A cleared (C) transaction is one that you know has hit the bank or credit card, but has not yet been officially reconciled in the standard QuickBooks reconciliation process. Transactions may be marked cleared in a few ways, including:
- Manually marking the transaction cleared in the Register. Toggle between C, R, and neither by clicking in the cleared column of the Register (signified by a check mark).
- Importing a transaction via online banking. All transactions imported via online banking are automatically flagged as cleared since the transactions come straight from the bank, and therefore you know they have in fact hit the bank.
- Starting the reconciliation process and clicking the checkbox for a transaction, but leaving the reconciliation without finishing.
A transaction is marked reconciled (R) after you have gone through the standard month-end reconciliation process. All cleared transactions become reconciled transactions when the reconciliation is completed. A transaction is marked reconciled in two ways:
- Manually marking the transaction reconciled in the Register. I advise that you do not mark transactions as reconciled in the Register. Using the standard reconciliation process is almost always a better way to ensure that your bank records match your books.
- Reconciling the transaction using the standard QuickBooks reconciliation process.
Both cleared and reconciled statuses mean that the transaction has hit the bank account, but I think of cleared as a ‘quasi-reconciled’ status. It is worth mentioning that you do not have to mark a transaction cleared in order to reconcile it – it is an optional status. I personally do not pay much attention to the cleared status because I generally only reconcile my books to my bank accounts once a month when I am going through the formal reconciliation process. But if I needed to reconcile my books to my bank accounts more often, the cleared designation might be a handy tool to make sure that my books and bank were matching from day-to-day.