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Contact Name becomes Payee Name

Cheque sent in the wrong name



9:09 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I notice that Google has made a change to the description of certain fields in their database. When I applied for my account I was asked for a 'contact name' and a 'company name'.

Since then the 'contact name' appears to have become 'payee name' and I have received a cheque in my name rather than in the name of the company. A cheque which the company's bank refuses to cash. I definitely never provided my own name as a payee name.

Has anybody else had this experience?


9:12 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi farnwomt

This change happened after I contacted google (about a month ago) to enquire which of the original fields the cheque would be made out to.

Apologies :(


9:14 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Since then the 'contact name' appears to have become 'payee name' and I have received a cheque in my name rather than in the name of the company. A cheque which the company's bank refuses to cash. I definitely never provided my own name as a payee name.

So, put the cheque in your bank account, and get your company to sort it out with google ;)

Jokes aside, I have noticed the same thing. Fortunatly for me it's O.K.


9:31 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It seems obvious that a company might want the cheques sent to a named individual, but it would certainly never want the cheques made payable to that person.

Presented with a request for a company name and contact name it seemed obvious that the check would be made payable to the company. I certainly wouldn't pay for anything I bought from a company with a cheque made payable to an individual member of staff.

If the naming of the fields generated enough confusion to warrant a change then Google should have written to all account holders to check that suitable entries had been made.


9:36 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Unfortunately paying the cheque into my account isn't particularly helpful.

The company is all set up to receive US dollar cheques and can do so at no cost.

Personally I am not set up to do so and by the time I have paid it into my personal account and transferred the funds to the company it will incur around $60 in charges.


10:52 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And to make matters worse, when you go to the Edit screen, it says "Change Primary Contact," yet there is no Primary Contact field.

You should definitely contact Google about this so they can change the form before the next checks are issued.

Fortunately, this doesn't effect me, but Google really messed up on this one. They say in their terms they can only issue checks in U.S. dollars and then they make a mistake which ends up costing their publishers a lot of money.


11:29 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>Has anybody else had this experience?

Yes, same for me. Loads of advertisers make this mistake and its really annoying, but what can we do? Hopefully they will sort it out for next time


11:35 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just logged in to adsense - looks like they have updated the account information so you can change your name to the payee name, so all will be fine for next month :)

Visit Thailand

11:44 am on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You are right Smiley but that is still a little strange, there is now nowhere for my name so I have put my company name in Payee name and my company name in the company name slot.

I am sure it will all be sorted out but a little strange all the same.


12:07 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can you sign your check over to your company? In the US, you can sign (endorse) the back, with "Payable To XXXXX". XXXXX is then able to cash/deposit the check.

Don't know how this works in your country, but that's one way to go about solving this problem.

As a side note...you got your check? I'm in the US and have not received mine yet. :-(



1:29 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am trying to convince the bank that there is no good reason why I can't just endorse the cheque, as it is a US cheque drawn on a US bank, and the bank they send it to for collection would accept it no problem.

I don't see why the bank views this as an issue as I am a director of the company, listed with the bank as a beneficial owner and they have already undertaken KYC (know your customer) on me, not to mention the cheque carrying the company's address on it as well.

However I do live and bank in one of the world's most highly regulated offshore jurisdictions and they appear to have departed from the concept of being sensible. No doubt there is some document somewhere that suggests such activities could be related to money laundering.


2:35 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Years ago I did business with a bank in the US that was not very sensible about company name vs. individual name. I changed banks.

Most of my income is as a consultant working for large companies. Sometimes checks come in my name, sometimes in the company name. They are typically large enough to get noticed, so they have to be right. My bank never hesitates to take them for deposit. (they seem to like to receive money-strange concept ;} )

I certainly cannot see why they would not take it if you endorsed it using the name written on the check.

If you were cashing the check and walking away with cash, I could understand the concern by the bank. If you are depositing it to your account, and the bank places a hold (like the do in the US) for it to clear, they should have no problem.

You might want to have a little chat with an officer of your bank about something called "customer service" or about competition.


3:35 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A bigger problem with having a company payment made out to you as an individual, at least in the US, is that the company issuing the check (Google in this case) is required to report these payments (above some small minimum amount) to the Internal Revenue Service and will issue what's called a 1099 form to the individual receiving the check.

