Bank checks are a tried-and-true method of payment, but you’ve likely never come across one. Whereas bank checks were commonplace as little as 20-years ago, more convenient payment methods have made them virtually obsolete. However, you may need to write or deposit a check if you haven’t set up a direct deposit, so let’s go over the process of doing just that.
Order Bank Checks
To order a stack of bank checks, you first need to open a checking account. You likely already have a checking account if you’re on your way to starting a business. However, if you don’t, set up an appointment with a bank to open one, then ask for a book of checks when finished.
How to Order Checks
Whether you need personal checks or checks for your business, you can either order checks online from your bank, contact your bank via phone or walk-in, or print your own checks. Ordering checks from an online printing company will give you the option to customize them, but it isn’t necessary to do this. Instead, order regular checks from your bank if you’re content with paying a higher cost. For the inexpensive, low-hassle option, print your own checks unless you use them at a high volume for your business. In this instance, stick with ordering from a bank.
What Do I Need to Print My Own Checks?
It’s possible to print your own checks as long as you have software for printing checks, like Quickbooks, and check stock paper. Your printer must have Magnetic Ink Character Recognition font and magnetic ink so machines and bank tellers can recognize the check is legitimate.
How to Write a Check
There are six lines on the check you must fill in for a payment to process.
- Current Date: In the upper right-hand corner of the check is the date. In most cases, you’ll use today’s date unless you want the check to be cashed at a later date.
- Payee: Payee or “Pay to the order of” is the person you’re writing the check out to. It can either be a person’s name or the business name.
- Amount (Numeric Form): Beside the payee line is the amount you’re issuing to the payee. This amount must be in numeric form. For example: 80.89.
- Amount (Words): Underneath the payee is an additional amount line. Write out the amount using words. For example: eighty and 89/100.
- Signature: Sign your first and last name on the bottom left line.
- Memo: Memos are optional but great for a reminder. If you’re paying the IRS, you can write out your Social Security Number in this space.
After writing your check, make a record of payment in your check register.
How to Record Payments in Your Check Register
The check register is usually located in the back of your checkbook. If you print out checks, print out a check register as well. Doing this will help you track spending, locate where your money is going, and detect fraud. Copy all essential information to the check register.
- Check Number: This number is indicated in the bottom left of the check as a four-digit number. For example: 0154.
- Date: The date you wrote on the check.
- Description of the transaction: Usually the payee, but you can write a description of what the money was used for. For example: business lunch.
- Payment Debit: The amount written on the check.
- Payment Credit: Only necessary for checks you deposit.
- Balance: Money that’s currently in your checking account.
Writing a check is easy once you get the hang of it, and depositing one is even easier.
How to Deposit a Check
To receive money from a check, you must deposit it into an account. Speaking to a teller, sending the check by mail, or using an envelope to deposit it into an ATM are all traditional ways to deposit a check. However, many banks will let you take a photo of your check to deposit funds. Keep in mind that checks can take up to a week to deposit. If you want funds faster, set up an e-transfer.