Checkbook Transaction Register Printable vs Checkbook Software vs App

Applies to Excel templates:  "Georges Excel Checkbook Register", "Georges Excel Checkbook for Mac"

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What is a checkbook register?

A checkbook register is a transaction log, ledger, or journal on which to record your checking account transactions. It can be paper based such as a paper checkbook register or it can be software based such as an Excel checkbook spreadsheet template or checkbook app.

In your register, you record deposits, checks written, check payments, transfers between accounts, online bill payments, debit card transactions, ATM transactions, automatic payments and withdrawals and other account debits and account credits and your running balance. Some common columns in your checkbook register will be item number or check number, date, description of transaction, payments / debits, fees, checkmark (for reconciled), T (for tax deductible), deposits / credits, and balance.  Make sure the checkbook register you choose has the columns that you need to manage your checking accounts.

Banks have a similar process by which they record your bank account transactions in accounting ledgers and print out the results on your monthly bank statements or make the transactions available to you via online banking or downloadable statements via pdf.

It is important to keep your own checkbook register of your checking account transactions so that you can compare this to the your monthly bank statements prepared by your bank and make sure that they match and all transactions have been recorded accurately which is the process known as bank account reconciliation or checking account reconciliation. Also, keeping track of your own transactions in a check book register allows you to know what your real balance is, which may be different then what your bank says you have available due to outstanding transactions that have not yet been process by the bank such as an outstanding check.


Compare Checkbook Register Types

  • Paper check book register (printed). Many people still prefer to use the paper checkbook transaction register and a pen or pencil to record and keep track of their bank account transactions. All you need is the paper checkbook register and you can usually get these for free from you local bank where you opened your checking account.

    The main benefits of the paper checkbook register are simplicity and cost. You do not need a phone, tablet, computer or other electronic device typically required to run checkbook software or a checkbook app. The paper checkbook registers are free or very cheap. You can find them online at Ebay or Amazon searching for term checkbook register. The paper based checkbook registers are also mobile, you can fit them in your pocket book, pocket or briefcase.

    Some negatives are that the process is a manual process to enter transactions. There is not automated download of transactions. Also you have to manually add and subtract each transaction to determine your running balance, so accuracy could be an issue.

    Paper check book transaction register

  • Printable checkbook registers in PDF file format. You can find these online, and many times downloadable free printable checkbook registers as pdf files. The PDF format stand for the portable document format and was originally created by Adobe company. All you need to open the pdf file is a free pdf file reader like the Adobe reader which you can download for free.  After you download and open the checkbook register, you can then print it on a paper.

    Depending on how the checkbook register was designed, you may be able to print out the blank checkbook register on a regular 8.5 x 11 inch letter sized paper and then make copies at needed. You can then hand write your checking account transactions on the printed checkbook register.
  • Editable and Printable checkbook register in PDF file format. These are the same as the printable checkbook registers with the added feature that some or all fields may be editable. So after you download the checkbook register, you can edit certain fields within abode reader on you computer, laptop, tablet for other device that can read adobe files. You can just print it out the checkbook register and have it on paper.
  • Spreadsheet based checkbook software. Excel Checkbook software is another option to record your bank account transactions. These checkbook register templates help simplify the process by automatically calculating running balances using Excel formulas also simply the bank reconciliation process.

    You can find free Excel checkbook register software online that can be downloaded or there are other options for paid ones. There are other spreadsheet based checkbook registers, for example there are ones that use google sheets. Here is an Excel checkbook register template that I created as a digital download. The benefit of using Microsoft Excel over Google sheets is that Excel is more widely used and is more advanced when it comes to formulas and writing macros that can simply tasks by using visual basic programming (vba). Google sheets has the benefit of being entirely online is that is an option that you desire.

    Checkbook App - Excel Template


  • Checkbook apps. Due to the growth of mobile devices such as wireless phones and tables and other mobile devices, mobile apps that run on these mobile devices have become very popular and more so then some desktop software applications. You can keep track of you bank account transaction right on your phone with a checkbook app.

    Checkbook apps are typically designed for mobile devices such as your iphone or Android based phone such as the Samsong Galaxy and can be found online when searching for mobile apps at the Apple App Store for iphone apps and Google Play for downloading android compatible apps. You can find free checkbook apps and checkbook apps that must be purchased.

    One of the main benefits of mobile apps vs desktop software is the mobility of the apps in that wherever you take your phone, you can also have your checkbook app with you. Even if you use checkbook register software and install it on a laptop computer which also gives you mobility but the phone is still more convenient since it is easier to carry with you. The one negative of the checkbook app on a phone is that viewing your data on a larger computer screen of a desktop or notebook computer is easier than the smaller screen of a phone, however the trend is toward larger phone screens.
  • Online checkbook registers. There are also web based checkbook software programs that you access via the internet. These web based checkbook registers give you anywhere access as long as you internet access and a device that can access that internet. These are known as cloud based services. Some are free and some have monthly subscription fees.



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