PrintBoss Blog

  • What is Check21 and How Does It Affect Your Business?

    We’ve had a lot of people ask us about Check 21 (officially known as The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act).  What is it?  Is it secure?  Do I still have to print with MICR toner?  Will PrintBoss help me manage this confusing legislation while printing my QuickBooks checks?

    So what is Check 21?  Check 21 is a federal law designed to enable banks to handle check payments electronically.  The idea behind the law is to make check processing faster and more efficient.  Before Check 21 was enacted in 2004, the bank where a check was deposited had to physically transfer the check or checks to the bank that would pay them.  Now with the Check 21 legislation, banks can take a picture of the front and back of a check and send it, along with the associated payment information, electronically to the bank that will pay it.  If either bank requires a physical copy of the check, a “substitute check” can be printed from the pictures taken.  This saves the banks and us the expense of transporting the checks between banks, as well as the associated time.  This also allows for you to receive back your check with your bank statements.  Check 21 stipulates that any agreement between a bank and its client must continue to be upheld.  By law, banks can return either a substitute check or the original check to you, but this is typically agreed upon between you and your bank which will be returned.

    What about security?  Electronic payment transfer has been around a lot longer than Check 21 has.  All payment information sent between banks is processed via secure technology that has been tested and proven secure.  Print your QuickBooks checks with no fear.

    Do I still need to use MICR toner?  Although few institutions, including banks, still use Magnetic Ink Character Recognition to process checks(desktop MICR readers used by paycheck cashing services are among the remaining dinosaurs), Check 21 still stipulates that magnetic ink is to be used for the MICR line.  This is where PrintBoss helps you print QuickBooks checks in accordance with Check 21.  PrintBoss will print your MICR line accurately and in accordance with Check 21 (just make sure a MICR toner cartridge is loaded in your printer) onto blank check stock every time with no extra clicks.  It can provide positive pay files as well, among a number of other security features.  Click here to learn more about PrintBoss and its features.

    To visit the official Check 21 Federal Reserve FAQs webpage, click here.

  • Print Checks to Blank Check Stock for Accountants

    If you print checks from more than one bank account, you need PrintBoss.  We’ve uttered this line to many potential customers whether at conferences or over the phone.  What we mean by this is that it is more cost and time effective to use blank check stock than preprinted stock when printing from two or more bank accounts.  This axiom applies to all businesses.  For the purposes of this blog, we would like to focus today on the impact of PrintBoss for accountants and bookkeepers.

    When you are managing multiple companies’ books, there are significant security risks surrounding the data you use and the processes in which you use that data.  Because of this, a banal task like check printing becomes fraught with liability.  The threat of your clients’ bank information being stolen is real and significant.  While QuickBooks offers software security, printing checks to preprinted check stock (check stock that comes preprinted with company name, address, check number, and account and routing numbers) brings with it inherent risks.  What if your clients’ stock is stolen?  What if someone sees the unused stock lying around the office and steals the bank information?

    For both of these reasons, you must keep your clients’ unused preprinted stock under lock and key.  This can be a hassle in terms of space (do you have enough lock boxes in your office?), as well as in terms of time spent having to retrieve each stock from locked closets and drawers.  With blank check stock, unused stock is never a security risk.  It contains all the sensitive information of blank, white paper.  You can leave it anywhere you want in your office that is most convenient, like on your desk top if you want, and you will not increase your liability risk.

    Using blank checks as an accountant will also save you considerable costs as you will only have to buy one check stock.  While with preprinted checks you would have to buy individual check stocks for each client, with blank check stock you can use the same stock for every client.  Furthermore, while a stock of 1,000 preprinted checks can cost over $300, a stock of 1,000 blank checks costs $65 or less.  Multiply that savings by the number of clients you have and you can start to imagine the enormous savings that printing checks to blank check stock allows.

    Blank check stock not only increases your accounting security, but it saves you money doing it.  Use one check stock for all your clients and save time and money.  That’s why we tell people, if you print checks from more than one bank account, you need PrintBoss.

