A Stale Check is defined as a check that is presented to the bank after a considerable amount of time from the date that has been mentioned on the check. The dating timeline in this regard is mostly of a duration of 6 months or more.
While the bank might not always refuse to accept the stale check, yet it is often a cause of concern for the bank because it tends to be inconsistent because of the delay in the time period from when the check was issued, and when it was presented to the bank to be honored.
In simpler terminology, it can be seen that stale check is a check that is presented to the bank after 6 months of the date when the check was initially issued.
Stale Checks are often a cause of suspicion when it comes to the bank, and therefore, many countries have the rule that banks are not always obliged to honor such checks, and they can refuse to accept them on grounds of irregularity and suspicion.
In this regard, banks are a holistic term that is used to define commercial banks, as well as other financial institutions that include checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, as well as credit unions.
The concept of stale checks does not only apply to personal banking accounts but might also apply to business accounts. To further explain this concept, the following example can be used:
A company, Gen X Co. issued checks against inventory purchases from ABC Co. in January 2018. However, due to some reason, ABC Co. did not present these checks at the bank until 30th June 2018.
When the accountant found out that these checks had not been deposited in the bank, he sent them out to the bank to be subsequently filled.
However, to his dismay, the bank refused to deposit them and declared that those checks as stale. Hence, they were returned back to ABC Co.
Subsequently, ABC Co. requested Gen X Co. to reissue those checks, or have them verified again by their bank in order for the transaction to process in a smooth manner.
Features of Stale Check:
The main underlying feature of a Stale Check is the fact that it has not been presented to the bank after a considerable time has passed.
Regardless of the reason behind the check not being presented, it would be considered stale, and might not be accepted by the receiving bank in the first go.
Moreover, even if the check has other subsequent information presented in a logical manner like signatures, names, etc., it can be seen that the check would still be considered stale because of the delayed deposit procedure.
What is considered as a Stale Check?
A check is considered to be a stale check if it is not presented by the receiver of the check to the bank after a considerable amount of time.
Therefore, banks are reluctant to accept it without proper verification with the bank. In the same manner, it is also imperative to consider that checks are considered stale primarily because of the reason that banks find it harder to rationalize why checks that were dated months back, have not been presented to date.
Therefore, because of the delay involved, checks are considered to be stale.
How many months is a Stale Check?
Different countries have different requirements when it comes to the classification of stale checks. However, the general rule of thumb is that any check that has not been presented to the bank up to a period of 6 months is considered to be a stale check.
However, some banks also consider a check to be a stale check if it is not presented for encashment up till three months after when it has been issued.
Can a Stale Check be cashed?
Banks and other financial institutions are often reluctant to process stale checks because of the inherent risk and ambiguity involved.
Therefore, they always ask for verifications or check reissuance in cases where a stale check has been presented to the bank for encashment.
However, it can be seen that under special circumstances banks can choose to cash stale checks, given that they are well aware of the risks involved, and they have sufficient reasoning to back the claim that it is not a case of fraud or any sort of impeachment.
Hence, stale checks can generally not be cashed, unless there are measures and verifications taken either by the issuer of the check, or the person who is getting it cashed.
During the normal course of business, record keeping and bookkeeping tends to be increasingly important in order to ensure that businesses have proper clarity and understanding regarding their financials. It is also considered pivotal because of the fact that it marginally improves the management within the company on grounds of enabling users of financial information to make decisions based on authentic historical information regarding the transactions that took place over the course of time in the company.
Therefore, numerous different tools are utilized by accountants in order to facilitate an improved record keeping system. Accounting worksheet is considered one such tool that helps companies to keep a proper record of the financial activities over the respective period of time, so that it can act as an aid for reconciliation, and relevant positing at year ends.
An accounting worksheet can simply be defined as a tool that helps bookkeepers and accountants to complete the accounting cycle, and prepare year-end reports in a manner similar to unadjusted trial balances, adjusting journal entries, as well as year-end financial statements.
An accounting worksheet is therefore, a simple representation in the form of a spreadsheet that helps to track each step across the accounting cycle. It normally constitutes of five sets of columns, which begin with the unadjusted trial balance accounts, and end with the subsequent year-end financial statements. These columns majorly include Trial Balance, Adjusting entries, Adjusted Trial Balance, Income Statement and Balance Sheet. Alternatively, accounting worksheets can simply be defined as a spreadsheet that shows all the major transactions and steps in the accounting cycle in a parallel fashion.
Therefore, with each step that is represented on the accounting worksheet, it can be seen that each step properly lists down debits and credits and totals are subsequently calculated at the bottom. Similar to trial balance, the accounting worksheet is also supposed to be headed with the company name, title of the report itself, as well as the time period during which these transactions have occurred within the company.
