In this age of typing, tapping, and swiping, the skill of writing checks using an ordinary pen proves to be too tricky for some. Written checks not only need to be legible but they also have to adhere to a long list of regulations and rules before it can be accepted by banks. The basics rules of writing a check are known to most. However, there are a few common mistakes that can render a perfectly good check unusable. If you are guilty of making a certain type of mistake over and over again, then this post is for you.
Signing on the Memo Line: Remember this, the memo is on the left and the signature is on the right. In a hurry to finish writing their checks a lot of people end up quickly signing their names on the memo line. Memo lines are spaces for writing a note, something that gets tagged with the payment. The best way to avoid this mistake is by starting to write the check from the bottom up. You start by writing the note on the memo line, then fill in the amount in numbers and in words, and then write the recipient’s name. Once you are done, sign on the only available line that’s left vacant located on the bottom-right corner.
Getting the Signature Wrong: This is a common issue that often gets detected only when the check gets rejected by the bank. The chore of writing a new check and sending it to the recipient again is frustrating. Here’s what you need to do. If you use multiple signatures for different bank accounts, simply sign on an unused page on the checkbook. Do that with all your checkbooks linked to different checking accounts. This way you can refer to the signature before writing a new check. However, there is a certain danger to this approach. If the checkbook gets lost, the signature can be exposed to fraudsters and criminals. If you keep your checkbook in a locker and only take it out when writing a check, then this is fine. However, if you travel with your checkbook, it’s best to avoid this solution.
Making Mistakes when Writing the Amount in Words: A lot of people have trouble converting numbers to words. This mostly happens when the number is complex and has a decimal value. Something like a $4523.50 often becomes “four thousand twenty three and fifty cents”. If you want a fool-proof system, its best to ask Google to convert the number in words. Simply type in the number and end it the phrase “in words”. Alternatively, take some time out to learn how to write amounts with cents on checks.
Writing the Recipient’s Name Wrong: Banks reject checks if the recipient names don’t exactly match their records. This means even if you misspell one letter the check will not be accepted. To avoid this, form a habit of asking the recipient to text the registered name. A lot of people have nicknames while other have names that sound like nicknames. Don’t try to assume when writing the recipient name and always verify.
Print Checks Using Check Printing Software
A lot of these mistakes can be avoided if you print checks using accounting software packages such as Quickbooks. If you are not a business user, you can buy check printing software programs. All you need to do is order printed checks online and feed it to your printer. Once setup, use the software to print the check. This way you can review the digital copy of the check before pressing that print button and thereby avoid wasting a check paper.