How to Enter Information into a Quicken 2013 or 2014 Check Form - dummies

How to Enter Information into a Quicken 2013 or 2014 Check Form

By Stephen L. Nelson

Printing checks in Quicken 2013 or 2014 is, well, quick. All you basically need to do is enter the information you want to print on the check form and the number you want Quicken to use to identify the check. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? It is, as you can read in the steps that follow.

1Display the Write Checks window.

You can display the Write Checks window in a bunch of different ways. For example, you can choose the Tools→Write and Print Checks command. And when the Spending tab displays an account register, you can also click the Account Actions button and choose the Write Checks command. You can also use the command shortcut, Ctrl+W.

2Select the account on which you want to write the check.

This step is very important! To select the account you want to use, open the Write Checks From drop-down list in the top of the window. (You can do this by clicking the arrow button that’s just to the right of the box.) When Quicken displays the list of accounts, choose the one you want to use.

3Enter the check date.

First, use the mouse or Tab key to move the cursor to the Date field. Then, type the date that you’re going to print the check (probably today’s date). Remember to type the date in a MM/DD/YYYY format — enter August 31, 2013, as 8/31/2013.

You don’t need to enter the year if the year number that Quicken retrieves from your computer’s internal system clock is correct. You can adjust the date by a day by using + and – from the numeric keypad. You can also click the button at the end of the Date field to display your friend, the pop-up calendar.

4Enter the name of the person or business you’re paying.

Move the cursor to the Pay to the Order Of field and type away. For example, type Steve Nelson. If you’ve written a check to the payee before, when you start to type the name, Quicken recognizes it and fills in the rest for you.

5Enter the amount of the check.

Move the cursor to the $ text box and type the amount. When you press the Tab key, the cursor moves down to the next field, and Quicken writes the amount in words on the line under the payee name and before the word Dollars.

6Enter the payee’s address.

If you plan to mail the check in a window envelope, move the cursor to the Address field. (You can do this by clicking in the field.) Then enter the name and address of the person or business you’re paying.

7(Optional) Enter a memo description of the check.

Move the cursor to the Memo field and enter a description (such as an account number or an invoice number) of why you’re sending your money to this person or business. Or, if you’re sending someone a check because you didn’t have time to go out and buy a real gift, type Happy Birthday in the Memo field. It’s the little things that make a difference.

8Enter the category.

Move the cursor to the Category field and type the category name for the expense you’re paying with the check. If you don’t remember the category name, scroll down the category list to find the category. The figure shows the completed window for a check payable to Movies Galore, the local cable TV company.

You can assign a check to more than a single category by using the Split Transaction window. Using the Split Transaction window with the Write Checks window works the same way as using the Split Transaction window with the Transactions tab. You use the Split Transaction window when a check pays more than one type of expense or is transferred to more than one account.

For example, if you’re writing a check to pay your mortgage, with part of the check paying the actual mortgage and part of the check going into an escrow account for property taxes, you can use the Split Transaction window to describe the transaction’s individual components.

To split a check amount so that the amount is assigned to multiple spending categories, click the Split button (which looks like a sign for a fork in the road) or press Ctrl+S. Either way, Quicken displays the Split Transaction window for you to indicate the categories and categorized amounts that make up the check total.

9Click the Record Check button.

Quicken records the check. It displays the current account balance and the ending account balance, and it even adds a Checks To Print total in the bottom of the window. If you’re working with a monitor that supports a high screen resolution, you’ll also see a Checks To Print window that lists all the nitty-gritty about the checks you have to print.

Shoot, when you’re finished with one check, Quicken even scrolls the completed check off the screen and replaces it with a new, blank check that you can use to pay your next bill. It doesn’t get much better than this, does it?