However, it must also be noted that accounting worksheets are mainly created for internal purposes within the organization, and therefore, this working paper is never publicly made available for any of the external parties. The fact that this is an internal document gives flexibility to the companies to prepare it according to their own requirements, so that they are able to adjust the format as per their own need.
Advantages of Creating an Accounting Worksheet
The main advantage of creating accounting worksheet mainly lie on the realms of effective management or resources, which can help companies to keep a track of their records and transactions for proper reconciliation.
Firstly, it can be seen that the accounting worksheet helps accountants to complete the process of preparation of financial statements in a much easier manner. This is because they have all the balances listed in a single worksheet that helps them to easily prepare the final year statements with relative ease. In the same manner, it also ensures the bookkeeper of the company to ensure that all the adjustments have subsequently been carried out by the company.
In the same manner, creating and preparing an accounting worksheet also helps to have a generic idea about the financial health of the company (by looking at the year end balances), before the actual financial statement of the company is prepared and subsequently published by the company.
A suggested model for preparation of the accounting worksheet is given below:
To summarize the definition and the usage of the accounting worksheet, it can be seen that it is best described as an accounting spreadsheet that summarizes the year end balances of almost all the accounts at the end of the given year. Hence, it is considered to be an extremely phenomenal and resourceful tool for organizations who want to ensure that book keeping and subsequent preparation takes place with authenticity and there are no items left out.
Regardless of the fact that it is not entirely biding to create an accounting worksheet, yet it considered as a good practice to prepare it for purposes of internal efficiency. However, this does not mean that accounting worksheet can solely be used for preparation of the financial statements. In fact, it is considered to be a subsiding aid to the process, with the help of which accountants can reconfirm account balances at the end of subsequent year. However, it still requires the accountants to reconcile balances at the end of every subsequent year to ensure that transactions and account balances have not been missed out upon.
In Financial Accounting, both Rules and Policies help determine how a company prepares its financial statements. So, the differences between the two concepts might not be readily obvious.
Generally, rules and policies combine to form the body of guidelines that guides a company’s financial statements. The goal is to ensure that a company’s financial statements conform to the legally accepted standards.
But before we consider what makes rules and policies different, it is important to understand what each of them means and the connection between them.
What are the Rules?
Rules in Accounting are a set of principles that “must be” adhered to by a company in the preparation and presentation of financial statements.
They are the legal guidelines regulating the recording and reports of the financial data of companies within a particular state or country. Usually, these rules are set by the financial accounting governing bodies in a place.
In the United States, the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) specify the rules guiding the quality of the financial reports of companies. The GAAP is set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
It is a requirement for all publicly traded companies in the US to adhere to the GAAP. It also guides the activities of non-publicly traded companies too.
Failure to adhere to these rules might attract legal actions against a company by the governing bodies.
Cost, Accrual, Conservatism, Monetary Unit, Full Disclosure, and Reliability principles are some of the rules that consistent with the GAAP.
What are the Policies?
A company’s accounting policies are the standards set by the company for preparing its financial statements.
Simply put, policies are internally established procedures for financial reports. In essence, it is a company’s specific guidelines for following the general rules. They are specified by a company itself and not by external bodies.
Company policies are designed to help the company achieve its goals while still conforming to the generally specified rules.
Rules Vs Policies
To draw the line between these two concepts, you need to understand the connection between them.
Rules determine generally accepted financial report practices, while company policies are based on rules.
From its policies, a company can also derive internal rules for its operations.
The internal rules ensure that company policies are properly adhered to. The policies are designed to help the company maximize its potentials while conforming to the general rules.
The differences between Rules and Policies can be summarized thus:
While Rules are general accounting principles binding every company, policies are implemented by a company to help her adhere to the rules.
Rules are specified by the Financial Accounting governing bodies such as the FASB and IFRS. On the other hand, companies decide their policies and how to implement them.
Rules help regulate and maintain the quality of financial reports within a territory. Policies help a company to tailor the rules to achieve its goals.
Having a lawsuit filed against a company for violation of rules can be detrimental to the reputation of the company. To avoid this, every company needs to ensure that it is guided in all its activities.
Adherence to rules by making effective policies will help a company stay out of trouble and maximize its aims and objectives.
Creating a paperless account payable seems like a daunting task but it hosts numerous benefits that save time, money, and storage space. The saving of these three things proves a success for the businesses.
However, switching to a paperless account does not happen overnight nor it is easy. But it is definitely worth it which is why this article explains the process of going paperless.
In order to head towards the paperless accounts payable via software, the accounting process should be digitized. It is necessary to realize the paperless goals and take a record of the present process.
