Imagine that you have two lists of cheques. One list is all of the cheques that you have written from your business bank account. The second is a bank statement. This list includes the cheques that have been cashed in the last month.

List of cheques from your accounting system.
List of cheques on the bank statement.

If you don’t have too many cheques, you can easily match up the cheques that were cashed to the ones that were written. The cheques that didn’t get cashed are your outstanding cheque-list. These are cheques that someone could cash next month.

But if you issue 300 cheques a month, things can get very complicated quickly. It can take a long time to match which cheques have been cashed, and what your outstanding cheque-list consists of.

Not any more. Now you can use this R script to compare two lists and find out what the differences are. If you run this list against your cheque-list and bank statement, you’ll find out which cheques are outstanding very quickly.

Cheque list after a comparison. The left is the list of cheques that you have written, date.y, amount.y is the list of cheques that were cashed from the bank.

Alternative Uses For Reconciliation

A bank reconciliation is only one use for a script that can match two columns. You can use the same script to match two lists of names to see which names are missing, or added, in the second list. You could also use the same list-matching to determine whether or not someone on the second list has the same phone number as a person on the first list.

In a world of ever-increasing datasets, tools like R, and this script, will continue to become more valuable in everyday work-life.

Check out the R script on GitHub today.