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According to NACHA, nearly half the paper checks written in this country are written by small businesses. You can find plenty of article predicting the death of the paper check within ten years — of course some of those articles are more than ten years old, so that shows how well these predictions work. CosmoLex law office software offers built-in check printing but that doesn’t mean you can’t use electronic options.

Electronic Payment Advantages

Although CosmoLex legal billing software for attorneys doesn’t offer the ability to make electronic payments at this time, you can use outside vendors to handle your payments for you. As the payments are made you can quickly enter them into the software and keep your accounts up to date.

Electronic payments offer quick turnaround, better security and time savings. Although electronic services might charge a fee, you often save money when you consider the cost of the checks, ink, stamps, envelopes not to mention the amount of time you use stuffing checks into the mail. You don’t have to worry about the check getting lost in the mail — yes it’s rare but it really does happen — or damaged and unusable in transit.

Paper Check Advantages

Of course there are lots of reasons to prefer paper checks over electronic payments such as…um…well…hmm…huh.

There used to be advantages, back in the old days. Float was a big one. It took days for a check to clear which allowed you to make a little interest on money that was “spent” but not taken out of your account. Accuracy used to be an issue in the very early days of electronic payments when transactions sometimes just didn’t happen. Electronic payments didn’t offer as effective a paper trail as, well, paper.

However none of that is true anymore. Electronic payments have become fast and reliable, and the electronic audit trail is as good as or better than paper. In fact that paper check you write will probably just be converted to an electronic transfer once it hits a bank.

To be fair sometimes you simply have a vendor who insists on paper checks because they aren’t set up to take electronic payments. Plus maybe actually printing out the check and mailing it gives you a visceral sense of spending money. It could even just be momentum — you’ve always done it that way so you keep doing it that way.

There’s nothing wrong with paper checks. CosmoLex legal time and billing software will continue to support check printing for the foreseeable future, so make payments however you feel most comfortable.

Rick Kabra

Dr. Rick Kabra is President of CosmoLex Cloud, creator of cutting-edge technology solutions to help solo and small law firms law firms. Rick has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from NJIT and has over 10 years of experience in the legal software industry catering to the specialized technology needs of small to mid-sized law firms. Rick has given numerous seminars and published articles on legal technologies such as law practice technology management, cloud computing, and legal billing, business & trust accounting compliance.