This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
As the last day of the month approaches, at the close of which it is the duty of this committee to make its examination, the secretary begins to fill in the figures of these schedules, first, of course, in those departments in which there is the least chance of a change occurring. Thus, if it is not probable that there will be any further purchase or sales of stocks and bonds, the stock schedule can be filled up as to all the particulars, except "market rate" and 'market value." In order to ascertain the market rate of such securities, recourse must be had, where possible, to published quotations or to the opinions of experts. The secretary usually sends, a few days beforehand, to several firms of respectable brokers who make a specialty of dealing in public investment stocks, a list of the kinds of securities held by the bank, giving the title, date of maturity and the rate of interest, and requesting a reply in the margin to the question, "What would be a fair market value for each of these classes of securities at the close of business on the last day of-----?"
These are filled up and returned by the brokers on the last day, for the information of the committee. Other departments of resources also require corroborative evidence, which it is the duty of the secretary to procure. As to balances deposited in banks, he requests the cashier of each depository bank to certify the balance on deposit at the close of the month to the chairman of the committee direct. In case the amount thus certified differs from the amount appearing on the check book, it is the duty of the secretary to explain and to furnish evidence of the disparity, which usually arises from checks issued but not yet presented, and the committee should, during the following month, or whenever it can be done, make a re-examination of the checks which were outstanding. If there be any papers in the mortgage department which the committee is entitled to see, and which are in the hands of the attorney for the purpose of foreclosure or otherwise, a certificate of their contents must be furnished by the attorney. As to real estate owned by the bank, if necessary, a disinterested appraiser, experienced in real estate values, should be employed to make a survey and report; and this should also be done in the case of mortgaged property, if there has been such depreciation as to make the margin precarious. All of these preparations, although part of the committee's work, are, in practice, attended to by the secretary in order to lessen the burden of labor for the committee. Besides the report of the committee to the board of trustees, there is an official report to the superintendent of the bank department, which is required by law to be made semi-annually at the dates mentioned. The body of this report, or balance sheet, is verified by the oath of the examining committee,, and is identical with the balance sheet contained in their report to the board of trustees. The report however, is submitted and sworn to in its entirety by the president and secretary, and is prepared by the secretary from his books. The main report or balance sheet, just described, contains, in the blank form furnished by the State department, a column headed "resources," and another headed "liabilities."
Besides the main report above given there is a summary of cash transactions for the half year, or in the December report for the whole year, and schedules, marked from A to I.
The table of cash transactions begins with the balance on hand and in banks at the commencement of the period, to which are added the receipts, classified according to their sources. Then follow, on the other side, the payments similarly classified, concluding with the balance on hand and in banks at the close of the period. Under our system, these aggregates are readily obtained from the bundles of cash vouchers for receipts and payments, respectively, being in most cases simply an adding together of the six monthly totals. In some of the particulars a little analysis is necessary from the wording of the blank, some items not exactly coinciding with either of the accounts kept in the General Ledger of the bank. It is, however, a principle in this institution, that every official report must have its figures, in some shape, derived from the books of the bank. It is too frequently the custom, in institutions of this kind, and perhaps of other kinds, that the sworn reports are made independently of the books, and that there is no way of directly tracing the connection between the two. As duplicate blanks are furnished by the department, in order that the bank may retain a copy of its official report, it is the practice in some banks to make references, by book and page, on the face of the copy retained, which will show precisely how the figures are obtained from the books. These schedules are given in the appendix.
Schedule A, No. 1, contains a list of mortgages taken during the period covered, with the valuation of the property mortgaged as security, and serves as a general mortgage account, corroborating item 1 of the resources.
Schedule A, No. 2, contains a list of mortgages paid off, in whole or in part, during the period covered.
The theory of these two reports is to enable the department to ascertain the amount out on mortgage, and the security therefore; but to make up such a statement from the schedules of many years, would be a very laborious process. It would seem preferable, that occasionally, say once in three or five years, a special report should be called for, giving a full list of the mortgages as they then existed, with the location of property, and an appraisal, which the department could verify at its leisure.