What Is an Account History?

Account History Explained in Less Than 4 Minutes

A person uses a phone calculator while looking at his bank account history.
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An account history is a list of all the transactions that took place in a bank or other financial account.

Learn how an account history works, where to find it, and why it’s important to review it.

Definition and Example of Account History

Account history is a chronological listing of all the transactions that took place in a bank or other financial account.

Typically, both posted transactions, which are those your financial institution has fully processed, as well as pending transactions, which are transactions your bank has not fully processed, are indicated in your account history. Your running account balance after each transaction is usually indicated on the account history as well.

In addition to the transactions list, your bank may allow you to see check images in your account history.

  • Alternate name: Account activity

For example, if you open a bank account on July 2 and make an initial deposit of $100, deposit a check the following week, withdraw cash from an ATM a few days later, then get paid on Friday, your account history for the past week may look like this.

Date Transaction Type Amount Balance
July 2 Deposit in Branch + $100 $100
July 5 Check Deposit + $350 $450
July 8 ATM Withdrawal - $200 $250
July 9 Direct Deposit + $1,000 $1,250

How an Account History Works

You can obtain your account history online from your bank through your bank’s website or mobile app.  The ability to almost instantaneously access your account history is one of the major benefits of online banking.

However, it is typical for banks to only permit customers to download account history for a certain time period, such as 18 months. If you need your account history beyond what’s available through online banking, you may need to reach out to your bank to find out if it has a way to provide statement copies beyond what you can download online.

Also, it is possible your financial institution may make a mistake in your account history, so it is important you maintain your own account records to check for discrepancies against the account history prepared by your financial institution.

Types of Account Histories

The transactions in a particular account history will vary depending on the type of account the history is for.

Account Type Typical Transactions in Account History
Checking account Checks deposited, checks written, cash withdrawn, direct deposits
Savings account Deposits, transfers, interest earned
Brokerage account Deposits, transfers, dividends, margin interest charges
Credit card account Payments, credits, purchases, balance transfers, cash advances, fees, interest charges

Account History vs. Account Statement

Although they provide much of the same information, account history is not the same as an account statement.

Account history is simply a listing of transactions in your account, while an account statement is a document that your bank or other financial institution prepares on a monthly basis that shows not only your account history for the statement period but also other important information.

For example, while both your account history and account statement show the list of transactions that took place in your account, only your account statement will also show you:

  • Your average daily balance for a bank account.
  • Your minimum payment due and payment due date for a credit card account.
  • Your account holdings and change in investment value in a brokerage account.

While an account statement is usually generated on paper or electronically around the same time each month, an account history is available almost anytime online and includes pending items that may not appear on the statement.

Benefits of an Account History

Keeping track of your account history on a regular basis is the easiest way to ensure you have enough money in your account to cover a purchase or other transaction. Also, by maintaining your own records and comparing them to your account history, you can alert your bank of any errors or discrepancies.

Key Takeaways

  • Account history is a listing of all transactions that took place in an account at a bank or other financial institution.
  • You can obtain your account history online from your financial institution, although it’s common for institutions to limit how far back you can obtain account history.
  • Account history is not the same as an account statement, which typically provides more information than what is found in an account history.
  • It is important for you to check your account history periodically to make sure you have enough money in your account as well as to ensure that your financial institution is correctly recording transactions in your account.