The software will implement an automation process and it is important to have a meeting on this with the team so that no conflicting opinion is raised.
Steps to Paperless Accounts Payable
Keep an eye on AP
Before planning to implement the paperless process, understand and familiarize the current account and where it stands. The present workflow should be monitored. Basically the things which need to be understood are the time taken to process an incoming invoice and the expenditure an invoice needs on average. Brainstorm and ask questions before jumping into the implementation step.
Have a meeting with the CFO, AP managers, and other staff members in order to have a better grip on the AP. Set the goals for automation and communicate with others. Ask for approval from everyone. Discuss the type of automation system to use for the account.
Things that need discussion are the amount of money that can be saved by automation, what the AP employees will do in the free time and the total sum of money required.
Take approval from everyone
Making a paperless accounts payable affects the whole company, not just an individual. Therefore, it is crucial to get everyone at the same level of understanding before actually doing it.
Mostly it is the upper management or the IT department which is not in favor of any changes so in order to avoid resistance, talk about their concerns. Moreover, the management team asks for
evidence in order to make sure that the paperless account is cheap and it improves the business. As for the IT team, it gets curious about how the compatibility, resources and security within the company will be affected. The staff is concerned whether they will be fired and how the business will be affected.
Base decisions about paper
The degree of automation which should be implemented is crucial to talk about. Therefore, understand where the process of your accounts payable stands and how many people are in favor of automation.
Eliminating the use of paper is not possible which is why it should be decided how far with automation the business will go.
Some options include making payments via paper checks like before but storing the AP information by digital means. Or the invoices can be digitized while the paper files of the incoming invoices are stored. Do note that all these decisions depend on the needs and requirements of the company.
Set Custom Tolerances
In order to process invoices, custom tolerances are set up in an automated system. A competent software for automation is the one which not only codes the incoming invoices automatically but also routes them for getting approval by electronic means. The user can enjoy full leverage and authority over the automation process.
Select an automation supplier
The software requires a good supplier. The software should implement the system as fast as possible. The cost expenditure on the implementation and if the system is compatible with the current ERPs are some of the concerns which need to be solved before practically doing it.
Also, inquire about how much the business can be expanded with the supplier and how efficient the reporting tools are. It is best if the software offers a free trial. The software which is the best at implementation is NextProcess.
Adapt to the new system
After the software is implemented, learn and get familiarized with the new system. Check to see if it is functioning properly. The invoices get processed
automatically and those invoices which are not compatible with the customized tolerances or need manual approval are sent to the respective manager.
Re-engineering the account processes to paperless is a huge milestone that every business should be prepared for. While there are many methods to go paperless, the software method is the most preferred one as it is safe and fast.
With so many businesses and companies choosing paperless accounts, it is evident now that the only reason it is getting popular is that this version offers many benefits. The revenue and exposure of the company can be increased by switching to paperless accounts. This article reveals how choosing the QuickBooks in allowing the implementation of paperless accounts payable is a wise decision.
In the accounting world, QuickBooks Online provides a cost-effective, customizable and scalable software solution for Accounting.
Third-party applications can be leveraged by QuickBooks. A lot of features to manage the documents and Accounts Payable automation process can be found in the App Centre of QuickBooks.
Benefits of QuickBooks
Improved accuracy of data
The accounting records and information should be correct and precise. QuickBooks eliminates all types of keying errors and mistakes in each data point by the paperless Accounts Payable workflow.
Features are introduced by QuickBooks which increase the dependability and accuracy. These features are pre-populated data and SmartCoding.
Transparency of Accounts Payable
QuickBooks allows full visibility of the expenses and allows easy tracking of the Accounts Payable. Moreover, it also shows the things in progress which drastically improves the cash flow so that you can take better decisions. In progress, the supplier invoice totals are made visible prior to getting posted on QuickBooks.
By allowing this information to be accessible to the users, the forecast reports can be generated by seeing the committed expenses. This visible information enhances the cash flow and companies irrespective of the size will get benefits.
Electronic invoice approvals
It takes a lot of time and energy to get approval from supplier invoices and checking the costs especially when the business has various locations.
With the help of QuickBooks, the frauds and errors are eliminated along with a deduction in the budget expenditure. The advantage of the invoice approval workflow is obtained from the electronic capability.
Immediate access from all locations
By using the QuickBooks Online, better and improved access to the data files is given as compared to the desktop version. Nevertheless, the full Accounts Payable workflow can only be seen after the supplier invoices have been posted.
This applies to both versions. No matter which device is being used, the approvers and the accounting teams can monitor everything in a single location with the help of the Accounts Payable automation.
