The filing and retrieval of canceled checks is a continuing problem for the accounting department. Typically, the canceled checks for one month are wrapped up, tagged with the date, and stored in a box containing all of the checks for a given year. This works well, unless someone wants to find a check. Then a staff person must make a guess as to the month in which the check cleared, root through the storage box to find the checks that were canceled in that month, open the packet, and find the check. It may take several tries to even find the correct bundle of checks, since the date on which a check was printed and the date it was canceled may be several months apart, depending on the travels of the check in the interim. After the check has been found, the entire process shifts into reverse in order to re-store all of the checks. After several such check retrievals, one can expect the quality of the check filing system to have been downgraded considerably.
The new approach is to scan the front and back of every check, digitize the images, and then store them on a CD-ROM, which is issued on a periodic basis to the company that cut the checks. Best of all, the CD-ROM comes with an index, so that one can retrieve checks based on the dollar amount, a range of amounts, the paid date, issue date, or check number. Given so many search criteria, it is quite difficult not to find a check copy, and to do so in a matter of moments. Also, there are no longer any check hard copies left on the premises, so storage issues are reduced.