Students will use a spreadsheet to enter checkbook transactions and reconcile.

KEY CONCEPTS

Bank Account, Bank Service Charges, Bank Statement, Check, Check Register, Checking Account

STUDENTS WILL

  • Complete an electronic checkbook for four months and reconcile.  
  • Determine outstanding checks and deposits.
  • Find errors and correct in the reconciliation process if data entry errors are made.

INTRODUCTION

Do you want a fast way to teach bank reconciliation that focuses on process?  In this lesson, students will use a check register template to enter fictitious transactions.  They will also be given a bank statement to reconcile their checkbook with the bank.  Your students will enjoy the ease of using technology to make banking easy but gain the concepts of determining the adjusted bank and checkbook balances.  

MATERIALS

  • Check Register Template: Introduced during step one of the Process section of the lesson.
    Template
     
  • Checkbook Key: Monthly transactions and bank statements for January, February, March, April, May, and June.
    Checkbook
     
  • Teacher Guide: A guide to using the template, answer key, and additional monthly transactions for the extension activity.
    Guide

PROCESS

checkbook1.  Using the checkbook guide, complete January's monthly transactions and reconciliation with them.  They will now have a model to refer to and will be off to a good start.

2.  Make sure that the students see that the bank balance agrees with the checkbook before they are allowed to proceed to February.  Don't forget the service charge.

3.  Assign the remaining months.

4.  For assessment, have students complete April and reconcile.

CONCLUSION

Students will be able to enter transactions and reconcile after this activity.  Encourage them to use the spreadsheet for their own transactions.  For students who do not have Excel at home, explain that they can use a free spreadsheet on Google Documents and have free storage. 

Economics predicts that when the cost of an activity decreases, people will do more of it.  This checkbook should reduce the amount of tedious work that students have to do to keep accurate checkbook records so they will do more of it!

After completing this lesson students will have a valuable tool to help them make intelligent personal finance decisions.

ASSESSMENT ACTIVITY

1.  Ask the students to complete the transactions for April and reconcile.

EXTENSION ACTIVITY

atm1.  The extension activity introduces students to Automatic Payments, ATM transactions, and Debit card transactions.  Explain to the students how to enter these transactions into their spreadsheet.

2.  Assign the transactions for May and June.

3.  Check to see if the checkbook agrees with the bank statement.

EDUCATOR REVIEWS

  • “Outstanding, simplified flow exceeding manual teaching of this process!! More likely to be used by students in the future using computer. Please add a very important word to the Glossary: Reconcile-To bring into harmony; spreadsheet and checkbook balance match. I've religiously reconciled monthly for over 40 years, unlike my peers, and will now use it myself.”

    Tanya H., Cleveland, OH   POSTED ON January 4, 2013

  • “Very nicely done! This is a great resource for teachers and parents.”

    A W., Philadelphia, PA   POSTED ON July 17, 2013

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