How to Print Payroll Checks
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Interested in Printing Payroll Checks? Learn How

Learn how to print payroll checks.

There are many ways you can pay employees. One option is to print payroll checks. If you choose payroll check printing, you have many more decisions to make, such as the check layout.

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of printed checks, along with how to print payroll checks.

Pros and cons of payroll check printing

Before you begin printing paychecks, make sure printable payroll checks are the right option for your business.

Pros of payroll check printing

If employees do not have bank accounts, paying them with checks is a good option. When employees don’t have a bank account, you cannot pay them with direct deposit. But with checks, employees don’t need a bank account. Employees can use a check cashing service (although, there are fees for those services).

Printing payroll checks could potentially save you time when paying employees. If you handwrite checks for many employees, the process could take a lot of time, especially if you still have to print out pay stubs.

Cons of payroll check printing

To print payroll checks, you need special supplies. You will need a printer, ink, and check stock. The costs of payroll check printing can add up. Figure out how much paycheck printing will cost your business.

Checks can reveal important information about your business if they end up in the wrong hands. Checks have your business name and address, as well as your business’s bank account number and routing number. If an employee loses their check, a fraudster could find it and use your business’s information.

Other payroll options

If you want to learn other payment options, consider paying employees cash, with handwritten checks, direct deposit, and payroll cards.

How to print payroll checks

Before you can print payroll checks, you need to choose your check stock. After that, you can set your business up to print checks.

Below are the steps you should take, from choosing check stock to actually printing out the checks.

Check layouts

To print payroll checks, you first need to buy check stock.

Check stock comes in many different layouts. For example, there is check on top of the page, check at the bottom of the page, check in the middle of the page, and multiple checks on the page.

Graphic showing the difference between check on top and check on bottom checkstock

The type of check layout you need will depend on the software you use to print  If you use Patriot Software’s payroll program, you need stock that has the check on the top or the check on the bottom of the page.

Preprinted vs. blank check stock

You can purchase check stock with or without your business information already printed on them.

Preprinted check stock has your bank account and business information already on the check. You will not need to print that information yourself.

Blank payroll check stock does not have your information already on the check. You need to print the business information yourself. If you use blank check stock, you should use an MICR (magnetic ink character recognition) printer and ink.

Do I need an MICR printer?

Normally, MICR printers with magnetic ink are used to print bank account and routing numbers on checks. Most computers used to process checks have magnetic readers to read and process the banking information.

Some newer computers have optical readers, meaning checks don’t need to have magnetic ink to be processed. But, optical readers are currently less common, so it advisable to still use magnetic ink on checks..

If a check without magnetic ink goes through a magnetic reader, the reader will not be able to process the check. The check will have to be manually processed, and you might have to pay fines.

Where to get checks

You can get check stock from your business’s bank. You can also get checks from a business supply company.

If you order preprinted check stock, your bank or the company you order from will put your business information on the checks for you (meaning you don’t need an MICR printer).

Setting up to print

After you purchase all the necessary supplies to print employee checks, you need to set up your payroll software.

Within your software, you need to select that you want to print payroll checks. You also need to choose the type of check stock you are using.

You should print a sample check, especially if you are using blank check stock. Make sure the check and pay stub are lined up correctly on the paper. You might need to adjust alignment.

Once you are satisfied with the check layout, you can print all your employee checks. Then, you can distribute the checks to your employees.

Steps to Print Payroll Checks infographic

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Are you ready to print checks for your employees? Try Patriot Software’s online payroll. You can print checks after completing payroll. Or, you can choose from another payment method. Start your free trial now!