The individual will be required to pay federal, state and local income taxes, social security, and medicare taxes on the funds received. If the individual deposits those funds in the company account, the company may have to pay taxes on the revenue as well.

Ater individual and corporate taxes, and/or accountant's fees to try to clear the mess up, there'll be nothing left.

I think in some cases the company issuing the payment can be required to pay the individual's federal taxes on the payment if the individual doesn't pay them. That's why I'm surprised if Google is issuing company payments to individual. It can backfire on them and most companies I've dealt with are quick to ask your form of payment, to an idividual or to a company, and to demand your social security number (if individual) or your company Federal EIN number (if company) to keep clean with the taxing authorities.


4:09 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>>there is now nowhere for my name

Many here would think that's a bonus when dealing with Google :)


4:16 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

As Visit Thailand said, they have now changed the contact name to the PAYEE name.
So for those that want their checks in their company's name - change it now!

I just edited mine, but now it shows:

Company Name
Company Name

The default 'payee' should always be the company (or better yet, just add an additional PAYEE field). Currently, whoever sets up the Adsense account is going to be the one that recieves the check in their name - even if it is for a major corporation!

One would think that with all those PHDs at Google, Somebody could have thought this one through a little bit better..........

Intelligence doesn't necessarily mean common sense.


4:38 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would think as long as you deposit it into an account and not cash it they would not care who the check was written out to.

Almost all banks in the U.S. will let anyone deposit money into an account, they just can't cash it or take money out.

You wouldn't even have to sign it over to the company just endorse it and deposit it. Maybe it is different in other countries but this won't cause a serious problem for anyone in the U.S.

Looking forward to the mail coming tomorrow. Darn the holiday anyway.


5:02 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

RobinK, while it is certainly not an acceptable accounting practice, I would agree that some banks allow it.

If an individual has a company DBA off his/her name, that is one thing, but I still contend that corporate sites should ALWAYS list the corporation as the payee.

just my 2 cents.


7:20 pm on Sep 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I definately agree that the business should be the payee if at all possible.

Just offering a posible solution other than sending it back and waiting for a new check to be issued. :)

We changed our contact payee information so ours should come out okay. (Thanks to the post I saw here about a July check going out wrong. Thanks.)

It would be nice if adsense had a section that said important updates on our stats page that we could click on so we could be kept informed of any changes or new information. It would save them sending out massive emails and we could stay informed.


3:12 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The default 'payee' should always be the company

Last month (for June's checks) that is what they did, and many people were here complaining because they had checks made out to their website name, and were unable to cash because they didn't have a registered business account. Sometime in the last month, they changed the account information to show one of the lines as "payee".

Some check's were made out to "Betty Jo's Knitting Club" rather than to Betty Jo herself, and Google probably is going on the assumption (when it changed the payee field) that while not everyone can cash a check made out to a business name or website name, nearly everyone can cash a check made out to a personal name.


11:30 pm on Sep 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I wonder then, if I were to put "Cash" in the payee field, would google make it out as a cash cheque? That would simplify everything. Unless the mail ended up in the wrong hands that is...


5:54 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am concerned about the tax implications of my Google check being made out to me rather than my corporation. I decided not to cash it yet and contact Google.
Before doing so I changed my "Payee Name" account data from my name to the name of my corporation "ACME, Inc.". The corporation name was accepted in this field and all seemed well.
When you use Google's "Contact Us" feature/form it preloads your email address and puts the "Payee's Name" in an email "name" field. In my case this "name" is now "ACME, Inc.". When I went to press the button to send my mail the page reloaded without sending my letter stating that my name field contained incorrect characters, evidently the comma and period. After I changed it to "ACME Inc" the Google page would let me send the email letter.
My point here being, I went back and changed my account information "Payee Name" field to "ACME Inc" (no punctuation) because if their email feature rejects punctuation I didn't want to take a chance on the software that sends the checks to have the same problem too, thus delaying my next check.


12:30 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I got an email response from Google regarding the check being made out to me personally rather than my corporation. They said they would cancel my previous check and send a new one which was made out to my corporation. They didn't state what time frame would be involved.

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