I enjoyed the article Double-Teaming in Excel ( JofA , Nov.05, page 83 ). VLOOKUP is so versatile; I have used it to reconcile outstanding checks each month.
I download the checks that were paid for the month from our banks Web site into Excel, sort them by check number and list them in columns A (the check number) and B (the check amount) of a blank Excel sheet. Then I copy the checks outstanding from last month, put them together with the checks issued for this month and place them in columns C (holding the check number) and D (the amount). In column E I use VLOOKUP. It will return an N/A if the check has not cleared or the check amount if it has.
In column F I do a simple subtraction formula of the amount in column D less the amount in E. This will return a zero if there was no encoding error. However if there is an amount, then I know the check was cashed for a different sum than it was written for. Then, it is just an easy sort, cut and paste to my bank reconciliation sheet of those checks with an N/A in column E.
E.R. Carr, CPA
Brant Beach, N.J.