If you print paper paychecks, you will need to make sure the checks print correctly on your check stock. If you handwrite checks or pay direct deposit and only need to print pay stubs, you will not need to format a check layout, as the pay stub information can be printed on plain paper and given to your employees. See a full definition of Pay Stub in our glossary.
Also see related articles:
A Primer on Printing Payroll Checks in Patriot PAY
How To Reprint a Paystub in Patriot PAY
How To Set Up Printed Check Layout In Patriot Software
You will need to use pre-printed check stock that contains your bank account number using MICR ink as required by financial institutions. Paychecks are printed on one 8 1/2 x 11 page at a time. The checks can be printed with the check either on the top of the page or the bottom of the page.
You can adjust the location of items printed on your checks, such as name, date, dollars, employee name, check number, etc., so the checks print correctly on your pre-printed check stock. Once you arrange the items, print a sample check to confirm your layout is correct.
To format your printed checks:
- Payroll > Payroll Settings > Paycheck Layout Options.
- Select your Printed Check Type. If you handwrite your checks and do not plan to print live checks, choose “Check Stub Only.” Otherwise, if you’re printing checks, select Pre-printed check stock – either check on top or check on bottom.
- Click the “Print Sample” link. A PDF document will open and display a sample check. You can save the PDF and/or print the sample on your check stock.
By default, the employee’s Social Security number will not appear on the check stub. However, you can check the “Show Employee SSN on Check Stub” box, and the full Social Security number will appear below the employee’s name and address on the check stub.
To adjust the placement of the check items:
If you print live checks, you can adjust the placement of various items on the check. Click “Layout Adjustments” to view the position of the items. These item locations will be printed based on the column and row numbers. The employee address lines and check number are optional fields to display on the printed check. Check these boxes if you want these to display.
When you print a sample paycheck, the PDF will show a grid:
Change the column and row numbers for each item by clicking the up and down arrows. The default column and row numbers for each field is 0 (zero). Changing the numbers changes the position of each item on the grid. In this example, the Paycheck Date has been moved over two spaces to the right and two spaces up from it’s default position.
- To move an item one gridline to the right, add 10 to the column number.
- To move an item one gridline to the left, subtract 10 from the column number. You can enter negative numbers.
- To move an item one gridline above, add 10 to the row number.
- To move an item one gridline below, subtract 10 from the row number. You can enter negative numbers.
You can print as many sample checks as needed to adjust the position of the items (by changing the column and row numbers) until it prints correctly. You do not have to click Save in order to print a sample paycheck.
Once you are satisfied with the placement of the items on your check, click “Save.” When you process payrolls, the check layout will use these settings. You can change these settings anytime as needed.