Account Statements are a set of information detailing information about our usage of a utility, service or savings. We get them periodically either via email, by email and more recently via text messages. However, we more often than not overlook them or simply just don’t bother reconciling the most recent message to the last information we get. This can come back to bite if not tracked regularly costing us hard earned money as well as time trying to figure out. So here are the top 5;
1.Bank Statements -?Most business owners and employees operate one form of account statement or the other. Whilst some entrepreneurs may have accountants who regularly perform bank reconciliation statements most do not. Bank statements should be checked weekly by account holders either at the end of the week or at the start of the week or both. It is easy to check bank statements these days as most banks offer online banking making statements available on the go, real time online. Checking your bank statements help you quickly identify frivolous charges banks make you incur, nipping it in the bud just before it goes unnoticed for too long. Alerts are also a form of on the go statements banks send these days. It is also important to read them all the time and also compare them to previous messages to ensure it is mathematically consistent and correct.
2.?Phone Bills?– Phone bills in Nigeria are predominantly GSM bills and can come as a prepaid bill or post paid. Unlike prepaid subscribers, postpaid subscribers receive statements itemizing their phone bills monthly. This can also be checked online as well helping subscribers manage their phone cost and seek remedies on time for disputed bills. Prepaid subscribers do not receive statements from their providers, however they receive on the go messages once a call, text is made or even when data is consumed. Following the recent NCC guidelines, Telecoms have now been mandated to send text messages once a service has been consumed.
3.?Electricity Bills?– Electricity bills currently comes in the form of the infamous “Nepa Bills”, or can be checked on your meters if you use a prepaid meter. No matter the type of service you use, electricity bills are important statements that must be checked periodically by all. Overlooking it can be very costly.
4.?Pension Statements?– The Pension Commission mandates, Pension Fund Administrators to issue statements detailing your pension contributions and value at the end of the month. For employees that see their pay slips regularly deducted for pension contribution it is important that you receive this statement as this is confirmation that your employers are remitting amounts deducted from your salaries. Pension contributors should also check the value of the contributions to ensure that their contributions are not being constantly eroded by inflation. Comparisons can also be made between pension funds to ensure that your PFA is creating competitive value on your money.
5.?Toll Statements?– A friend who recently decided to look into his statements realized that his wife incurs almost double what his own toll bill. He decided to investigate and found out that he goes past the toll gate four times everyday because he has to drop his wife at work go back and pick his kid at school to drop at home and then go back for his wife. A round trip that he can cut short by half if he took the alternate route on his way back to pick his kid from school. Luckily this was quickly rectified by my friend because he checks his statements regularly. Toll fairs I believe will become a regular feature in Nigeria as infrastructural developments become widespread. Most state governments will leverage on Public Private Partnerships to to build intra state roads to enable business connect and ease the movement of goods and services. This will affect everyone making toll fares an important part of our budget. Those living at the Lekki area already feel this pinch as the commute back and forth the LCCI 50km built Lekki Road.