Benefits of MICR Check Printing for Accounts Payable

Author: Source Technologies

Accounts payable is a critical function of every business, and invoices must be paid quickly and efficiently. While personal check payments have been declining over the past decade, approximately 50% of businesses still use check payments to pay their bills.

Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) check printers and check printing software offer these businesses the ability to minimize the risk of fraud and human error, while also saving money.

Pre-Printed Checks vs Secure MICR Printing for Accounts Payable

Pre-Printed Checks

The majority of accounts payable departments paying invoices through check payments are still using pre-printed check stock and a laser or dot matrix printer. While using pre-printed checks may seem convenient, they pose some significant risks, including:

  • Cost: Pre-printed check stock is expensive to purchase, store, distribute, and re-order if company information changes.

  • Fraud: A pre-printed check is the easiest instrument to alter or forge.

  • Human Error: Manual processes are vulnerable to mistakes.

Secure MICR Check Printing

An integrated software and hardware solution created specifically for check printing offers a secure, cost-effective method for printing business checks on demand while providing control over the entire process. Our accounts payable check printing solution includes CheckPartner® Enterprise software and secure MICR check printers.

CheckPartner Enterprise combines the data transfer capabilities of the internet and the latest check printing technology to allow businesses to securely print checks with complete control of the process. Our secure MICR check printers print static data, variable data, and required signatures on blank check stock on demand in a single printer pass.

This combination of software and hardware offers control and visibility for printing accounts payable check payments on demand, offering greater efficiency for this business-critical function.

ROPS] MICR Check Printing Solutions for Accounts Payable_Graphic 2 Freepik


4 Benefits of MICR Check Printing for Accounts Payable

To provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with pre-printed checks and secure MICR printing for payment transactions, let's explore the top reasons why a MICR printing solution offers more advantages to businesses of all sizes.

1. Increased Security

The number one benefit of MICR check printing for businesses is increased security. 

Just like consumer checks, pre-printed business checks arrive with the payor’s name, address, and account information encoded in the MICR line. This means the check is “live” immediately. Plus, the amount of confidential financial information it communicates can put your organization at greater risk of fraudulent activity. 

These checks can be stolen, lost, or manipulated, potentially causing financial and reputational harm to your business. Blank check stock, by contrast, requires a special MICR printer to issue the check. It's also nearly impossible to forge or manipulate. 

With a secure MICR printing solution, your company’s data is encrypted throughout the entire payment transaction process, extending from the central location to the remote PC, all the way to the secure MICR printer. This keeps your company’s financial and banking information more secure from fraudsters. 

Additionally, the payment information (such as the employee who issued the check, payor information, amount, and date the check was issued) is tracked through compatible software designed specifically to be used in combination with the MICR printer. 

This level of security and tracking embedded in the software virtually eliminates the opportunity for check fraud and drastically reduces possible errors throughout the payment transaction process.

2. Reduced Costs

In addition to the increased risks of fraud that come with pre-printed check stock, it is much more expensive than blank check stock in a couple of other ways. 

First, pre-printed checks can cost as much as 80% more than blank check stock and are more expensive to secure and store safely. Costs related to employee and machine errors should also be factored into the equation. 

ROPS] MICR Check Printing Solutions for Accounts Payable_Graphic 2

Pre-printed checks still require the use of standard printers to add the payee’s information. Plus, when printing payroll checks, the printing doesn’t always come out clean or correct the first time, requiring re-printing cycles. This can result in:

  • The miscounting of checks
  • Waste (on average, around 15% of pre-printed checks are unable to be used)
  • Payment and/or payroll delays
  • Eventually, additional costs for the business

By investing in a MICR printer designed for blank check stock, you can save as much as 82% of your costs per case of checks when compared to the pricing of pre-printed check stock.

Finally, the time expense should be calculated when considering your check printing options. Frequently, small businesses have fewer employees, which means every minute spent on the business counts toward the bottom line. And while today’s office printers have come a long way, they are not designed specifically for pre-printed checks. 

MICR printers drastically reduce the setup time — and frustration — involved in check printing, cutting printing times by as much as 75%.

ROPS] MICR Check Printing Solutions for Accounts Payable_Graphic 3 Freepik

3. More Efficient Accounts Payable Processes

Because small businesses must be conscious of how efficient their operating processes are, MICR printers are an ideal investment. 

Every element of the check is printed at the same time, reducing mechanical errors. Also, any potential audit or tracking requirements are handled automatically through the software, rather than with manual efforts or by an additional payment tracking software solution.

MICR printers communicate with their software in real time. This gives you full visibility into the status of your checks as they are printed. Every activity is tracked, adding insights into the amount of time and money spent on payroll and accounts payable. With that information, you can make more effective and timely strategic decisions to optimize your processes.

Using the right software with your MICR check printers can provide the capability to digitally apply your authorized signature when the check is printed. This can prevent delays caused by waiting for your authorized signer to be available for a wet signature. 

4. Audit Reduction

Every check within an organization must be accounted for and verified for accuracy and legitimacy. This includes not only checks your business has issued but any checks that may have been miscounted, damaged during printing, lost, or even stolen. 

Verifying your pre-printed check activities through a manual process requires managers and auditors to look at a greater sampling of data. This takes more time and adds to your overall payment transaction costs.

With a secure MICR printing solution, your data is encrypted throughout the entire payment transaction process. This level of security and tracking embedded in the software virtually eliminates the opportunity for check fraud and significantly reduces the chances of errors during the payment transaction process.

Improve Your Check Printing Processes With Source Technologies

It comes down to a simple concept: Your business needs to print checks. The question that remains is: How do you print them in a way that’s secure, efficient, and cost-effective while minimizing risk? Secure MICR printing with blank check stock utilizing Source Technologies MICR printers and software delivers these benefits. 

Internal Source Technologies MICR check fraud protections include:

  • Protecting passwords to block unauthorized access to printer commands
  • Preventing a person from printing multiple checks with a single request
  • Disabling the printer’s auto jam recovery feature so it doesn’t reprint a knotted-up check

External Source Technologies MICR check fraud protections include:

  • Integrating advanced security features into the check design, making it nearly impossible for criminals to work around the impediments
  • Using a secure numeric font that eliminates the chance of the dollar amount being altered
  • Leveraging a microprint font illegible to the naked eye, making it extremely difficult to replicate or alter

Whether you’re looking to make your processes more efficient, save on costs, or increase your check printing security, MICR printing solutions from Source Technologies can deliver. To find out more, contact us.