SafePay creates a file you can send to your bank detailing the checks/and or EFTs you have created during a given time period, so the bank can match that up to what tries to clear your account. In doing so, you can address any discrepancies. It is an excellent security measure for avoiding theft.
Before you begin your set up, keep the following tips in mind:
- Be sure you have a sample file from your bank to reference. It’s not easy to modify the setup once you have it in place.
- Have a plan in place with your bank to test the first file generated from SafePay. This will ensure it is acceptable before you really begin generating checks in production. Once you create and accept an upload file, you can’t recreate it. You can regenerate it and resend it – even edit the file in Notepad for accuracy – but it’s optimal to have it automated correctly as it generates.
1. Once you have those steps in place, follow these fundamentals for proper set up
- Bank Format Name: I recommend using the name of your bank (initials are fine) and the last four digits of the account number.
- Description: This is really only for your benefit, so you can have more information on which bank account this is.
- Save: When you tab off of the “Description” field or click on the next field to fill in your information, you will be prompted to save the format.
- Output Type: This information should be provided from the bank. It’s the type of file you are generating – either Fixed Field (fixed length), Comma Delimited or Tab Delimited. The easiest to work with are comma and tab delimited.
- Record Type: This is referring to the sections of the file — headers, detail and footers. You will need to create each section separately as per the sample file provided by your bank. Some banks only require a detail section that has the account numbers and routing numbers, but somewhere in your format you will need to add account and ABA numbers to identify your account. Choose which section you want to create.
- Line Name: This field is for your reference only — but should be descriptive of the record type you are creating. i.e. header, footer, detail, etc.
- Number of Fields: How many fields are in this line? For Instance, the line should have your account number, ABA routing number, check number, check amount, type of transaction, check date, payee name. (The number of fields here is 7.)
- Number of Characters: This will only need to be filled in for Fixed Field Output Types.
- Add, Up, Down, Remove, New buttons: Click the Add button when you have completed the steps Output Type through number of Fields. After you have created all of your record types, you can move them around in the file through the Up, Down buttons or remove them with the Remove Button. Add a new Record Type by clicking New.
2. Create Record Fields
Record fields are created when you type in the number of fields when setting up your record type. Click on the record type under “Step 2” to bring up a list of the record fields which will be listed under “Step 3”.
Click on the first field and then click Field Name. This will open a new window in which to edit information contained in the fields. You can do this by following these steps:
- Field Number: Change the field name to something descriptive of the field.
- Standard Fields: The next field you move to is how GP will know what to bring into this field. Use the drop down to select what this field is.
- Field Type: The good news is this will typically default to what it should be – for instance an Account Number is text. But, check amounts and dates will need the next field populated. (Field Format).
- Field Format: Using the sample file the bank sent you, decide which format is correct. For instance, for 04/15/2013 the date format would be MM/DD/YYYY.
- Number of Characters: It will only be necessary to fill this out if your Output Type is Fixed Field.
- Constant Value: If, in Standard Fields you chose Constant – this is where you put in your constant text.
- Filler Type: Another field only for the Fixed Field Output Type. For instance, if your character count is 10 for a Payee Name, but one payee’s name is only eight characters – what do you want the other spaces in the fixed field to be populated with? Refer to the bank sample. It could be zeros, spaces, some other value.
- Justification: Again, this is only for Fixed Field Output Types. Within the fixed length field, how do you want to position your text — right, left, or center justified?
3. Transaction Codes: This is the last step, and will allow the file to tell the bank what type of transaction it is — Check, Void, or EFT.
- Go to the upper part of the Output Fields Window you are in, and you’ll see a menu item called Codes Entry. Click on that and then click on Transaction Codes Entry.
- Under Transaction Type, choose Check and use the bank file sample to determine what the matching code is for the bank. For instance, at a particular bank, in their sample file, a live check should be marked with an I (for issued) and a void check with C (for cancelled). You define that here.
- If, under Check, you click Omit Checks with Alphas, it will typically omit EFTs or Deposits – anything with a letter in the check number. You’ll use this in conjunction with the line-item Standard Field of Transaction Type.
- Hit Save when you are done. Click the X to exit.
- At the Output Fields Window hit Save and click X to exit.
- Now Save your format and the setup is done.
The next thing you will set up is the Upload Maintenance, and I will cover that in my next post.
Read more information on how to set up SafePay from Microsoft here.