If you are a businessperson or you deal with a lot of huge money transfers, you probably need to know how to write a check accurately. The last thing you need is to keep your suppliers and distributors waiting, or checks bouncing because of a mistake on your end. After all, trust is key when it comes to business transactions.
So, how do you write a check? Fortunately, the process is simple and quite straightforward. Here are a few tips that you should focus on when writing a check.
How to write a check
The first thing on how to write a check is to first understand what this document is for. It is an inexpensive paper document used to transfer cash. Despite the fact that a lot of things have been automated, checks remain to be some of the few old-school transaction methods that are relevant to date. They come in handy when transferring huge sums of cash easily and safely. The good news is that writing checks is easy, as shown below.
1. Write the current date properly
This should be written at the top on the right corner. More often than not, you need to write the current date. This way, you can keep track of the check.
2. Be keen with the payee
On your check, there is a line that says "Pay to the order of." It is here that you should write the name of the person or organization that you are making the payment to. If you are unsure about the recipient, do not write the name and avoid checks payable in cash. They may be convenient but they could also pose a risk.
3. Write the amount numerically
You should indicate the exact amount you want to pay. This is done at the right-hand side where there is a small box which you need to fill. Always start as far off the left-hand side as possible to ensure that all figures fit. This also makes it possible to prevent fraud.
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4. Write the amount in words
It is not just enough to leave the amount in numerical form. A complete check must have the amount in words too. The essence of this is to prevent confusion and avoid fraud that may occur. In case there is a difference between the amount written in words and the numerical figure, then the legally considered amount will be the one in words. Also, make a point of writing this amount in capital letters which are harder to alter.
5. Append your signature
When looking at how to fill out a check, remember that a check is considered complete only when it is signed. Using a legible sign at the bottom-right corner, make sure the check is recognized. Be careful to use only the initials and signature at the bank. Remember that your check will be invalidated if it misses the signature.
6. What about the Memo (or “For”) line
Well, this is not a mandatory step, but if you like, you can include a note. No bank will penalize you for not doing so, but you can just mention why you wrote the check in the first place.
What happens after writing checks?
Once you are done filling out a check correctly, you need to make a record of payment. Making this record ensures that you do not spend the money twice. Take note of the fact that the funds will still reflect in your account until the check is crashed or cashed.
Also, notable is the fact that you should only get into check writing if you are sure that it is something you want to do. Remember that this is not the only easy way to move money, and writing a check properly can be tasking. It is, however, still one of the safest ways to move a lot of cash.
Tips for writing a check
Now that you have an understanding of how to fill a check, the following tips will come in handy. Most of them are security suggestions that will go a long way in ensuring that your money is safe from fraud.
- Make use of a permanent ink pen. This way, no one can try to omit your writing or replace it with what they want.
- Avoid the danger of signing blank checks. Only append your signature once you are sure of all the details correctly filled in. Signing a blank check puts you at risk as anyone can fill out other details according to their preference.
- Keep carbon copies. You never know when a problem will arise. Make sure you have a copy of what you have transacted just in case there will be a need for evidence.
- Keep your signature consistent. This way, no one can easily forge or imitate it. Inconsistency will only lead to troubles and make it difficult to prove whenever you are the one who wrote the check
- Whenever possible, keep off checks payable to cash.
By now, you know how to write checks and have an idea of how to do it accurately.