Say I write a check (in British English, a cheque) to pay money to some supplier out of my business's current account. I post the check.
As far as I'm concerned, the company has spent that money and it needs to be noted down. The money won't leave my company's electronic current account until the check reaches its destination and has been taken to some other bank and processed.
How should I represent this correctly? Should I open a liability account? Would "outstanding checks" be the correct name for this?
To try to answer this for myself I've read about double entry bookkeeping and searched, including looking for spelling as "check" and "cheque". Best I've found is this http://www.double-entry-bookkeeping.com/category/bank-cash/
I can't live with the fact that my accounts package would report a different current account balance from the bank for a while. Correct approach or suggestions for further reading much appreciated.
Extra info: the time horizon (time the written and signed check might be "out there") is several days at least and, in the general case, unknown. The check could easily be in the post at the end of the reporting period, because that's when I tend to write checks for certain things. So I'm looking for an answer, if there is one, that keeps my books "live" and accurate at all times.
Update - well, this isn't an entirely academic question - I actually need a solution to this! As a working attempt, I've opened up an account under liabilities called "Cheques written" and entered the amount there, with a corresponding entry in the appropriate expenses account. When the electronic transfer finally goes over, I'll enter it against the business's current account and against the "Cheques written" account, which will bring the liability back to zero (assuming no more cheques meantime) and keep the accounts package always aligned with the "truth" on the bank's statement. Is this a sensible way to handle things - am I storing up trouble for later?