The float, in terms of finance, is the amount of money that is briefly tallied twice inside the banking system as a result of delays in registering a deposit or withdrawal. These lags are typically brought on by the time it takes to process paper checks. As soon as a check is deposited, a bank credits the account of the consumer. The time it takes to receive and record a check from the payer's bank varies. The amount written on the check "exists" in two different places, in the bank accounts of both the payer and the recipient, until the check clears the account it is drawn on.

Causes of float

The various factors that can cause float in finance are:

Processing error

Float can be brought on by errors made when handling money and managing accounts. Such mistakes include sending money in the incorrect amount or to the incorrect bank. There is a formation of float in the company's account as a result of the attempts to identify and correct these errors. These mistakes can be avoided with careful reading of payment amounts and proper handling of monies. The amount of time needed to fix the problem can be decreased by using an efficient correction technique.

Transportation speed

The requirement for paper payment between the payer and payee can lead to float. Payment acknowledgement may be delayed if it is transported slowly, such as by land or water, which results in a float. By ensuring that payment and acknowledgement happen on the same day via high-speed internet access, electronic systems can minimize float. Fast delivery of payments and a reduction in float can also be made possible by air and quick land-based delivery technologies.


Partial payment processing on a business day may result in float. Partial processing occurs when a bank debits a customer for payment but is unable to deposit the full amount into the recipient's account. Moreover, it occurs when a check is made but the bank is unable to debit the issuer's account before the close of business. Processor power that is adequate enough to handle a sizable volume of daily transactions can be sufficient to prevent float.

Interbank posting

A floating balance might occur when an incoming interbank transaction is acknowledged in the payee's account but not in the payer's account. As an illustration, when the payer transfers money to the payee, the bank credits the payee's account before the payer's bank receives the credit. Reducing float can be achieved by using identical bank schedules.

Types of float

There are various types of float that can apply to different situations, including:

Disbursement float

Disbursement When a company pays someone or writes a check to them, but the money is still in the company's account, that is when the float happens. A store issuing a maintenance specialist a check and holding the money in the account until the repairman pulls it is an example of this. In an effort to credit the account before the payee arrives at the bank, businesses may employ float to overdraw beyond the limitations of their accounts. If the company violates any regulations, this technique could result in legal problems.

Collection float

When clients and creditors pay a business, the funds aren't yet available for use in the company's account. This is known as a collection float. This may occur if a business issues a check but does not yet deposit it in a bank account. The float could also be brought on by a bank's delayed amount processing.

Net float

The net float is the difference between an organization's internal ledger account balance and its balance in its bank account. A positive net float means that the ledger balance is more than the available bank balance and that the payment float is greater than the collection float. An efficient cash management system aims to expedite payment collection to the company and prevent payment from the company's account.

Importance of Float

Float is significant to businesses since it affects several aspects of finance, including interest income, competitiveness of the company, and cash volume. Before completing the repayment of the insured amount, insurance companies employ float to earn interest on customer premiums. In a similar vein, a bank may continue to earn interest on a debited amount even as it is being processed.

Before payees draw a check that has been issued, float is frequently used to ensure that payments have cleared. For instance, you could write a check to pay your repairman and use the float's extra time to check that the money is in your account. Also, businesses employ float to present a more successful front to investors by effectively floating their income and expenses.

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