Bank accounts

Tracking your bank accounts help with budgeting and fraud.
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Manage bank accounts FAQs

Managing your bank accounts can help you keep a budget, monitor for fraud and increase your savings. While most these days don't "balance their checkbook," you'll at least want to monitor your charges and deposits to make sure all transactions are accurate and initiated by you.

How do I dispute a bank transaction?

It is in your best interest to closely watch your bank account transactions. Nowadays, it is as easy to acquire your bank debit card information as it is to gain your credit card information. No longer does someone have to steal one of your checks to use your account. Thieves can steal your information from across the planet using technology. Most banks will monitor your accounts for odd transactions such as attempts to use your card in another country or for large purchases. But you should also watch your account closely.

If you see an unknown charge on your account, you should investigate it. You can first start by looking up the company paid. Sometimes a company may show up in your bank account listed with an unfamiliar name. Often you can find out easily if the name that shows up on a transaction is for a legitimate charge or not. If you need to dispute a fraudulent bank transaction you'll want to report the issue as soon as possible. Your bank may provide you with instructions on how to report fraudulent transactions. You'll also want to monitor your credit and other accounts just in case fraudsters have gained access to your other accounts as well.

I am self-employed, do I need a business bank account?

Most financial advisors will say, yes. If you are self-employed your are in a sense your own business or a sole proprietor and you should keep your personal and business transactions separate. Keeping your accounts separate helps with taxes and helps give you a clearer view of your revenue and business expenses. You may benefit from incorporating and obtaining a "doing business as" (DBA) and a business tax identification number too.

Other reasons to have a separate business account, it may help you to

  • Look professional
  • Protect your personal identity
  • Acquire funding
  • Manage business expenses better
  • Keep your personal transactions private
  • Process credit card transactions (with processing)

Are online-only banks safe?

Online banks are as safe as their brick-and-mortar counterparts in the US. They are required to follow the same rules and regulations as traditional banks, such as being FDIC insured. Online banks are tempting since many offer interest paying accounts and low fees. Whether you work with an online bank or traditional bank, most of us are used to conducting business online and have little need for visiting a physical branch office. Online banking suits the needs of most people and is often as secure as a traditional bank.

There are a few services to consider before choosing an online bank, such as

  • How many ATMs are available
  • How you have to deposit cash (if your business has a lot of cash transactions this might be a deal breaker)
  • Whether you think you have the need to interact with a teller in-person