Merchant Account Reconciliation

I'm looking for some best practices for reconciling a merchant account. I currently have an account setup in quickbooks for my merchant account, and move payments and credits there via the undeposited funds
(thus matching the CC batches that get sent out each night). From there, I move the money into and out of my bank account based on the statement I get from the bank.
Trouble is, my merchant account's statement (Paymentech) doesn't show me anything useful for reconciling: they don't have a summary by day of the money they actually transferred to/from the bank, and it's challenging (to say the least) to decipher all the various fees etc that are being charged. All I can reasonably infer are the opening and closing RPP balances. So when there's a discrepancy between the account I have in QB and the paymentech balances, it's nearly impossible to find the source.
Any recommendations that would streamline the process?
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Susan wrote:

    I've had three different merchant accounts and they all lacked a clear, easy to read statement. I can't say that my way is more correct than your way. I receive payment and bypass the undeposited funds and enter the charge directly into a simulated bank account with the name of the merchant account. Then I make a transfer from the merchant account into the checking account as the money shows up in the checking account. I enter the difference between the sales and the deposit into a merchant services expense account. Fortunately, they do send me a summary at the end of the month letting me know the total of fees charged and the total deposited so I can reconcile it. You're correct, it isn't easy.
    Bob
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I have no affiliation but I use the QuickBooks merchant services, processes the card right from QuickBooks, then they deposit the entire amount and debit for their discount. Makes record keeping a breeze, and their rates are competitive.
--
Ron Anderson
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Well, right up until a couple of months ago QB did have a reasonably good merchant statement. Then they went and mucked it up. They added the AMEX and Discover charges to their statement of Visa and MC charges. You're thinking that is a good thing, except each of them deposits separately so now you have to drill down and subtract out AMEX and Discover from each days total, and total them by hand so you can match your deposits to the mucked up statement!
Ron Anderson wrote:

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I do not accept those so I did not know that. Just one more reason not to accept those high discount cards/.
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Ron Anderson
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Ron Anderson wrote:

95% is better than 0%.
If a company won't accept my American Express, I ask them what the difference is between their store and a bait camp. Many, if not most, Amex card holders are, like me, fiercely loyal. You dismiss us at your peril.
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In the dozen or so years I have been accepting credit card the issue has come up only a very few times and the most of those had another card to pay with. I carry and use most every day an American express card but I seriously doubt I will ever accept it as a form of payment, and if you wish to not do business with me that is fine.
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Ron Anderson
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On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:49:35 GMT, "Ron Anderson"

If I can't put it on my Discover Card, you can keep it.
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GWB wrote:

    My business is too small to accept everything in sight so I went with MasterCard, Visa, Discover, checks and cash. While it might be nice to be able to accept whatever someone may have, it all comes at an expense to the business. If I attempt to accommodate every customer, my prices will put me out of the market for many other customers. I have nothing personal against AmEx, Diners, nor anyone else. I go with what makes a profit for me because that's why I'm in business. I fully realize I will lose one or two customers in order to serve the other 2000.
    Bob
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RobertM wrote:

If your potential customer wants to give you money, you should be prepared to take what they offer, no matter the form. I know of one shop who, over the years, has accepted (in addition to the cards listed above), Air Travel Cards, food stamps, foreign currency from at least 13 different countries, Traveler's Checks denominated in other than US dollars, money orders, rare coins, and a third-party check drawn on a Romanian bank.
He did turn down a bearer bond (or so he says).
I was in a newly-opened bookstore some years ago when a customer put a dozen hardcover books on the counter, maybe $200 worth of merchandise. The owner of the store said: "I'm sorry, we don't accept American Express. I'd be happy to take your Visa or Master Card, though."
To which the customer replied: "I wouldn't be caught dead with a Master Card." And left the store.
I'm sure you'll re-visit your policy when a similar event takes place. Someday it will.
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If your merchant takes its fee at the end of the month rather than directly out of each payment prior to deposit then you can go the really lazy but also accurate route. Wait until the bank statement arrives and use it to know on what dates deposits were made from your merchant service. Keep all of your cc payments in undeposited funds until that time. Your QB bank balance won't be accurate but adding the Undeposited Funds amount to that of the Bank amount should tell you how much money you have to work with.
I'd recommend talking to your merchant service provider. Tell them that their statements are unclear and do not give accurate detail that is necessary for your business. They might have a better statement although they probably charge more for it. I've been seeing a trend in that these companies will provide a basic balance summary "free" but charge you for a detailed statement. IMO that's unethical but then it seems alot of business service providers are unethical these days.
--
Tara



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Tee wrote:

    I pay $10 per month for my cryptic merchant statement. Added to this, I also have a check processing company. They are much better than the credit card people. I have the same bank for my checking account and merchant account. It would be nice if the merchant statement were as detailed as my checking account statement. If they can do it for one account, I don't know why they can't do it for the other account. I'd go with QB merchant services, but I'm in the middle of a 3 year contract. Merchant accounts typically run two to three years, so changing as soon as something better comes along isn't always an option.
Bob
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