How To Print Checks Without QuickBooks

by Michael Scepaniak on May 1, 2013 in entrepreneurship, finance, software development

The Bonsai and the Rock

Writing checks makes me angry. Not because it represents a withdrawal from one of my accounts. I’m OK with that. I just really don’t enjoy engaging in the physical act of sitting down and scribbling on a piece of paper, knowing that there are much better ways to relay money these days. I’m all about efficiency, and check-writing is all about… something else.

But, there are still situations in life where cutting a check is still the best or only option. They’re becoming fewer and far between, but they still exist – occurring often enough to be annoying/frustrating/anger-inducing.

I have both personal and business checking accounts, which compounds the issue. But, I’ve always historically used QuickBooks to manage my corporate books. The nice thing about QuickBooks is that you can print checks directly from the software. The crappy thing about QuickBooks, though, is that they come out with a new, more expensive version every month and a half. (I kid. It’s every year.) And given that I use very few features in the software, I have no reason to upgrade (except when it holds me back from upgrading my Mac’s operating system, the situation I’m currently in). Grrr.

I’ve looked at QuickBooks alternatives several times in the past, typically web-based options. However, each time, the deal-breaker for me has been lack of support for printing checks! (Seriously, I dislike writing checks that much.) I looked around for some sort of stand-alone check printing option, but I couldn’t find any. I surmised that there must be some sort of Word/Excel/HTML template out there that would help facilitate check-printing, but I couldn’t find one.

If you have no interest in deciphering GitHub repositories, downloading files, or fiddling with HTML, I suggest you take a look at this no-fuss check-printing service instead of messing with the template linked-to below.

So, I finally did what any capable, but frustrated, software developer would do in my situation – I built one myself. And so, I offer you an HTML file that will allow you to print QuickBooks-compliant standard business checks!

I’ve been using it for nearly a year now with no issues, allowing me to finally ditch QuickBooks all-together. So, if you have any similar need, please head on over to my check-print project on GitHub and download the template. Full instructions are provided on the project page.

Again, this check-printing service is a simpler, but non-free option.

Anybody out there find this helpful? If so, I’d love to hear from you (if, for no other reason, to know that I’m not the only one to ever have this need).

Mike
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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin May 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Nice.

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Michael Scepaniak May 2, 2013 at 6:39 am

🙂 Thanks, Marty.

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Tom Jack January 6, 2017 at 6:32 am

I have been using SlickPie online accounting software. In my experience I have shared Its coolest accounting software. Based on my business to customise all fields, keep track of all process. The software works fine and it’s indeed pretty simple to use. The invoices are super easy to create. I can send invoices to clients on a daily basis with the help of this. Highly recommend it.

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Michael Scepaniak January 8, 2017 at 6:58 am

SlickPie looks compelling. Thanks, Tom. I’ve actually been using Wave (https://www.waveapps.com/) for several years now and have been very pleased. They sound very similar, though.

Mike…

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Dominic August 17, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Pretty good. Margins need to be adjusted for other browsers and operating systems. On mine the lines printed a half-inch too high. I could see value in creating a web form so I don’t need to type in the fields each time. I spent more time trying to modify the HTML to print one check than it takes to hand-write it.
Absolutely agree that the crappy part of Quickbooks is the high rate of product turnover and discontinuation.Thanks for the inspiration!
Linux 3.9, Firefox v22, hp1200 printer

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Michael Scepaniak August 21, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Hey, thanks for trying it out and for the feedback, Dominic! I totally agree about putting a web form on top of it. For my own purposes, though, I haven’t needed it. If it gets enough usage and I get more feedback akin to yours, I’d be willing to put some additional effort into it.

Mike…

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Elizabeth September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

Hi Mike!

I, too, loath writing cheques and want to escape the horror that is QuickBooks. I’m not particularly tech savvy, so having a web form would be really helpful. I’d definitely donate! Let’s be honest – I’d rather send my money to you than the goliath that has held my cheque-printing habits hostage for the last five years.

Thanks!

Elizabeth

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Michael Scepaniak September 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

Haha. 🙂 Thanks for the vote, Elizabeth. If you know anyone else with the same need, forward them over.

Mike….

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Shane September 10, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Too amazing. And simple enough to get the job done. We are non-profit and carrying the cost of Quickbooks when we have a very simple accounting process with only 1-5 checks being written within a month or two; was just not feasible. This is our solution 🙂

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Michael Scepaniak December 19, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Too cool! Thanks for letting me know, Shane. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your non-profit?

Mike…

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Jon March 4, 2014 at 10:46 am

How’s about something for deposit slips??

I do like your idea, but I use Kashoo, which prints checks for me.

Now I just need to figure out deposit slips.

Blessings,

Jon

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Michael Scepaniak March 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Jon,

Man, deposit slips would be tough. There’s no standard layout (I believe). I appreciate the thought, though.

I wasn’t aware of Kashoo. Thanks for the heads-up. Their site mentions nothing about printing checks, so I would have had no idea that they offer that functionality if you hadn’t brought it to my attention.

Mike….

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Clay April 15, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Mike,
Isn’t it amazing that we could not find ANY template! I couldn’t find one. Then I “got smart” and tried searches honing in on Word. Nothing until I came across you. I’m not sure how to make use of your program. I’m not an HTML editor. Pasted your code into Notebook text editor and an online HTML editor. In both cases I only saw the same code. Even when I opened the .txt file with Firefox. All I saw was the code. Would love to try it with your help. Thanks!

