With color laser and inkjet printers so cheap – it’s amazing that we don’t see more check fraud.
Hopefully your company never has to wrestle with check fraud. The way the scam works is simple — one of the company employees (could also be a vendor who received a check and is therefore privy to account information) prints their own checks on a color laser/inkjet printer (using the company routing numbers, etc). Very easy to do as the software for this capability is widely available – and fully legal. Very convincing because you cannot tell a fake check from a real one. You usually see this type of fraud at companies with lots of employees and higher turnover (think employment agencies, construction companies, landscapers).
Here’s the story that I read this morning which triggered me to share the availability of the Sage Software Extended Solution:
WESTBROOK — – Police are investigating a fraudulent check-cashing scheme involving at least 23 thieves posing as employees of a waterside resort.
The scam artists cashed fake paychecks that appeared to be from the Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook, state police said Monday. State police from the Westbrook barracks are working with Guilford police, who are investigating a similar theft from a bank there.
In all, more than $26,000 was stolen.
In Westbrook, state police said, the thieves cashed fraudulent checks totaling $19,260.82 at the New Alliance Bank, 1238 Boston Post Road.
At another New Alliance Bank branch in Guilford, nine fake payroll checks from Water’s Edge totaling about $7,000 were cashed, Sgt. Steven Renchy said Monday. Guilford police received a complaint about the theft on Aug. 22.
The spa’s general manager was unavailable for comment Monday night.
Images of some of the thieves have been captured on bank surveillance cameras in Westbrook, said state police, who are asking for the public’s help in identifying them.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the state police at the Troop F barracks in Westbrook at 860-399-2100 or use the TEXT A TIP anonymous text-message system.
Guilford police can be reached at 203-453-8061.
One of my clients is an employment agency and their bank required them to upload their information in a Positive Pay format
What Positive Pay does is provide the bank with a list of valid check numbers and amounts. The bank can then use this data to determine which checks being presented are valid.
You have two options to create this file:
OPTION # 1: Use Crystal Reports
Benefits of Crystal Reports:
- Cheaper – a copy of Crystal Reports is included with all MAS90 and MAS200 systems.
- No ongoing maintenance
- Flexibility of designing your own layout (including any not supported by Sage’s Extended Solution)
- Can modify/upgrade the export yourself if your bank changes
Cons of Crystal Reports:
- This is not fixed fee – if the report is more complex than initially thought then you could pay more than the fixed cost of the Extended Solution.
- Typically (though not always) requires an internal person familiar with Crystal Reports in order for this to be a time and money saving option vs Extended Solutions.
OPTION # 2: Purchase an Extended Solution that works within MAS90 or MAS200 Bank Reconciliation to create the data file.
Benefits of Extended Solutions:
- Fixed cost
- Guaranteed to function as outlined in the manual
- Widely used
- Upgrades includes as part of annual fixed maintenance
Cons of Extended Solutions
- More expensive that workarounds
- Positive Pay solution may not support all bank formats
- Paying Sage to customize an Extended Solution can be very costly
- You can only purchase an Extended Solution if you are active on Sage Basic Software Maintenance
- Requires paying an annual (additional) maintenance fee in order to get upgrades
I typically recommend the Sage Extended Solution because in situations where they are an exact match because they represent a fixed cost ($ 1,095 product and $ 265 annual maintenance).
I’ve had experiences where an “easy” Crystal Export file suddenly ran into problems where a bank or governmental authority wouldn’t accept it. This is why I’ll generally take the fixed cost solution (Extended Solutions for MAS90 or MAS200 where available) rather than gamble that I can develop the format in a less costly manner.
I’m posting this not because it is some new (or earth shattering) technology – rather there may be people who haven’t encountered this issue before and it would be helpful to have this background.
Tip: Be sure to read through the manual of any Extended Solution prior to making a purchase decision. These enhancements will ONLY perform as indicated in the manual. Never make an assumption about features. If you would like a test version of the enhancement please contact us and we’ll have Sage set up a limited version for you to test.