    Try PrintBoss free today with our 30 day free trial.

  • How Best to Print Checks in QuickBooks

    Over 55% of B2B payables are processed through checks.  Checks are the most reliable, securest, and most accepted form of B2B payment today.  It is for this reason that they have remained at the heart of business transactions.

    So what is the best way to print checks?  With QuickBooks, and most other host accounting packages, you have two options: 1) Print checks to preprinted check stock and 2) Print checks to blank check stock.  Many business owners and accountants don’t realize that this second method is even an option.  This is because many host accounting packages, QuickBooks included, do not come out of the box with this functionality.  QuickBooks alone only allows you to print checks to preprinted stock.  And as they say, what you don’t know will hurt you.  Printing checks to blank check stock saves you time and money over its preprinted alternative.

    QuickBooks invites you to print checks using its preprinted check stock.  Preprinted means that the check paper already has your bank information and company information printed on the check when you receive it.  This alone is a security risk.  When you print checks from QuickBooks, you must make sure you are using the correct check stock for the correct company and that you are using the correct check number.  You can see quickly the many opportunities for human error.  Add on top of this the cost of preprinted check stock ($368.99 per thousand) and you realize that not only is it error prone, but the QuickBooks check printing system is expensive.

    While printing checks to blank check stock is not a feature Intuit offers, there are many third party software, like PrintBoss, that enable this ability.  PrintBoss enables you to print all of your checks for all of your companies and all of your different bank accounts onto the same blank check stock.  PrintBoss stores your bank information on encrypted files and matches them with the company information coming from QuickBooks.  PrintBoss then prints the MICR line (the account and routing information at the bottom of a check), as well as your company information, amount, and check number on the check face.

    With PrintBoss you never have to worry about changing out your check stock from the printer, or the security risk of unused check stock lying around the office with your bank information printed on its face.  Not to mention, blank check stock costs a fraction of the price of preprinted stock at $60 per thousand.

    Printing checks onto blank check stock is the most secure, efficient, and cost effective way to pay your payables.

    Try the PrintBoss 30 day free trial today to experience these savings and enjoy worry free check printing.  Check PrintBoss out in the Intuit Marketplace to learn more.

  • Printing Checks from QuickBooks to Blank Bottom Checks

    “I setup PrintBoss easily with all my bank information and have it connected to QuickBooks, but I have always printed check on top and it is printing check on bottom.  How do I change this format?”

    This is a common refrain we get from new PrintBoss users.  It makes sense as many other check printing software use the check on top format as their default format.  Particularly for the QuickBooks market, where many are coming to PrintBoss from using pre-printed QuickBooks checks, which are check on top, this is a very reasonable request.

    When we created PrintBoss, particularly PrintBoss Select and Enterprise, both our QuickBooks versions, we anticipated this would be a common question.  So, we made changing between forms easy.  It’s so easy, in fact, that we put the instructions in a short FAQ: http://www.printboss.com/faqs/how-do-i-select-a-top-or-middle-check/

    But there is a reason the PrintBoss default check format is check on bottom.  It’s quite simple really—banks prefer it that way.  Banks request that the MICR line be printed on the cleanest edge of the paper.  This is so it is easier for magnetic and optical readers used by banks to read it.  The cleanest edge on any check is the bottom edge.  With top checks, the MICR line is printed on a perforated edge that can sometimes be difficult for check readers to read.  With bottom checks, the MICR line is always on a clean edge, resulting in fewer declined checks.

    For this reason we suggest to new clients that they transition to bottom checks.  Again, we understand that they may have a stock of top checks that they want to use before buying new checks of any kind, so we made it easy to switch back and forth.  But for optimal check printing, bottom checks are the only way to go.

    Try the PrintBoss check printing software today with our 30-day free trial.  When you purchase any version of PrintBoss, you get 500 free bottom checks.

