title>Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter Wizard Animation


Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Monday, June 07, 2004
Web Bill Payments Hurting Check Printers - As technology changes, so do the ways in which people pay their bills. In spite of my extensive use of QuickBooks, I don't use any online bill paying service except for PayPal, which I do use a lot as more online vendors accept it.

I did try another online bill paying service a few years back; but considered the process to be less efficient than just sending out my own checks. If they ever set things up so that we can transfer money directly from our bank account to the payees', that will be an efficient way to do things. As these services work now, they charge you a fee to print out a check and mail it to the payee via snail mail. I have received a few such payments from clients. I don't like this because it still puts you at the mercy of the postal service and gives you no control over the timing. They often take weeks to make the actual payment.

Besides the growth of online payments, the check printing companies have to be feeling the impact of software that allows us to print our own checks in smaller, more convenient, batches. It's been a while since I've written about the VersaCheck programs, which I have been using for several years to print blank checks to use in Quicken and QuickBooks, as well as to print check drafts for clients who fax their payments to us.

I have been buying each year's new version and have found enough improvements in each one to justify the additional expense. In fact, the 2004 version has had the handiest new feature in several years. It has what they call "one pass printing." With past versions, I had to print out a bunch of blank checks with our company and bank info, which I would then later put into my printer's paper tray when I wanted to print checks from Quicken and QuickBooks. With this newest version, I can put virgin blank check paper into the paper tray and when I go to print a check from QuickBooks, it starts up a driver that activates VersaCheck and prints absolutely everything onto the check paper at one time. Other than a problem with the memo info printing below the line instead of on top (which I have reported to the company and yet to see any fix for), I have been very pleased with how much time this saves me from printing checks twice.

And, as I've had to remind several clients, if you are not using QuickBooks to print out your checks - whether preprinted ones you buy or via a utility like VersaCheck - you are missing out on the biggest time saving feature of QuickBooks. It also improves the accuracy of the data input over entering check info after the fact.

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