- Do you ever feel that you need a translator when reading your bank statement?
- If you have accounts with more than one bank, you’ll have noticed there is no consistency in terminology.
- Finty comes to the rescue with its comprehensive Australian bank statement glossary.
A bank statement, whether produced on paper or digitally, can be difficult to understand if you’re not totally familiar with the jargon used by bankers and accountants to describe bank account transactions.
Add to this the confusion caused by the fact that each bank – and there were 53 banking companies in Australia at the last count – may have its own preferences when it comes to a statement’s layout and the terminology used to describe the transactions listed in it.
If you’re comparing your official bank statement with the type of transaction history you can pull up in online banking, you may also see slightly varying terms between the two documents.
So, we decided that it was time to produce a glossary of the most common bank statement terminology, including those puzzling acronyms and abbreviations. It’s not an exhaustive list – there are too many banks and account types – but it should help to demystify the sometimes arcane language of bank statements.
Here it is.
Bank statement glossary
Account fee: A monthly or annual fee charged by the bank for administering the account.
ATM: Automated Teller Machine or Automatic Teller Machine. Entries on your statement may be preceded by a bank’s acronym or abbreviation, e.g. NABATM.
ATM cash/ATM csh: An amount of cash withdrawn from your account by using a card at an ATM.
Available balance: Most often seen in an online account balance summary or transaction list, it refers to the cleared amount you can actually spend. It excludes any online transfers into your account of uncleared funds, and ATM or over-the-counter deposits of cheques not yet cleared. Funds may take several days to clear, and as a result the available balance may be less than the actual balance.
Balance: The net amount remaining in your bank account after listed transactions have been processed.
BPAY/Bpay: An abbreviation of ‘Bill Payments’, a bill payment system available online, via mobile banking apps and over the phone.
Brought forward: The closing balance in a bank account at the end of the previous statement period (or at the end of the previous page of the statement) now reproduced to become the opening balance for the current period or page.
BSB: An acronym for ‘Bank State Branch’, a six-digit number used to identify a specific branch of a specific bank.
Card entry at X branch: A statement narration used by some banks to indicate a cash withdrawal made at an ATM or over the counter, where ‘X’ is the name of the branch, e.g. ‘Card entry at Hornsby branch’.
Carried forward: The closing balance in a bank account at the end of the current statement period (or at the end of the current page of the statement) which will be reproduced as the opening balance for the next period or page.
Cash/Csh: Used to indicate a banking transaction made using banknotes and/or coins.
Cash dep: A deposit made using cash.
Chq: An abbreviation of ‘cheque’, usually followed by a number (e.g. Chq 000934), when listing cheques which have been presented (i.e. deposited into their own account) by the payee.
Closing balance: The amount of money left in a bank account at the end of a statement period.
Cr: An abbreviation of ‘credit’.
Credit(s): Transaction(s) increasing the balance in a bank account (e.g. deposits, online transfers into the account).
Current balance: The net total of funds in a bank account after all transactions to hand have been processed.
Debit(s): Transaction(s) reducing the balance in a bank account (e.g. withdrawals, online transfers out of the account).
Deposit(s): Transaction(s) increasing the balance in a bank account (e.g. handing cash and/or cheques to a bank teller, feeding cash and/or cheques into an ATM, transferring money into a bank account via online banking).
Direct credit: A narration used by some banks to describe a deposit made via online banking or a mobile banking app (i.e. a transfer into the account).
Dr: An abbreviation of ‘Debit’.
EFTPOS: An acronym for ‘Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale’ (i.e. a payment made by debit card in the case of a bank account statement, or by credit card in the case of a credit card statement).
Funds transfer to: An online or mobile banking app transfer to another bank account.
Funds transfer from: An online or mobile banking app transfer from another bank account.
Interest/Interest charged: A charge made by the bank for money lent via a loan account or line of credit.
Interest/Interest paid/Interest earned/Interest credited: A payment made by the bank to the account holder for the use of the funds they hold in their account.
Interest rate: The percentage which will be applied to the account balance, usually expressed as an annual figure although it may be calculated daily or monthly, for the purpose of calculating interest charged or interest earned.
Internet transfer: A transfer of funds made online or via a mobile banking app.
Inward credit: A deposit made via online banking or a mobile app (i.e. a transfer into the account).
Money in: A term used by some newer or less traditional banks instead of ‘Credit(s)’ or ‘Deposit(s)’, based on its being self-explanatory rather than financial jargon.
Money out: A term used by some newer or less traditional banks instead of ‘Debit(s)’ or ‘Withdrawal(s)’, based on its being self-explanatory rather than financial jargon.
Online: Refers to a transaction made by internet banking, via a computer or mobile banking app.
Opening balance: The amount of money in a bank account at the beginning of a statement period.
Presented: Refers to a cheque which a payee has deposited in their own bank account.
Statement: An official paper or digital record of all transactions affecting a bank account in a given period decided by the bank (usually monthly, or half-yearly, or annually). It is not the same as a transaction history, a less formal list produced online of all transactions during a period specified by the account holder.
Statement period: The date range for the bank’s official paper or digital record of account transactions. Depending on the account type, or the account holder’s preference, the period may be a month (usually, but not necessarily, a calendar month from the first banking day to the last banking day), half-yearly, or yearly (often the financial year from 1st july to 30th June).
TFY: An acronym for ‘Total Financial Year’, usually preceding a total of debits, credits, interest charges, transaction fees or account fees for the financial year.
Total credits: The total of a column in a statement, or statement page, of all transactions increasing the balance of the account.
Total debits: The total of a column in a statement, or statement page, of all transactions reducing the balance of the account.
Totals at end of page: Totals of all columns (i.e. Debits or Money Out column and Credits or Money In column) on a statement page (except for the ‘Balance’ column, which shows the balance at the date reached at the end of the page, not the total of all the balances).
Totals at end of period: Totals of all columns (i.e. Debits or Money Out column, and Credits or Money In column) in the entire statement, including any preceding pages (except for the ‘Balance’ column, which shows the balance at the statement closing date, not the total of all the balances).
Transaction fee: A fee charged by the bank for processing a transaction such as a cheque or an online payment.
Transaction(s): Any movement(s) of funds into, or out of, the account.
Transaction history: A digital printable record of movements of funds into or out of the account in a period specified by the account holder (or other person with authorised online access to the account).
Transfer/Transfer from/Transfer to: Movements of funds into or out of the account via internet banking or mobile banking app.
WDL: An abbreviation of ‘Withdrawal’.
Withdrawal(s): A removal of funds from the account, usually made in cash at an ATM or over the counter.