TopTenREVIEWS - Silver Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

Checksoft Home & Business is an application designed to meet basic accounting needs as well as allow users to write and print checks. This TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award winner includes many practical features for check writing, including customizable templates and compatibility with other finance applications at a budget-friendly price. The application’s interface is very user friendly and offers smooth navigation from one item to the next. Although not as user friendly as VersaCheck, Checksoft has the bookkeeping functions and check writing abilities that other check writing software applications are without.

Feature Set
Compare
9.8/10
VersaCheck
Checksoft 2010
Quicken
InstiCheck
Just Checking
QuickBooks
Check Launch
Goldenseal
Cheque Printing Software
10
9.8
9.1
9.5
8.6
8.1
7.5
7.3
6.3

Checksoft Home & Business provides more than 100 business and personal check design templates. Users can also create their own checks with options including more than 10,000 fonts and over 1,000 images from which to choose. We learned that while designing a check template you can upload a digital signature and add it to the check layout, thus allowing a printable signature to accompany your personally designed checks. The Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) line that is printed on the bottom of checks is included on the check templates. More on MICR toner and requirements later.

The application does allow users to import data from other accounting programs such as My CheckBook, Bookkeeper, Microsoft Money, Quicken and QuickBooks Basic. Whether managing your business or personal finances, Checksoft makes it possible for you to enter 5-6 savings, checking, or credit card accounts into the application and view balances and transactions at any time. The application allows you to schedule bill payments and pay your bill in advance through the “Bill Scheduler” which sets a reminder to tell you when each bill is due and will automatically record the transaction for you. Users also have the option of setting up recurring payments to simplify the payment process, each time they become due.

Checksoft’s user friendly interface functions like a checkbook register, making it easier to enter and edit transactions in any of the entered accounts. Transactions can be sorted by type as well as categorized to create detailed reports. Although the application does not generate tax reports, the data can be pulled into the categorized reports to make tax preparation simpler and faster.

Ease of Use
Compare
9.9/10
VersaCheck
Checksoft 2010
Quicken
InstiCheck
Just Checking
QuickBooks
Check Launch
Goldenseal
Cheque Printing Software
10
9.9
9.8
9.7
9.1
9.5
9.5
8.8
8.8

As stated above, you can create up to six bank accounts in Checksoft Home & Business. Select your desired account and a wizard will walk you through choosing paper stock and a check design template. Once you have chosen a check design, the checking account information is automatically applied to the template fields except for the “Pay to the Order of” field where you can insert a text box and type in the information. You can also see how your check will look in Print Preview before printing.

Some of the check design steps are not as straightforward as they should be. It required some tinkering to understand the process.

Ease of Installation/Setup
Compare
10/10
VersaCheck
Checksoft 2010
Quicken
InstiCheck
Just Checking
QuickBooks
Check Launch
Goldenseal
Cheque Printing Software
10
10
9.5
9.2
9.1
8.9
7.5
7.5
7.5

Checksoft Home & Business will work with Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, Vista and 7. You will need a Pentium II processor or higher, 64 MB of RAM, 180 MB of hard disk space and an inkjet or laser printer. Installing Checksoft Home & Business is easy. You can download directly from Avanquest’s website or have it sent to you in the mail. You will need to purchase check stock and a MICR (magnetic) toner cartridge to print checks.

Some check writing software companies claim that you don’t need to use magnetic toner for your MICR line. However, our research suggests that a majority of financial institutions still require magnetic toner for their scanners to read the MICR line properly. We suggest that you print from a higher quality printer because of the MICR line that is printed on the bottom of checks. Banks use the MICR line to check information on the checks they receive and to process large numbers of checks each day. Banks are able to manually process small numbers of checks without the magnetic MICR toner line; however, some may require you to purchase MICR toner ink if you will be printing out large quantities of checks. We recommend that you print the entire check with magnetic toner; we have found the toner to be readily available and the increase in cost to be minimal.

Checksoft offers the features that will help you manage your personal and business finances if you take the time to fully understand the interface. It’s a user friendly application but we found that some features took a little time to understand and use to their potential.

Help/Support
Compare
9.5/10
VersaCheck
Checksoft 2010
Quicken
InstiCheck
Just Checking
QuickBooks
Check Launch
Goldenseal
Cheque Printing Software
10
9.5
9
8.6
8.6
9
8.8
8.8
7.5

Checksoft Home & Business has a help menu and a link to their website if you need to search their FAQs. We sent an email to Avanquest’s customer service and they responded within 24 hours with helpful information; however, a word of caution, they may charge you a significant amount for technical support over the telephone.

For blank check stock and MICR (magnetic) toner, there is a direct link from the application to order these items through their website. You can also find both elsewhere.

Checksoft 2010 Summary:
9.8/10

CheckSoft Home & Business includes numerous check design templates, creates an easy way for you to create a personalized template and prints the MICR line. You can create a completely tailored check by customizing fonts and importing logos or other graphics. The application is easy to install but will take a little time to understand how to customize a check template.

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Checksoft 2010 Home & Business

Pros
Checksoft has the features that any small business or home accountant will appreciate for ease and ability.

Cons
Although this software is user-friendly it is not as user friendly as our #1 choice, lacking the ability to create tax reports.

The Verdict
: 9.8/10

Great choice, it has features we wouldn't want to go without!