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Cheque printing for Canada

Started by Catherine Walker (Community Manager) -   in Feature Requests | To Be Scheduled

Starting a new feature request for this on behalf of customers wanting cheque printing in Canada.

For general discussion on how this feature should work in Canada, how it's specifically different to what we've implemented for US customers, please leave comments on the thread: Calling for input on how you use checks/cheques in your business

If you're keen to see cheque printing offered in your region, please start a specific feature request - thanks!
I send checks in USD and CAD. To the US and to Canada. I don't know of a single difference.
Please implement soon.
Or give me access to the US check code and I'll tell you exactly what needs changing!
 

Bernice Daniels  

My comment from the previous thread:


I am not an accountant, but I was able to quickly tweak the template. I went into a sample payable, clicked Make Payment and was pleased to see Pay by Check. Worked great. I like the new Checks screen, and the workflow options around the status. Nicely implemented, clearly well thought through. Good job Xero.

On the downside, the built-in template that Xero provides doesn't work for us. Our cheques are 1 per page, with a voucher section and look like they should work; however, the position of the Payee field and the "pay to the order of" field are reversed for us. The positioning needs work as well - the first field is a bit too low, and the second field is too high. It would be nice if the dollar amount had a dollar sign.

I see that "US Voucher" is the only format you provide; if you're interested in the format we use (they're from HSBC) I'd be happy to send a scanned version over to you. Alternatively, it would be great to be able to have field level placement in a template editor similar to Invoices. I suspect this is something you are working on.

Overall the implementation looks great. It looks like the hard work has been completed; I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing these adjustments and getting our hands on this feature. In my (not so humble) opinion it is the last major feature Xero needs before it can be a full replacement for the majority of small to mid sized Canadian firms out there.
 

Darren Gibbons  

The cheques need the branch, institution and account number.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheque#Canada
 

Allan Fefergrad CPA CGA  

Good point Darren - we print 1 check at a time no vouchers. Our check stock is 3 checks per page - If I want to print 1 I tear one off and put in the printer envelope setting. I'd be happy to scan a void check and email it as well.
 

Bernice Daniels  

I would really like to see this feature in the program for Canadian cheque printing (using the Global Xero program). At the moment the style I utilize for computer runs is cheque/stub/stub, although any style can be adapted as long the cheque stock is printed here in Canada with all the account number etc. We just need the payee name and address, amount in figures and then written out in full to be able to print and if possible we need to be able to move the fields around to facilitate printing.
 

Moira Milligan  

Here is a great suggestion: Canada should stop using cheques and switch to online banking. Why are Canada and America so behind in this??
 

Luke Heyhoe  

Another vote for cheque printing. Only a few of our vendors accept direct deposit, in the meantime we print a lot of cheques. Our cheque stock is Davis + Henderson SLF142, 1 cheque with 2 stubs per 8-1/2 x 11 page.
 

Rick Klassen  

We definitely need cheque printing. We typically use the 8-1/2 x 11 page size with actual cheque on the tare-off stub. The demos that we've seen for Xero's USA cheque printing look like the same functionality will work for us Canadian users. Please add this feature ASAP!
 

Graham Nelson-Zutter  

It is an absolute necessity. The program useless without cheque printing.
 

jerry freidberg  

QuickBooks Online Canada has just added the cheque printing feature. It appears that they've simply adapted this feature they had already provided for USA users.

It would be great to get confirmation from Xero that Canadian cheque printing is in the works. This is a key feature for us and many other businesses in Canada.

I have personally made recommendations for Xero to several Canadian business contacts looking for an online accounting solution. They were about to make the switch and then didn't because cheque printing was missing.

Cheque printing is certainly antiquated. Regardless of what we think, cheques are still a normal part of daily business in Canada. Xero must make a commitment to support this feature.

thanks!
Graham
 

Graham Nelson-Zutter  

Add our name to the list for Canadian check/cheque printing, same vendor and format:

Another vote for cheque printing. Only a few of our vendors accept direct deposit, in the meantime we print a lot of cheques. Our cheque stock is Davis + Henderson SLF142, 1 cheque with 2 stubs per 8-1/2 x 11 page.
 

James Ludwick  

We also need check printing. In the meantime, we use checkeeper.com (can be linked to Xero). We simply scanned a sample check to create a template. We used a blank check provided by the bank and simply placed the correct fields on the template. Works like a charm.

I understand that Xero is the 'accounting core' of something that could become much more specialized with the various add-on but come on... the check printing must be done within the accounting software and it's about time we get this feature available in Xero.

