Ordering checks is an expense incurred by anyone with a checking account. Ordering checks from your bank is often expensive for what you are getting, and although you can order them for less from other retailers, there is still a better option in the long run: Print your own checks. There is no reason why you can’t save some money by printing your own checking account checks. It’s perfectly acceptable as long as you make the initial investment in the items you’ll need.
You will need some personal or business finance software, such as Quicken, Checksoft, QuickBooks or Goldenseal, in order to easily print your own checks with your computer. Buy a program that fits your specific needs and is compatible with your platform.
Find magnetic ink for your printer. This type of ink is not readily available at every department store, so you may have to look around a bit to find it.
When you write a check, it eventually gets processed by running it through a magnetic reader. These readers are only able to read the account information on the checks printed with magnetic ink, which is a standard in the check-printing industry.
You can print legitimate checks without this kind of ink, but you may run into extra processing charges because someone will have to do this job manually, according to SmartMoneyDaily.com.
You have undoubtedly noticed how the checks from your bank do not appear as if they were printed on standard copy paper. Check stock is the special paper on which checks are printed.
Purchase the check stock on which you want to print your check and save money by buying it in sheets of 100 or more that will last you for a long time. The purpose of check stock is primarily security. They come with a range of features such as watermarks that will make it all but impossible for people to fake your checks or change their information.
Some check stock is made specifically for a program. Quicken, for example, offers a stock that is designed specifically for its software.
Checks use a couple universal fonts known as MICR and E-13B. Most banks will not honor a check that does not have account and routing information printed in one of these fonts.
Be sure that your printer is capable of printing these fonts. MICR often requires laser-printing capability, so review the printer requirements for the software you are using to print your checks.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.