Reconciling Your Purchase Account Statement
You will receive a statement notification, either electronically or through the mail, from the contractor bank once a month for your GSA SmartPay purchase account. The statement is mailed directly to your business address unless the agency is using the service provider’s Electronic Access System (EAS).
When you receive your monthly statement:
- Identify and annotate any erroneous charges and work with the merchants and the issuing bank contractor on a resolution.
- Review and reconcile your statement within the timeframes required by your agency (usually 3 to 5 days). Reconciling your statement includes reviewing receipts, citing proper accounting codes, documenting disputed items, and completing any other documentation required by your agency.
- Forward your statement to your Approving Official and the appropriate Payment/Finance office for payment.
Reconciling a Credit
On occasion your statement will show a credit for a transaction that took place in a prior billing period. An example would be a credit for a returned item. When you get a credit several months after the original purchase, reconcile back to the original purchase documentation and note that the credit was received.
As an account holder, you are responsible for reviewing all charges on your statement. One of the first signs of fraud is at least one “mystery expense” showing up on your statement. Verify your statement by:
- Looking for transactions or account withdrawals you do not recall making; and
- Checking for unknown vendors.
If you do notice a questionable charge, act promptly so that you will have the necessary information before payment is due.
- Contact the merchant for clarification on the charge. If you need help identifying the merchant, call the contractor bank's customer service number. If the charge is erroneous, generally the merchant will reverse it, and it will appear as a credit on your next statement. Be sure to follow up and make sure the credit was posted to your account and deduct the credited amount from your payment. If the credit is not posted in a reasonable amount of time, dispute the charge with the bank. If the merchant says it is a legitimate charge to your account, ask for proof, such as a signed receipt. If, after receiving the additional information from the merchant, you do not agree that it is a legitimate charge, dispute the charge with the bank.
- A dispute is a disagreement between the account holder and the merchant with respect to a transaction. You, the account holder, are responsible for notifying the contractor bank of any items in dispute and shall have 90 calendar days from the transaction date to initiate a dispute, unless otherwise specified by the agency/organization.
- Disputable charges include double billings and charges to your account that belong to another account.
- Non-disputable charges include sales tax and shipping.
- Payment of the undisputed charges must be made by the payment due date. Once you have submitted the dispute to the bank, delinquency of the disputed amount will be held in abeyance until the matter is resolved.
Note: You relinquish your right to recover a disputed amount if you do not dispute it before 90 calendar days from the transaction date.