Most people have seen small businesses write checks. Nowadays, they do not just write checks, however, but they print them as well.
At first glance this might not seem anymore advanced of a system than typing a check or just drawing one on the computer and just signing it. The truth of the matter is that it is a much more refined system than that and has many of the advantages that were once only available to larger companies or to payroll services. Now it is possible to have all that power right at your finger tips without the worries of fraudulent use or theft. The first thing you should know about computer checks is that they are not entirely done at your computer; that would make fraud too easy. First is the paper your checks will be printed on. It is not the same as regular printer paper. For one, printer paper is not perforated like checks are. Also, much of the paper people choose to use for checks has high security watermarks that cannot be done with a printer because they are in the paper itself. The second reason you can’t just print them off your desk is the ink. Yes, most of the ink you use from day to day makes fine checks. What your printer can’t do is put the check number, the account number, and the routing number in magnetic ink. Banks use the magnetic ink to sort checks. The next thing you need to decide on is what type of printer you want to use. In truth, once the magnetic ink with the correct numbers is on the paper you could hand paint it like the Sistine Chapel if you would like but that would slow down the check writing on a payroll day. Any printer will work to print your checks so it really becomes an issue of image. Using a dot matrix printer is going to make your company look behind the times but a laser jet can produce very sharp images. The last thing you are going to need to start printing computer checks is the software. Here there is a plethora of choices, both for sale and for free. Printing checks from a desktop computer that all accounting software includes a suite just for doing that as well as keeping record on what was spent and where. It does not matter if you are using Peachtree, Quick Books, Quicken, MYOB, or others, the ability to do it is rooted in all the bookkeeping applications now. If you are a small business owner it is time to switch to computer checks. They look more professional, are safer, and make your record keeping much simpler.