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 create a printed check. This happens automatically when you create a new transaction that will us the "Printed Check" payment type. The checks are batched together ready to print when you want to.
In this article, we will show you how you can create a printed check, where you can go to access your batches of checks, how you can print them off and how to manage your checks.
Understanding how printed checks work in Actionstep
Before you can use printed checks in Actionstep, you need to create a check series. This is the record of the checks that your bank has issued to you for a nominated bank account. A series is defined by the check numbers of the first and last checks in the series.
Once you have a check series, Actionstep will automatically create a printed check when you create a transaction that is set to be a printed check. Once you create and save the transaction, the check will be processed and added to a batch, waiting to be processed. When you have entered all your check transactions for the day, you can then go to your batch and print them.
How to create a printed check in Actionstep
There are four types of transactions that can create a printed check:
- A bank withdrawal from your business account
- A payment against a vendor invoice (also called a supplier invoice) from your business account
- A trust payment out of your trust bank account
- An invoice payment from your trust bank account
In all four cases, when you are processing the transaction, you will be prompted to choose what type of payment method you are going to use. When you select 'Printed check' as the method you will be asked to select a check series (it is possible to have multiple check series open at once).
Once you complete the transaction, the check will be created automatically using the next available check number in the series.
Once you have saved the transaction that creates the check, you can find the batch that it has been assigned to and print it.
Accessing your check batches
Once you create a new check, it will be assigned to a batch. The idea is that you don't have to print each check one at a time but batch them together and print multiple at once. This is important when you need to make sure that the check forms are loaded into the printer before you print.
You will find the check batches by going to the Accounting menu at the top of the Actionstep screen and selecting Checks.
From this screen, you will see any batches that are ready to be printed. You may see one or more yellow boxes, each represents a different batch that is ready to be printed. You can have multiple check series for a bank account and you may have checks for more than one bank.
If you do not have any checks ready to be processed, you will have a notification on screen to explain that.
Understanding the checks screen
There are a few options on this screen so let's run through what they do.
To the left will be a menu where you can navigate to see either all the check batches you have processed in Actionstep or all the checks that have been processed or waiting to be processed. We will explain both of these options later in this article.
In the centre of the screen will be either a message saying that there are no checks ready to be printed or you will see one or more yellow boxes representing a batch of checks waiting to be processed.
Within that box will be the details of the bank account for the batch, the check numbers of the checks within the batch and a count of how many there are, including how many, if any, have been voided (see How to Void a Check if you want to know how to void a check).
If you want to see more details about each of the checks that are in a batch click on the 'View Details' link. This will open a list view with the details of those checks.
If you are happy to start printing the checks in the batch, click the button.
Generating a check batch
Generating a check batch will create a PDF document of all of the checks. Click the button for the check batch you want to print. A PDF of the checks will be available to be downloaded from your browser.
Make sure you load the checks into your printer in the order of the check numbers that are to be printed and then print the PDF.
Viewing all your batches
If you want to, you can access all the previous batches you have generated by clicking on the 'View all Batches' link to the left-hand side of the 'Checks' screen in Actionstep.
This will display a list view of all the batches displaying all relevant details about them.
You are able to click on tick box to the left-hand side of a batch to be able to regenerate it or download the PDF again so it can be re-printed.
Viewing all checks
You can view all the checks that you have processed previously or are waiting to be printed as part of a check series as individual records by clicking on 'View all Checks' to the left of the 'Checks' screen.
This can be useful if you want to check details on a check, see the next check number in a batch or to void a check (see How to Void a Check for more details on that).
The checks will be displayed in a list view so use the filter option to help find any particular check that you are interested in.