  • QuickBooks Check Printing Security

    Welcome to the third installment of our look at QuickBooks check printing security as we head toward the Scaling New Heights conference in June.  The first week we took a broad look at how printing checks onto blank check stock improves your accounts payable security.  Then last week we dove deeper into the security features behind and embedded within our check stock, like fluorescent fibers, micro-printing, and toner grip paper.  This week we continue this topic of security by turning our attention to the software side of the equation.  While QuickBooks provides a lot of accounting security, when it comes to your check printing needs, Intuit leaves it to third-party software like PrintBoss to provide solutions.

    Today we’re going to focus on two security enhancement features offered with PrintBoss: electronic signatures and Positive Pay file creation.

    Electronic Signatures

    PrintBoss enables electronic signatures to be printed on checks.  Furthermore, PrintBoss enables signing rules to be associated with each signature, creating deeper security levels.  Each PrintBoss signature is created and encrypted by Wellspring Software.  The signature file is then placed on media (typically a USB), which is then sent to the client.  This media not only houses the file which can then be saved in the PrintBoss database, but it also serves as a key by which the signature may be enabled.

    Within PrintBoss, signing rules may be applied to each signature.  Signing rules include bank account associations and dollar amount.  For example, if a check is printed for ABC company, from bank account 123, then John Smith’s signature will always print on the check.  But if the check is over a certain amount, say $500, then Jane Smith’s signature will also print.

    The electronic signature feature ensures checks will be signed appropriately with every check run and saves you time signing them.  It also increases security in your processes through the encrypted signature file, requiring a signature key to unlock a signature, and by requiring checks to have certain signatures.

    Positive Pay File Creation

    Positive Pay is commonly regarded as the most secure method of check payment.  Positive Pay enables you to monitor checks processed for payment against your account, and reject unauthorized checks.  By sending your bank a file after each check run outlining the payees, amounts, dates, etc. of your authorized checks, the bank can then match all checks processed against your account.  If any check does not match the information provided in your Positive Pay file, that check is rejected.

    Each bank is different and requires different formatting and information provided in the Positive Pay file.  Furthermore, creating this Positive Pay file can be difficult and time consuming…but not with PrintBoss.  PrintBoss will do all of his for you, automatically.  Wellspring Software will create a custom Positive Pay form file based off your bank’s specifications.  Once created, PrintBoss will automatically generate the Positive Pay file your bank requires.  All you have to do is send it to the bank, often by some ftp.

    In other words, PrintBoss eliminates all of the hassle and pain of Positive Pay, making it efficient and enabling you to protect your accounts payable against check fraud.

    Electronic signatures and Positive Pay file creation are just two of many security features available with PrintBoss.  Check out the rest of our website to learn more.

    Try our 30 day free trial to learn firsthand how PrintBoss can save you time and money, while increasing your security.

  • MICR Check Printing with QuickBooks Checks

    We’ve discussed a lot on this blog what is the next innovation for QuickBooks users.  From cloud computing to new payment methods, the QuickBooks landscape looking forward is exciting.  But for many QuickBooks users the next innovation is already here.  MICR check printing.  Too many businesses are using QuickBooks to print checks from preprinted check stock.  What these businesses don’t know is that this preprinted stock is more expensive and a higher security risk than blank check stock.  But the real issue is that too many businesses don’t know that certain QuickBooks add-on software enable MICR check printing on blank check stock from QuickBooks.

    The assumption by many, perpetuated by the software giant itself, is that QuickBooks does not have the ability to print the MICR line.  Therefore, QuickBooks users must purchase preprinted check stock.  In most cases this expensive check stock is purchased directly from Intuit.  But this does not need to be the case.  It is true that QuickBooks alone does not have the ability to perform MICR check printing, but QuickBooks has a lot of inabilities.  It is for this reason that Intuit has created the QuickBooks Marketplace.  This marketplace is dedicated to approved third party QuickBooks add-on software.  It is within this marketplace where you can find software like PrintBoss that enable MICR check printing.