Benefits of transforming into a paperless office
- Paper takes up a lot of space which after digitizing is cleared especially the filing cabinets. The thing about paper is that it accumulates rapidly which makes it almost impossible to organize. Most industries especially the financial ones have regulations regarding the storing of paper documents for long periods of time. This means that paper cannot be thrown out for years. However, if the documents are digitized, this problem can be solved. It is better to store in the cloud rather than in the physical records archive.
- After the documents are compiled and stored using the document management software, they can be accessed anytime using any device by both clients and colleagues. Popular applications like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office are also involved in managing the documents. All the files can be saved in the content management system with a simple click.
- Where the physical forms can get destroyed or misplaced, digital documents pose no such threats. It is hard to check the printing, access, and copying of some sensitive physical files as well. However, the introduction of security capabilities in document management software eliminates such issues. After setting up the granular access rights, the system administrators can permit for the visibility of documents at three levels of user level, document level, and system level. It is to note that the paperless method has more security benefits than accessing. The confidential information can be redacted, electronic signatures are set up and audit trails are created.
- When the process is improved to such a degree, it is obvious that money and expenditure will be saved as well. In a much lesser amount of time, a large bulk of paperwork can be processed as compared to a traditional office. Furthermore, no money is wasted on the printer, paper, ink office space for storage and postage. Employees are also freed from the responsibility of managing paperwork. The employees can in turn spend that time on regulatory audits and expense reimbursement instead.
Owing to all these perks and how QuickBooks has made the process of getting paperless office easier, it is time to be ahead in the game and move forward in the technological realm.
All businesses obtain receipts, invoices, and other documents in a bulk quantity. These documents should be neatly organized in an accurate office filing system. It is crucial to learn this organizing skill in order to not lose money, time, and other resources.
The invoices and documents should be organized in such a way that whenever one wants to access or retrieve them, they should be in easy reach.
The importance of all documents and files should be known by a business owner. Nowadays, the best businesses are those which have gone digital with the invoices. However, it is still important how to store and organize these digital invoices.
A digital invoice eliminates a big percentage of cost and time in a payment flow. It is a modernized version of the payment through which the sending and receiving of invoices have been made convenient. There are many advantages of digital invoices which is why many companies and businesses are digitizing their invoices.
A tool automatically creates a digital invoice which extracts information from the accurate sources. An option is given to the person to check the precision of the information before the invoice is sent. Afterward, the tool sends the invoice by electronic means.
The receiver is notified when it will arrive. The recipient has the option to either receive the invoice in the bank or through email.
Steps to organize digital invoices
Choose a filing system
Before actually starting to organize, it is important to decide which filing system should be followed. Each system will have its own positive impact on the functioning of the business. The digital invoices can be organized in an alphabetical or numerical method.
The decision should be made on the way you usually access invoices. If the invoices are searched by account number or name, decide accordingly. Similarly, check the way your paperwork is assembled
i.e the category of finance, expenses or marketing.
Check the office and personal habits
Think which invoices need to be accessed frequently and which of your employees usually want instant access to the files. Monitor the work stations of all employees and the type of work they all do. Have a meeting with the staff to judge the location of the filing cabinet.
Check the storage needs
If the digital invoices are in a bulk quantity, then it is important to organize in such a way that they can be accessed daily. If the invoices are not checked daily, it is not necessary to have the filing system at the workspace. Moreover, there are some files which need to be stored for long-term and others need to be on the watch daily.
Benefits of digital invoices
Whenever a digital invoice is received, there is no need to scan the document. The details of account, due date and the invoice number is always accurate because this information is extracted from the correct sources. Automatic suggestions are given to the person for the bookkeeping purpose. More than 9 euros are saved upon receiving a digital invoice.
Whenever a digital invoice is sent, more than 5 euros are saved. The payment is received much earlier because the invoice is sent directly to the receiver’s bank or email. In case if the invoice does not reach the recipient, it is immediately known to the sender. There is no time or money wasted on postage, printing and packaging.
With the help of Cloud, digital solutions have become the future of the businesses. The companies are quickly adapting to the digital means to complete numerous tasks. Paper invoices are decreasing in number rapidly because they are dangerous to the environment and slow in process. It is more difficult to arrange the paper invoices than the digital invoices.
In the Nordics, more than 19 billion Euros can be saved per year if all invoices are digitized. Therefore, do not fall behind in technology and switch to the faster and more accurate electronic means of business tasks.
With the automatic process of digital invoices, the user does not have to print, submit a manual data entry or send via post. The formats which are supported by the digital invoices are B2G, E-invoice B2B, B2C email, PDF, paper printout, and People.
There are more numerous benefits of the digital invoices which is why it is both wise and safe to digitize the incoming invoices. Time is saved, costs get reduced and the peace of mind is secured.