We can discuss about the use of check in general but it's a waste of time... we use them, our client and supplier are also using them so it becomes as important as any other form of payment and it should be fully managed in the accounting software.
 

Louis Croisetiere  

I just signed up three companies to Xero and only found out last night that I can't print cheques yet, here in Canada. I'm hoping this becomes available ASAP!
 

Lyne Essiembre  

We will be leaving Xero if this feature is not implemented soon.
 

Peter Aprile  

Another vote for cheque printing in Canada. Extremely important for small business' here, also as others have said to be able to print batches of cheques straight from xero.
 

Greg Penner  

As Louis said checkeeper.com connects with Xero and makes check printing pretty easy. You can see a short video here explaining how it works:

http://checkeeper.com/xero

Checkeeper is free to use, and the system can print & mail checks for you. Support for mailing Canadian fulfillment is coming very soon, but you can use it today to print on your own check stock.
 

Justin Rockwell  

+1 for http://checkeeper.com

We've had a few clients use the service and they are happy with the layout flexibility the service gives for printing on pre-printed cheque stock.

While our service (http://PaymentEvolution.com) will print employee payroll and vendor cheques for you with Xero integration, Checkeeper is a great add-on for issuing cheques to others.
 

Sam Vassa  

Greetings,
This feature is needed ASAP for Canadian Xero.
Thanks,
Soren Bertesen
 

Soren Bertelsen  

Would love to have this feature for Canada!
 

Mark Kuznicki  

Make the feature even better - print on blank check stock. In the USA you can save at least 6 cents per check (blank check stock is under 4 cents per check, preprinted checks run at least 10 cents each).
 

Steven Feldman  

Need to print cheques. Just signed up for Xero and discovered that I can't, and feeling ripped off. About 1/3 of my suppliers require cheque payment. My bank only offers online payments to a few suppliers. Though I may change banks in order to do more of that.
 

Paula Gaul  

Really disappointed I can't print cheques. Seems like this should be something automatically included. I need this feature and have just finished converting to this program only to find this out! Has anyone had a response from Xero about this option in Canada?
 

Colin Way  

We currently have 20 companies on Xero and that number is increasing rapidly - all are writing cheques and we have had to integrate Checkeeper for all. The capability for cheque writing needs to be within Xero - still no response on when this is being released??
 

Ange Tancock  

I feel as though this new generation of accounting software is loosing sight of how businesses actually use the software. Launching a business software that does not support the main media in which we pay bills is like opening a coffee shop that doesn't sell coffee. Integrating cheques into the Canadian version of Xero is a no-brainer, and the speed in which this is completed is key. Thank you.
 

Carolann Companion  

I need too
 

farzan samsamy  

So where are we with all this? Its been a long time and many comments provided. Xero - can you tell us where you are with this?
 

Riaz Walji  

Canadian cheques are different from the US. Especially in the layout requirements that are set by the Canadian Payment Asosciation. We switched suppliers years ago from the bank supplier Davis and Henderson to Print and Cheques Now Inc. They let us know about the layouts and are one of the CPA's accredited cheque printers. Perhaps you should call them and see if you can arrange a preferred cheque printer relationship with them. The two of you could work together to come up with a cheque layout that will work with your software and also with Canadian banks. I know they sell the pre-printed laser cheques in 3 per page, Top middle or bottom cheques and they sell blank cheque stock as well.

Their site is http://www.chequesnow.ca
Or call them at 1-866-760-2661 Ext 224.
 

Jon Gilchrist  

Would love to see this feature implemented. It's a deal-breaker for us, and I suspect lots of Canadian companies, until this feature is implemented. Much like what others have mentioned, Canada is still heavily reliant on cheques.

Basically, we need to be able to print on cheque stock, usually a 3-piece sheet: cheque on the top, stub for recipient in the middle, and stub for the company which is kept before the cheque is sent out.

Thanks!
 

Paul Nakhleh  

Paul, please give Checkeeper.com a try. It does exactly what you're looking for. I realize it's not a fully integrated solution as you would like, but it's free (for now ;) and works very well. There are about 500 other Xero account users on Checkeeper, many of them Canadian.
 

Justin Rockwell  

Thanks for the response, Justin. I tried Checkeeper a few months back and found it to be lacking a few things. For example, if I voided a cheque, it did not register in Xero. This may have changed since then so I'll check it out again. But boy would I like to see a fully integrated solution for us Canucks. Thanks again.
 

