Data entry time-savers: bank rules

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Bank Rules – Cloud Accounting

With the recent addition to SAGE Business Cloud of a bank rule function, now seems a good time to look at the banking rules as they apply to cloud accounting

What are Bank Rules?

Put simply, a bank rule is a way of matching and reconciling items which appear on your bank statement but for which no transaction has been created in your cloud software.

They are especially useful for entering payments which appear on your bank statements on a regular basis e.g. monthly or weekly wages.  When you’re logged into the bank feed, a transaction is suggested for you, saving you having to add all of the detail manually.

The rules can be applied to both incoming and outgoing bank transactions.

How they work

Firstly, you need to decide exactly which of the rules you want to apply. This can be for one specific area such as the name of the payee (for wage payments, for example) or a number of areas which must be met for the rule to be applied. For example, you could apply a rule whereby all payments to your bank under a certain value are treated as being bank charges.

As an example, a bank rule can be set up using an employee’s name so that every transaction which goes through the bank with that name is automatically posted to net wages.

Once you have decided on the rule or rules required and entered them into your software they will be applied to the relevant transactions each time they are downloaded from your bank. On each occasion that a bank statement line matches a rule, the system will suggest a transaction using the conditions you’ve set – all you need to do is confirm it.


The main advantage of using bank rules to assist with your bank reconciliations is the time saving they can have on your data entry.

Using wages payment as an example, you would only need to confirm the payments to the employee each month when doing your bank reconciliation rather than having to manually enter a transaction each time an employee is paid.

The use of bank rules also allows for greater accuracy. This can be especially useful where more than one person is carrying out bookkeeping duties and should help to eliminate mis-posting errors etc


Whichever software package you are using, the application of bank rules can give substantial time savings on your data entry and this, combined with the greater accuracy they can provide, mean that this often-overlooked feature should be given more attention.

Author: Jonathan Carroll:

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