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What Is Account History?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Account history is the documented record of all transactions related to a specific account. Histories are prepared and maintained on all types of financial accounts, including bank, credit card, and investment accounts. While the detail and structure of the history may vary somewhat from one setting to another, there are a number of types of information that are found with just about any account history.

One of the essentials of any account history is the assignment of an account number. This number allows both the provider and the account holder to easily reference the current status of the account, based on the transactions that have been recorded up to that point in time. Providers also use the account number as one of the criteria for conducting searches involving past activity on the account, as well as a means of cross-referencing any other accounts the holder may have with the same institution.

Along with the account number, the account history includes information about current and past addresses. Often, this will include not only physical addresses, but also mailing addresses. In the event that there is more than one individual authorized to make use of the account, addresses for each party are usually included in the detail.

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All transactions that occur with the account are documented in the account history. This includes any debits or credits that may apply to the balance found within the account. For example, a credit card account history will include details regarding all charges made on the account, payments received and posted to the balance on hand, and the application of any finance charges due on the outstanding balance. This information can easily be sorted, making it possible to view the transactions in chronological order, or segregate them by type.

The same is true with the account history on a brokerage account. With this type of account, all purchases and sales made by the investor are recorded and available for review at a later date. The detail can be helpful when it comes to calculating taxes, as well as provide the investor with a verifiable record of all activities that were conducted on his or her behalf by a particular brokerage.

Maintaining an accurate account history is extremely important, since the data is routinely provided to credit reporting agencies. In the event that there is some sort of incorrect posting on the account, it can have a negative impact on the account holder’s credit rating. There is also the possibility of unauthorized activity taking place with the account, possibly indicating the first stages of identity theft. For this reason, it is important to periodically check each account history for any detail that does not seem correct, and report that detail as quickly as possible.

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