Replacing a payroll check is easy in Sage 50, but you do need to be careful to do it correctly so you don’t create any problems in your payroll tax reporting.

The first step is to void the original check. Go to the Tasks menu and choose Void Checks or, open the check to be voided in Payroll Entry and, depending on your version of Sage 50/Peachtree, click the Void button or click the Delete button and choose Void from the drop down options. Either way, once you are in the Void Existing Checks window make sure the correct check is highlighted in the list and set the Void Date to the same date as will be used for the replacement check. Don’t use the original check date as the void date or you will need to reprint all of your reports from that date forward. I strongly recommend using a date that doesn’t have any other payroll activity. I’ll explain why later. Click the Void button and then click Close. For more details about voiding checks, read http://www.iqaccountingsolutions.com/blog/voiding-a-check/

Next enter and print a new payroll check by going to Tasks – Payroll Entry. The check date should be the date you are printing this check. Everything else, including the pay period ending date, should be entered the same as it was on the original check. Make sure all amounts on the new check exactly match the original check. If an hourly employee has been given a raise in the time since the original check was issued, you will have to change their pay rate in Maintain Employees and change it back after printing the replacement check.

After the check is printed, print all of the reports you would for a normal payroll. Remember to limit the reports to just the date of the replacement check. Since the void creates a negative check, and you dated it the same as the replacement check, the total on all of the reports should be $0.00.

Now let’s talk about why I recommend posting the void and replacement checks on a date with no other payroll activity. First of all, that allows you to quickly confirm that your reports are right because the amounts cancel each other out and your reports show $0.00 totals. But more importantly than that, for years Aatrix, the program that actually handles the printing of payroll tax reports and forms, has had problems dealing with the negative transaction produced by voiding a check. In previous years I have seen the negative amounts get added to W2 instead of subtracted, requiring a manual adjustment of the W2 amounts at year end. At the time I am writing this, the W2s are working fine, but the 941-B report is putting a tax liability on the date of the re-issued check instead leaving it on the date of the original check. If that happens to span quarters you could accidentally overpay payroll taxes because of the error. Voiding and replacing the check on a day with no other payroll will help make any errors stand out on the report so you can easily make corrections.