Whether you own a small or large business, you can save time and money by printing your own checks. In the past, check printing was handled by large printing companies or banks, but you can print checks at your home or small business if you have access to a laser printer, blank check paper and magnetic ink/toner called MICR.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things you’ll need:
- If your accounting program cannot print the MICR line of a check, you would need to purchase a software program that will allow you to create and design your own checks.
- The check-printing software should include or be compatible with your financial-management program so you can import the information you need to print your completed checks. Your software will walk you through a set-up process.
- Make sure that your check printing software and blank check stock are compatible. One important area of compatibility is the physical check size. Typically, depending on the software, the output will be for either a 3 ½” check or a 3 ⅔” check. Your check stock will need to meet the output size for everything to line up correctly. There are many options when it comes to check stock, from a variety of covert and overt security features to color choices and check placement on the sheet (top, middle, bottom). Work with one of our check experts to be sure you get the check stock you need.
- Your software should include magnetic ink characters. Using MICR technology when printing checks is critically important because bank scanners read the MICR when processing the checks, either optically or by scanning the MICR. If you are not using MICR toner, there is the possibility that the check will need to be processed manually or returned as unreadable. This can result in bank fees that can quickly add up. We recommend that you always use MICR toner with a MICR printer.
- Follow the steps to create a check in your check-writing software. Carefully review all the information on the check. Print a test page to make sure that each section of the check is correct and hold it up to your blank check stock to ensure that all the fields line up where they should.
- Print your check on your MICR printer with MICR toner.
- Banks will often process “test checks” to assure that all the MICR characters are in position, the toner density is correct and that the check is compliant with ANSI standards. Check with your bank to see if they have options available for this service so that you can confirm before you start printing checks in real time.
To learn more about printing your checks in-house and all the supplies you’ll need to get started, contact Relyco today by calling 1-800-777-7359 or reaching out to us.
*This post was originally published in April 2011. It has been updated in June 2019.