The Definition of a Statement of Account

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The Definition of a Statement of Account
A statement of account lists all transactions undertaken over a specified period of time. (Calculating payments image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com)

A statement of account, also called an account statement or bank statement, is a document that is issued to a customer listing all transactions undertaken over a specified period of time. Statement of accounts are commonly issued monthly and include details pertaining to invoices, credits and payments received. It reflects a user's financial position, account details and account summary for each billing period.

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Types

The two main types of account statements are bank account statements and investment account statements. Bank account statements are documents (hard copies or electronic copies) detailing transactions that take place during a specified period. Investment account statements are issued to investors and show the current position of various financial instruments, including bonds, stocks and mutual funds. They allow an investor to keep track of his investments and update them on any changes in their values, interest rates and the like.

Template/Format

A statement of account follows a format similar to a credit card statement. It lists the date; issuing company (or bank) name together with its address (city, state and zip code) and telephone number; customer name, address (city, state and zip code); summary of transactions in a tabular form with the leftmost column indicating the date corresponding with a particular transaction, the next column to its right indicating a short description of the transaction, the third column indicating its associated charges (in dollars), the fourth column indicating credits (in dollars) and the last column indicating the account balance. The first row of each statement of account lists the balance brought forward, or the previous account balance from the proceeding month, or accounting period.

An investment statement lists the portfolio value, portfolio summary, portfolios asset allocation, cash flow, interests, dividends, information about additional registered accounts, activity associated with each account and asset details.

Delivery Method

Previously all account statements were delivered in the mail. Technological advances have made it possible for statements of accounts to be securely attached and send with e-mails. An account holder has the option of checking her statements online, and some banks willingly fax customer statement of accounts upon request.

Importance

A statement of account allows users to verify all payments by comparing them with their corresponding entry. For instance, checks can be verified by a check number, the name of the payee, its amount and the date the amount was posted by the bank. Similarly, users can verify credit card payments by their corresponding amounts charged, transaction dates and name of the payee. Account statements allow users to prove expenses, if need be, for taxation purposes. It allows an account holder to manage funds in a more efficient manner.

Warning

An account holder must scan all transactions listed on her statement of accounts and verify their accuracy. In addition, all current and previous statements must be securely filed (preferably in a safe) to prevent financial and identity theft.

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