In my last post, about four things you need to know about same-day ACH processing, I shared the list of same-day ACH deadlines. The first of those deadlines is coming up later this month – on Sept. 23, 2016, the deadline for implementing same-day ACH credits kicks in. Will you be ready for the changes? Here’s a checklist of things to look into to make sure you’re all set.
Are you opted in or out? Banks are not consistent as to whether is this is an opt-in or opt-out program. Verify your financial institution’s policy with your treasury officer. If you aren’t prepared, all the checks you deposit could be processed at the wrong time, possibly incurring higher fees for your business and affecting your stores’ end-of-day reconciliation. Checks processed for one business day could end up being paid over multiple settlement days, depending on the time of day the ACH files were transmitted.
What’s your ACH effective date on file? Before the deadline, ask the parties creating your ACH files (such as a third-party sender) if they are using an effective date in the file. If they are, make sure it is the date you want the checks in the file to be processed for deposit. Verify with your financial institution that your files are in the correct format for that institution to process them properly.
How will this affect your payroll direct deposit? As one of the most significant uses of ACH in our banking system, direct deposit will have a marked effect on your business if you employ same-day ACH. Check with your payroll processor and ensure they are not using the date your file is generated as the date for the transaction to be processed. With same-day ACH in place, the file could process early, potentially costing you extra transaction fees and deducting funds from your account earlier than expected.
The biggest benefit of same-day ACH is receiving funds and check returns faster. However, as with any change in payment processing, it’s important to make sure you’re aware of all the potential pitfalls as well. Work closely with your bank to ensure you’re ready for this new way of processing, and while you’re at it, ensure all your paper checks are converted efficiently so you can truly make the most of same-day ACH.