Important changes to cheques.
We’re ready, are you?
The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) has announced
new specifications to which all cheques must
conform by June 30, 2007. This industry-wide
project is aimed at modernizing the Canadian national
clearing system, allowing financial institutions to
capture images of cheques so they can be cleared
Apart from a slightly larger size and some
standardization in place of some key fields, you won't
see dramatic changes in how your cheques look. The new
standard will make key elements of cheques more
"image-friendly," allowing financial institutions to
exchange images of cheques in place of the paper
original for payment.
What does this mean to you?
- You will still write cheques as you always have
but the new format allows for a more streamlined
process so your cheques will clear faster - at times
hours instead of days.
- You will be able to view your cheques online
rather than waiting for your statement to arrive.
- You can NOT use Accpac
Plus Accounts Payables to print your cheques!.
- You can just replace Accpac Plus Accounts
Payables with Softrak's Adagio Payables or you can
purchase a full new accounting system.
What are the main changes to the cheque
The image below highlights the main changes mandated
by the new standards:
- Adoption of a numeric date field in a
standardized format: DDMMYYYY.
- A mandatory serial number must be encoded in the
MICR line on the bottom of the cheque.
- An increase in the minimum length of a cheque
from 6 to 6¼ (or 15.88 cm) to ensure there is
sufficient space to accommodate the mandatory serial
number in the MICR line.
- Standardized positions for key fields on the
cheque, such as the date field and the cheque amount
- Elements that could hinder the capture of images
from the cheques must not be used. These include
italics, *** at the end of the printed dollar
amount text, a bottom border printed below the
MICR line, the use of gel pens and some complex
- Security features must not interfere with image
- New requirements for the reverse of the cheque.