Actionstep offers built-in accounting to users on our Practice Pro + Accounting plan. This article covers functionality only available with that option.
Within Actionstep you can enter a transaction that will be processed as a printed check. The check transactions are batched together and you can print the checks when you are ready to. However, there are times when you need to void one of your checks such as when a transaction is made in error, a check isn't printed correctly or the check is never cashed.
In this article, we will take you through how to void a check in Actionstep.
Understanding the relationship between checks and the transactions that created them
The first point that is important to understand is that when you create a printed check record in Actionstep, you do so by creating a transaction in Actionstep. Any time after that that you want to edit or delete a transaction, you will have to deal with the check separately to the transaction. In these cases, you will need to void the check first, then alter your transaction.
In almost all cases, you will have to void a check and delete/correct a transaction as two separate steps. After voiding a check you will likely have to also correct the transaction that the check a was created from.
Accessing your checks in Actionstep
All your checks are managed on the checks screen under the Accounting menu. If you go to Accounting at the top of Actionstep screen and choose Checks.
To the left of the screen will be a link to "view all Checks', click on this to see all checks in your system.
This list will include all of the printed checks that your bank has issued to you in a series, including unissued checks.
Voiding a check
Once you are on the page listing all of your checks (see above for how to get there), you will need to find the check you want to void.
The checks will be displayed on a standard Actionstep list view. To help you find the check you wish to void use the filter function to filter down your list.
You can filter by the bank account name or number, 'Date' or 'Pay to' to help you find the specific record.
Once you find the check you want to void, tick the box to the left-hand side of the line that represents it.
From the toolbar above the list view (where the filter normally is), choose Void Check.
On the resulting screen, you will be prompted to enter a reason for voiding the check and to choose to either issue a replacement check or not. We give some examples of when you want to reissue a replacement check or not below.
You can use the above process and select multiple checks to void more than one at a time.
Examples of voiding a check
EXAMPLE 1: A CHECK IS DAMAGED OR LOST
If you go to print a batch of checks but have one or more caught in your printer or it is misplaced by the recipient you will want to re-issue a new check.
In this instance, find the check, void it and after entering a reason for voiding the check, choose the option to "void and issue a new check".
This will void the first check and create a duplicate check with the next available check number in your batch. The next time you process a batch, that check will be included.
You do not need to alter the original transaction as there is no problem with the information that was entered.
EXAMPLE 2: A CHECK HAS AN ERROR ON IT
If you have printed a check only to realise that the client's name was misspelt or it was dated incorrectly or some other detail of the check is wrong, you should void the check and while you will want to issue a replacement check, do not use the re-issue feature.
The detail of the check that was incorrect would be caused by the transaction that created this check being entered wrong. You will want to find the check, void it and after entering a reason for voiding the check, choose the option to "Void WITHOUT a replacement".
You will then want to find and open the transaction that the check was created from. We would recommend that you delete the transaction by using the delete button in the bottom right of the screen and then enter it into Actionstep again, making sure that the details are correct.
Once you create the replacement transaction, the new check will be added to a new check batch.
EXAMPLE 3: A CHEQUE IS NEVER CASHED BY THE RECIPIENT
If you have a stale check - a check that has been issued but never deposited at a bank you should void the check without issuing a new one. You will want to deal with the transaction that the check was based on as well, most creating a reversing transaction. You will not want to re-issue the check.
Void the check as per normal, choosing the option "Void WITHOUT a replacement".
Find the transaction that created the check and you will want to reverse it by creating a reversing transaction. The easiest way to create a reversing transaction is to create a Firm deposit. You can do this by going to the create button (the green button in the top right of Actionstep) and choosing 'Firm deposit'. Create a firm deposit for the amount of the check and issue it to the same contact that the check was made out to. In the memo of the firm deposit, state that it is to reverse a check that was never cashed. Referencing as many details about the original withdrawal transaction for accurate records.
Why create a reversing transaction instead of just deleting the transaction?
You can just delete the transaction instead but good accounting practice would be to create a reversing transaction.
The reason behind this is that you have a more complete record of everything that has transpired. A review of your accounts will show the original attempt to make a payment and there is a transaction that states the check was never cashed to give a clear record.
You may also find that by the time you want to take action on an uncashed check you cannot delete the transaction as it has been reconciled and/or included in a sales tax return.
- Printing checks
- Correcting Accounting errors
- Setting up Printed Checks
- Introduction to Actionstep's in-built Accounting
- Firm withdrawals
- Paying a supplier invoice / vendor invoice