    The beauty of PrintBoss is that it is simple, effective, and so tightly integrated with QuickBooks that most users forget they are using it once installed.  But no one forgets the benefits it provides.  It’s these benefits that make PrintBoss the next great innovation in the QuickBooks market for so many users.  MICR check printing allows companies to purchase blank check stock which can save you 80% on the cost of preprinted QuickBooks checks.  MICR check printing also provides security throughout the check printing process, including before the checks are even printed and your check stock is sitting unused in inventory.  While preprinted QuickBooks checks contain your account and routing numbers on the check face, blank check stock carries neither until the checks are printed.  MICR check printing also eliminates the hassle of managing check numbers as PrintBoss does it for you, as well as allows you to use just one stock for all of your bank accounts.

    These benefits, among many others like multiple method payment processing, make MICR check printing software like PrintBoss the latest innovation for QuickBooks users.  Try the PrintBoss 30 day free trial to see how MICR check printing can innovate your business.

  • QuickBooks Check Printing with Blank Checks

    We all use QuickBooks for many purposes.  But chief among them for us and most likely for you, as you are reading this blog, is the QuickBooks check printing feature.  Why is check printing so important?  Because it enables us to pay our payables.  In other words, it enables us to keep our businesses running.  Without the services, products, and people that we employ, our companies could not exist.  All of these attributes have to get paid somehow and to-date check writing continues to be one of the most prominent methods of business payments.

    So if you are going to use QuickBooks check printing, how can you make it easier and less expensive?  As it is, purchasing preprinted QuickBooks checks is expensive (if you didn’t realize this, read on to learn how blank checks can save you money).  Furthermore, maintaining inventory of multiple check stocks from various bank accounts can be not only time consuming but can cause errors in check processing as wrong stock can be used, not only wasting paper but messing up check number chronology.

    The answer to all of these issues is easy—use blank check stock.  “But Intuit says you can’t use blank check stock with QuickBooks.”  This is a common misperception.  Although QuickBooks alone cannot print checks onto blank check stock, PrintBoss can.  PrintBoss not only prints the entire MICR line including bank account and routing numbers, but it will maintain all of this bank account information in encrypted files for as many bank accounts as you have.  To make it even easier, PrintBoss knows which bank accounts go with which companies in QuickBooks and thus will automatically print checks from the correct bank account every time.  All you have to do is process QuickBooks check printing as you normally would and PrintBoss will take care of the rest.  No extra clicks or confusion.  Just click print!

    PrintBoss eliminates the headaches of maintaining multiple check stocks and printing incorrect check numbers.  You only have to use one check stock for all of your accounts and PrintBoss manages your check numbers for you.  And as icing on the cake, blank checks save you 80% on the cost of preprinted QuickBooks checks.

    QuickBooks check printing is an essential part of your accounting processes.  Why not make it easier, safer, and less expensive.  Print QuickBooks checks onto blank check stock and save.

    Learn more about PrintBoss and its benefits and features here.

  • QuickBooks® Updates Can Cause Settings To Reset

    Our award winning technical service department gets asked a lot of questions on any particular day.  They do their best to answer these questions as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  Most of the time a simple phone call is enough to overcome any client issue (given the client has a service contract, which is only $100 at the time of software purchase and covers you for a year).  But over the years we have noticed a trend in technical support questions.  So what is the most common service call our technicians take from clients that print QuickBooks® checks with PrintBoss?

    Well, it doesn’t even begin with the PrintBoss software.  It actually starts with an upgrade of the QuickBooks® software.  During the QuickBooks® update process the printer default settings for printing QuickBooks® checks are often reset.

    This update can effect three settings on the QuickBooks® checks / paychecks printer setup screen. These are the main settings should be aware of that effect PrintBoss check printing.  It is one of these three settings that is the culprit (or maybe victim) of the resultant issue from a QuickBooks® update.

    In order to print QuickBooks® checks correctly with PrintBoss, the three settings should be set as such:

    1.  The PrintBoss 50 printer driver is set as the printer
    2.  The Voucher style check is selected as the style choice
    3.  The box for ‘Print Company Name and Address’ is checked

    Which of these settings is most often reset by a QuickBooks® update?  The third setting.  After an update, the box for ‘Print Company Name and Address’ often reverts back to the default of being un-checked.  This seemingly small change results in the banking information not printing on the check, which ultimately results in a call to PrintBoss Technical Support.

