or money wasted on postage, printing and packaging.

With the help of Cloud, digital solutions have become the future of the businesses. The companies are quickly adapting to the digital means to complete numerous tasks. Paper invoices are decreasing in number rapidly because they are dangerous to the environment and slow in process. It is more difficult to arrange the paper invoices than the digital invoices.

In the Nordics, more than 19 billion Euros can be saved per year if all invoices are digitized. Therefore, do not fall behind in technology and switch to the faster and more accurate electronic means of business tasks.

Conclusion

With the automatic process of digital invoices, the user does not have to print, submit a manual data entry or send via post. The formats which are supported by the digital invoices are B2G, E-invoice B2B, B2C email, PDF, paper printout, and People.

There are more numerous benefits of the digital invoices which is why it is both wise and safe to digitize the incoming invoices. Time is saved, costs get reduced and the peace of mind is secured.