Paul Nakhleh  

I also tried checkeeper and found it cumbersome and I was not able to get the type set up. It is not a solution for Xero. I HATE writing checks by hand and I am still doing that over using checkeeper.
We still need an integrated check printing. Most of my checks go to the US - why not at least offer us that option of using the US feature as is?
 

Bernice Daniels  

Paul, what other things did you find it lacking in? Xero's API limits us on things we can do- so yeah, the voiding thing isn't solid yet...

Bernice, I haven't had anyone describe the 'Keepers as cumbersome yet, feel free to contact me maybe I can help you get your template setup.

Both of you are welcome to contact me:
justin@checkeeper.com
 

Justin Rockwell  

Appreciate it, Justin.

I wish there was a way to print a cheque without having to save it as a PDF, then print. I've been using Shipstation and the way it prints out stuff (even from a website) is remarkable. No need to even choose your printer. Having something like that would be a huge benefit for Checkeeper.

Having an integrated solution is always a plus for the end-user, and I understand that the Xero API may have limitations that are beyond your control, like two-way exchange of information (i.e. once a check has been printed, to mark it as paid with the cheque number, etc).
 

Paul Nakhleh  

Also, we need the ability to generate deposit slips. Simply Accounting has a very good interface for that particular feature.
 

Paul Nakhleh  

A feedback from Xero on this aging thread would be a minimum now. This discussion has been on for quite a while. We've been with Xero for 2 years now and things are not moving really fast for a company that claims 200,000 users.

Having to rely on a free 3rd party solution for something as simple as check printing (and for so long) shows some lack of interest from Xero. Checkeeper is great and having a variety of add-ons available for Xero is interesting but we spend 500$ per year in monthly fees for Xero so we expect a little more.
 

Louis Croisetiere  

OK, first off, apologies for not getting on this thread earlier and updating you on where we stand on this.

While the Canadian market is an obvious one for us to enter we haven't yet taken the steps to create a Canadian version of Xero. This will change and we are talking internally about what's required around regional reporting, sales tax and of course, giving you guys the check printing options you need. But it's still some way off (read "not this year") as our team are working on more global features, that you guys will love too, but that don't solve the Canadian specific stuff you're after.

We have built the Xero check printing functionality in a way as to be able to add new formats but there are actually a few options to consider.

1. we could add new formats that are popular in Canada
2. we could open up the existing US check printing function to Global version
3. we could do 2 and add more layout options to the existing format
4. we could add support for a fully customisable check template, similar to DOCX invoice templates

Option 1 is a medium sized project but we have to make sure we add the right print stock, otherwise some will be left disappointed. Keen to get more feedback on the print stock you use.

Option 2 is trivial but I suspect won't help most of you - you can try it out using the US Xero Demo organisation. Let me know.

Option 3 may solve things if you use a check format that'sstill not solve the problem as your print stock may be completely different to the US voucher format

Option 4 is the most attractive in a lot of ways but would take the longest to build

Unfortunately all but option 4 are doable in the short term but still valuable having the conversation so when we do sort it out we get it right. In the meantime it's probably best to try out something like Checkeeper.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

Andrew Tokeley (Xero Staff)  

Just bite the bullet and implement Option #4 properly. You'll spend less time having to pacify irate customers on internet forums. ;)
 

Jev Bjorsell  

Option 4 would be quite nice. This is a deal-breaker for any small business in Canada.
 

Paul Nakhleh  

I would vote for the quick and easy Option 1 as a step along the path to eventually developing Option 4, assuming you can prioritize your development resources to get it done quickly. I think if you look, you'll find that Canadian cheque formats are actually pretty homogenous and standardized, with a couple of dominant suppliers - as much of our banking system is.

I would recommend starting with a Canadian template that uses the D+H cheques just like the ones they have formatted for QuickBooks: http://www.dhbrochure.com/business/en/computer.asp

This seems like something that D+H would be interested in offering, as they support a number of other accounting systems. Give them a call and get this going!
 

Mark Kuznicki  

Do something... anything.... I'm good with low hanging fruit - i'm hungry..
 

Riaz Walji  

Hi Andrew,
I just tried printing the US Voucher for my cheque format which is cheque, stub, stub from Davis and Henderson here in Canada. At the moment, I would vote for #3. We need to be able to format the date to Canadian standards, which shows the format beneath the numbers, i.e. DD MM YYYY, or MM DD YYYY - the figures are above the format. I would also like to be able to move the cheque amounts and other data placeholders around to fit my printer. We just need something to get going and be able to print cheques.
Hope that helps.
 