    While we are always happy to talk with you, you can save yourself a little time after a QuickBooks® update.  Before you print your check batch, verify the three settings on the QuickBooks® Printer Setup screen for Checks / Paychecks are all marked as above.  It’s as easy as that!

  • Check 21 and Printing QuickBooks Checks

    We’ve had a lot of people ask us about Check 21 (officially known as The Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act).  What is it?  Is it secure?  Do I still have to print with MICR toner?  Will PrintBoss help me manage this confusing legislation while printing my QuickBooks checks?

    So what is Check 21?  Check 21 is a federal law designed to enable banks to handle check payments electronically.  The idea behind the law is to make check processing faster and more efficient.  Before Check 21 was enacted in 2004, the bank where a check was deposited had to physically transfer the check or checks to the bank that would pay them.  Now with the Check 21 legislation, banks can take a picture of the front and back of a check and send it, along with the associated payment information, electronically to the bank that will pay it.  If either bank requires a physical copy of the check, a “substitute check” can be printed from the pictures taken.  This saves the banks and us the expense of transporting the checks between banks, as well as the associated time.  This also allows for you to receive back your check with your bank statements.  Check 21 stipulates that any agreement between a bank and its client must continue to be upheld.  By law, banks can return either a substitute check or the original check to you, but this is typically agreed upon between you and your bank which will be returned.

    What about security?  Electronic payment transfer has been around a lot longer than Check 21 has.  All payment information sent between banks is processed via secure technology that has been tested and proven secure.  Print your QuickBooks checks with no fear.

    Do I still need to use MICR toner?  Although few institutions, including banks, still use Magnetic Ink Character Recognition to process checks (desk top MICR readers used by paycheck cashing services are among the remaining dinosaurs), Check 21 still stipulates that magnetic ink is to be used for the MICR line.  This is where PrintBoss helps you print QuickBooks checks in accordance with Check 21.  PrintBoss will print your MICR line accurately and in accordance with Check 21 (just make sure a MICR toner cartridge is loaded in your printer) onto blank check stock every time with no extra clicks.  It can provide positive pay files as well, among a number of other security features.  Click here to learn more about PrintBoss and its features.

    To visit the official Check 21 Federal Reserve FAQs webpage, click here.

  • How to Print QuickBooks Checks from Blank Check Stock

    There is misinformation being circulated regarding the ability to print QuickBooks checks from blank check stock, but fortunately for you, PrintBoss is here to straighten things out.  Mis-informants would lead you to believe that it is impossible to print QuickBooks checks from blank check stock.  In fact, some people who work for the accounting software giant itself will perpetuate this mis-information.  They will explain that it is possible to print checks from QuickBooks, but they must be preprinted checks (i.e. must have the MICR line and such already printed on the check) and the check must be at the top, above the pay stubs.  For QuickBooks users, this means more expensive check stock and weaker compliancy with banking regulations.  Let us explain.

    By purchasing blank check stock, you are saving 70% on what you would be spending with preprinted stock from QuickBooks or any other manufacturer.  Furthermore, blank check stock saves you the hassle of check number confusion as you no longer have to worry about your checks getting out of order since when you print on blank stock, it is PrintBoss that maintains the order, not the check stock.  Also, blank check stock has innate security as account and routing numbers are not on the check until you print it.

    Regarding compliance, banks request the MICR line be printed on the straightest edge on the check.  By printing checks located above their pay stubs, the MICR line is being printed on a perforated edge.  By printing checks located below their pay stubs, which is PrintBoss’ default setting, the MICR line is printed on a clean edge of the paper.

    It is possible to print QuickBooks checks from blank check stock and PrintBoss is how you do it.  Plus it adds no extra keystrokes.  Seamlessly integrated, PrintBoss saves you money and time, while increasing your security.  It’s the answer to so many of your problems.  For a free trial of the software, click here.