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Michael Scepaniak April 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Clay,

I hear you. Unfortunately, I haven’t put in the effort required to make the template sufficiently user-friendly for less-technical people. Hopefully, someday.

In the meantime, try this:
– Go to the raw version of the template – https://raw.githubusercontent.com/hispanic/check-print/master/check-template-standard-business.html
– Save this page to your local computer (using a .html file extension).
– Open the saved file using your browser. You’ll see the words “REPLACE-ME” everywhere.
– Open the same saved file using a text editor. (I don’t recommend Microsoft Word.)
– Search the file for that same “REPLACE-ME” text and replace it with real values (i.e., check date, amount, payee, etc.).
– Go back to your browser and refresh the page. The “REPLACE-ME”s should be replaced with your real values.
– Print the page using your browser onto a sheet of checks.

Good luck!

Mike….

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Priyanka Chheda May 19, 2014 at 6:09 am

Hello,
You can try easy to use and simple Cheque Printing Software 6.6 by VirtualSplat Software Pvt Ltd. It works for all bank checks and for all printers.

Direct Download Link : http://www.virtualsplat.com/cp6.exe

Hope this helps.

Have a nice day.

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Michael Scepaniak June 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Priyanka,

How much does your product cost? I can’t find it anywhere on your site.

Mike….

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Nica June 6, 2014 at 4:48 am

hi everyone, I developed a system where in you only have to export the transaction journal – right after writing the check in quickbooks – in excel then a series of formulas automatically places the values from the exported transaction journal to the rightful place of the values to the check – ready for printing directly to the check. any one interested just let me know

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Priyanka June 9, 2014 at 12:29 am

Hey Mike,

The link I mentioned above is direct download link. You can visit the website : http://www.virtualsplat.com/software-solution/cheque-bill-printing-software.asp

The software is Free for 30 days. But if you like the software and if you feel like purchasing it forever, the cost of registered key or what we call it as licence is INR 3371/- (including the service tax!)

If you have any further doubts, you can contact me.

Have a nice day.

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Michael Scepaniak June 12, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for the info, Priyanka. However, you should be aware that the vast majority of people that read this article are American. As such, “INR 3371/-” means little to nothing to them (or me). I suggest you simply put pricing information on your site.

Mike….

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Priyanka June 13, 2014 at 12:49 am

Hey Mike,

The price of the software in USD will be $56.79 (I used the converter 😛 )
Thank you for your suggestion Mike. Yes, we planning to put the payment information on our website, or may be the payment gateway for making it easy for the customers to pay.

Best Regards.

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Brian July 14, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Hello Mike,

I’m fairly technical but when I open the html it shows all the code and then when I print, it prints the code. I tried Safari and Firefox on a Mac. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

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Michael Scepaniak August 13, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Brian,

After you click on the template link and the page comes up, click on the “Raw” button. This is the HTML file that you want to save (File -> Save Page As…) to your computer (with a .html file extension). To be honest, Firefox on my Mac is the only browser I’ve tested this with, so I’m pretty sure your browser isn’t the problem. Let me know if it works any better for you.

Mike….

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Derek Ritchie May 4, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Kinda late to the party here but your HTML file helped me tremendously to avoid Quickbooks so thank you for that. To simplify things and as some of the other folk who commented requested, i threw together a quick GUI which makes things a little easier to manage. You can find it on my blog at http://derekritchie.com/check-writing-without-quickbooks/

Thanks again for your great work, much appreciated
-Derek

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Michael Scepaniak May 16, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Derek,

Very cool! I’m sure several people will find it useful.

Mike…

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Mark Bickert June 30, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Hey Derek,
I enjoyed your article on check writing. I’ve been printing checks for over twenty years now. I’ve had many people that don’t like Quickbooks. Some have custom check programs that the enjoy better. I pretty much have see all of them. Since I have print checks to there check setup. I have seen less and less of the custom checks and more leaning to Quickbooks just out of convince. I actually had a programmer design me a nice one that works just fine. It was about a third the cost of Quickbooks.

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Colby July 16, 2015 at 10:22 am

Hey this worked great! Had to tweak it a bit, but it does the trick. The only problem I am having is that when I open it in Firefox or Chrome the file path appears in upper right hand corner and prints on the checks (e.g – file:///E:Desktop/test.html). Anyone know a way to remove this? Thanks for the great file though!

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Michael Scepaniak July 23, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Colby,

I had this issue. In the Firefox print dialog, search for an option to set all six positions of the “Page Headers” and “Page Footers” (Left, Center, and Right) to “–blank–“. On my Mac, this is in the “Firefox” section of the Print dialog. I would think an equivalent option should be available in Windows and in Chrome. Good luck.

Mike….

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Bob November 9, 2015 at 12:01 am

If you want a totally free ‘real’ professional quality business accounting system that has been around for years and will print checks for you, I suggest checking out BS/1 from Davis Software. The basic version is entirely free. I’ve been using this software for the past year to do the books for a non-profit group associated with my daughter’s school. Perhaps it is not as easy to use as QuickBooks, but the price (free) makes up for it.

see http://www.dbsonline.com/accounting/ to download.

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Michael Scepaniak November 9, 2015 at 8:21 am

Thanks for pointing this out, Bob.

Mike….

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Mickle October 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Hey you can use this one : http://onlinechekcwriter.com no need any kind of software. you can print your check from anywhere. Please check it out.

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Michael Scepaniak October 30, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I’ll take a look. Thanks, Mickle.

Mike….

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Mickle October 11, 2017 at 8:22 pm

Sorry spelling mistake -https://onlinecheckwriter.com/

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