Moira Milligan  

Moira, have you given Checkeeper.com a try? You can do exactly that!
 

Justin Rockwell  

Option 3 is interesting but eventually, more layouts might be needed so I vote for option 4.

We use a DDMMYYYY date format.

Thanks for the feedback from Xero.
 

Louis Croisetiere  

In response to Justin's comment...yes I have signed up for Checkeeper for my own company.
We really do need this as part of Xero's capability. When I am presenting a demo to a potential new customer, their eyes glaze over when I even suggest an add-on for such a basic task. This needs to be part of the core functionality.
 

Moira Milligan  

Just signed up for Checkeeper (no choice!) - will update after a month of using. Its free - which is great. I need a solution asap so logging in (only one login!) to another system to complete cheque printing is ok - for now.

Now my next decision is payment evolution or simplepay for payroll...
 

Riaz Walji  

Another vote for Cheque printing.

I hate cheques (and paper in general), but unfortunately many vendors like to use them still.
 

Kyle Garrett  

New to Xero. I really want to promote it to my clients, but not sure I can....no check printing? Clumsy PST on AP invoices?

How are others in Canada getting around this from a marketing perspective? Are clients okay with this? I certainly don't want to recommend a product that won't work for them.

But I like what I see with Xero, so am hoping that this will be addressed soon.
 

Karen Hallson-Kundel  

We switched just under a year ago to xero. While I love it, my book keeper hates using the partner solution to print cheques. Enough that we are looking for something else. I wish we lived in Australia and did not have to worry about cheques but its the only way here - right now at least. To be fair, we are not leaving just because of the cheques. Its also because of the pay roll - difficult to bring information into Xero (according to book kepper), and lastly we can not import invoices and bills in US funds (as we operate with multiple currency). Bang for the buck xero is amazing - but these demand we find an alternate solution. It will be tough going from a few dollars a month to a couple of thousand a month for "richer" cloud accounting solution (netsuite/financialforce/intaact). Unless... xero lets us import in multi currency!! We can deal with the rest...until they solve the rest... so to answer your question, I would recommend xero with the advisory that cheque printing and pay roll are 3rd party and teadious - but still work. Don't bother with the third party service for collections - its a waste of money: Clients cant see reference number or even the original invoice on collections request - just causes more headache.
 

Riaz Walji  

Rather than posting complaints in this discussion why don't we focus on all the positives offered by using such an excellent cloud based accounting solution such as Xero?

Yes I agree cheque printing is of importance right now in Canada, however we must focus on the future and plan ahead. Yes it's very unfortunate that Canada is a laggard when it comes to paying bills and receiving payments electronically, however there are alternate solutions. One that comes to mind is www.telpay.ca which is currently working on Xero integration.

Let's learn to adopt technology and embrace the change rather than focussing on the the fact that we cannot print cheques. The faster business adopts EFT, the sooner we get rid of cheques. Years from now we will look back at this discussion and simply laugh!

I'm a Canadian silver advisor with Xero. Many of my clients hate cheques and refuse using them as much as possible. There are so many great Xero add-ons which suit various needs.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

 

Allan Fefergrad CPA CGA  

Riaz, Allan

Thank you both for your valid perspectives. I want my practice to be modern and future focused and am looking for clients who are comfortable with this. However, to start, I hope to convert a few of my Sage/Quickbook users who I think are open to change. Allan, I am interested in how your clients deal with cheque printing - this is a reality for my current clients. How can I best reach you?
 

Karen Hallson-Kundel  

Sure, send us an email to info@bettertax.ca
 

Allan Fefergrad CPA CGA  

I would like to vote for option 4. I think one of the things that attracts clients to Xero is the beauty in it's simplicity. Option 1 through 3 doesn't really honour that.

My 2 cents
 

John Healy  

+1 for option 4. We support Xero customers in US, Canada, and other countries so Option 4 means one solution for all.
 

Blair Collins  

@ Andrew Tokeley: You should not have to choose either or between options 1-4. Making that either or decision will take time (since June 2013). Rather, do it in a way that yields most quick impact.

Since option 2 is quick and easy, do it right away. (It would satisfy a segment of Canadian customers).
Then, do option 3 (cover another segment of Canadian customers)
After that if resources allowed, you can decide either option 4 or option 1.

Available of option 2 & 3 to Canadian market is better than the current situation (even with the free service from Checkeeper.com).
 

binh nguyen