How to Print Checks With Excel

If you run a small business, payroll is a costly and time-consuming part of operations.
Image Credit: ijeab/iStock/GettyImages

If you run a small business, payroll is a costly and time-consuming part of operations. However, thanks to technology, you don't have to pay a third-party service or invest in expensive software to create paper-based checks. You can easily print payroll checks from Excel, but it's essential to have the right paper and ink for printing to ensure your employees can deposit their pay.

Check Printing Template Excel

The first step if you want to print payroll checks from Excel is to find a template. You can easily find these through a web search. The basic templates provided with Excel don't include checks, but you can find useful templates for supporting documentation like timesheets.

Once you've found and downloaded a check printing template for Excel, you input information specific to the recipient and money being disbursed. You save the check as a PDF, which you can then print and distribute to the employee.

Having a check-printing template PDF isn't enough. Financial institutions are diligent about preventing fraud, so you can't print a check on plain paper and pass it off as official. If possible, obtain the requirements from the financial institutions your employees use to make sure your checks won't be denied. These may include paper, size and font specifications.

Finding the Right Paper

After you use the check-printing template in Excel and create the checks in PDF format, the next step is to confirm that the paper and ink you must use for checks work with the printer you already have. If not, you need to go shopping for a new printer.

When you print the check to a printer, it must be on a heavier paper than you use for everyday printing. For example, Bank of America requires checks to be on paper that has the following specifications:

  • Sized between 7.75 by 2.75 inches and 8.75 by 3.667 inches
  • Between 24 lb. and 44 lb. weight
  • Paper grain runs horizontally.

The good news is, you can buy check-printing paper that satisfies most bank requirements. Either visit a local office supply store or shop online and make sure the paper is compatible with the type of printer you have.

Finding the Right Ink

You can't just run your checks through a printer using standard ink cartridges. Banks require Magnetic Ink Character Recognition ink or toner for checks. If you're printing on an inkjet printer, you need MICR ink, while printing your checks on a laser printer calls for MICR toner.

If you plan to print payroll checks from Excel, you should pay attention to bank requirements on ink, too. With Bank of America, you can't use duplex mode to print your checks. If your payroll checks are two-sided, the back must be printed in non-MICR ink. If you take advantage of security features to prevent tampering, such as watermarks or chemical voids, make sure your printing process is compliant with destination banks' regulations.

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