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#1
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1)I have "retail " income tax return clients ....

When they come in to the office, they give me a check or a card.

When they are electronic, I send them a PayPal invoice, they can call with a card number, or they can mail a check.

This works pretty well, but is there a more efficient way?

2) I have business clients requiring various bundles of services and I bill them (usually the same amount) monthly, though some are quarterly.

Here's where I need the most help.

Some clients have a card on file, which we have to run. Some clients require permission to charge their card. Some prefer to pay quarterly. Some mail a check. Some are always late. Some have cards that are often hacked. Some prefer a pay pal invoice. Its a LOT to manage.

Obviously, a fix was to require a card on file for all new clients, billed monthly, without asking each time. We require this now for new clients only. We use chase paymentech and the price seems reasonable. Though nothing is automated.

But I still have 30 mish mosh clients when it comes to billing.

Any ideas? What do you do? Any good services or software out there?
 

#2
ATSMAN  
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If you have walk in clients and they want to pay with a Debit or Credit card you MUST have a card reader to run the card! No calling in to PayPal with the card. I tried that years back and is not workable IMHO.

You need to decide what method you will use for habitually late clients. I would either disengage or change them to card on file. You are not in the business of chasing payments.

I have used PayPal invoice with a small group of out of state clients that I can trust to pay. Same with Zelle.
 

#3
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Personalized invoicing is a major PITA. One client, even though I would invoice for my services, would wait until he received a statement and then he would decide to pay the whole amount or partial. I then had to continuously send statements. Emailing the statement got no results, I had to FAX them. I'm retiring the business clients because I don't want to deal with this anymore. Individual tax clients get a choice of online payments with PayPal or give me or mail me a check. I trust the long-term clients with mailing in the checks. Their returns are efiled when the checks are in transit. I no longer give hard copies or pdf copies until payment is received.
Cathy
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#4
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There are a few posts on this issue. You can use the yellow box.

What you need is something more automated and something that integrates with your bookkeeping software. Your current system involves you and your staff too much. There's too much opportunity for mistakes, finger pointing, and, I would think, data leaks because someone saw client CC info that they weren't supposed to see.

I use the built-in invoicing module for QuickBooks Online. It works well enough for me.

After I prepare an invoice and press send, the client gets an invoice email. The payment is generally due 15 days from receipt. They can pay online via debit card, credit card, EFT, or Apple Pay, or they can pay by mailing in a check. If they pay by one of the former four, everything is automated and I'm not involved in the process. They enter their info online via one of their devices, and I just match everything correctly in QuickBooks once it comes through.

If they pay by check, I deposit using mobile deposit at my desk, and match once it comes through.

One can customize QB invoicing system to send automatic reminder emails, add interest, etc. I don't use these features, but they're available. Clients who consistently pay invoices late and require me to chase them find themselves on the chopping block...they usually don't last long.
 

#5
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Ditch PayPal and do not even mention it to clients. It is not a way to manage electronic payments for a service company.

What software do you use for your firm's invoicing? Bill.com can integrate with some and can automate, as can Bill & Pay. Biller Genie is another option.

I still use Quickbooks despite lack of automation of capturing payments on a defined date. It doesn't take me that long and all clients are sent invoices electronically, and all but one or two pay electronically via the link in the e-mail body. Average cost is around 3%, more than content paying that because it does save me a lot of time from ever having to go to the bank.
 

#6
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I'll definitely use the search field, thanks.

My processor is Chase Paymentech, and they recommend "FuseBill". Which for less than 1 million is sales, costs $300/month.

For that I can pay someone $15 an hour for 20 hours a month to handle it which is more than is needed. Doesn't seem worth it.

Though I admit that I can't seem to find a $15 an hour worker who I can trust to handle it.

We use QB desktop for the bookkeeping of our practice, and for clients that demand an invoice and to mail a check, I use the free version on invoice-generator.com.
 

#7
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ItDepends wrote:We use QB desktop for the bookkeeping of our practice, and for clients that demand an invoice and to mail a check, I use the free version on invoice-generator.com.


Why not send invoices out of QB desktop?
 

#8
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ItDepends wrote:We use QB desktop for the bookkeeping of our practice, and for clients that demand an invoice and to mail a check, I use the free version on invoice-generator.com.


Respectfully, it sounds like you're all over the place with billing practices and you do something different for X, Y, or Z client.

You need to have one protocol for billing and stick to it, otherwise you're inviting inefficiencies and opportunities for mistakes into your practice. It's best to simplify and to have standard procedures in place for your staff. They will be happier.

Again, my process is simple and the exact same for each client. It takes me 1 minute, give or take, to prepare and send an invoice if the client is already in my QBO system. If the client pays online, the process is almost completely automated and I'm barely involved. The client and Intuit's systems do most of the work. If the client pays by check, I'm more involved but the billing process leading up to the check is the exact same.

Don't let a small contingent dictate how you bill them and collect. Be flexible with payment options but firm with your protocol.

I don't know if QB desktop will allow you to invoice and collect payments like QBO, but if it does, like missingdonut, I don't see why you'd spend $3,600 per year for something new that you're already paying for with QB desktop but don't utilize. You should seek to understand what features your software provides then proceed to extract maximum value from it.
 

#9
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Yes, QBD allows invoicing and electronic payments. It has automation as long as you go to the "Make Merchant Services Deposits" under Banking menu, where it tends to be done automatically in QBO based on a live feed. I find QBD's system to be more reliable, I have had QBO pull in duplicates way too many times.

I cannot fathom not utilizing an accounting system to its fullest extent, including time tracking (even if you use the T-Sheets integration instead of Quickbooks' own time tracking), invoicing, and payments of some sort (does not have to be Intuit's system, there are others that integrate very well, which I named in my prior post). Do not let clients drive your business processes.
 

#10
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Qbo with merchant services is the best and it syncs with AR. Just use this.
 

#11
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I have to say that I'm not crazy about Intuit products - especially lately. Also, it is the automation that I'm looking for.

So I had a meeting with a bill.com representative, and I'm not so impressed with them either. Well, I mean, the system looks fine, but here are the things that I need to help me save time but that it doesn't do:

1) If an automated subscription is late in paying, it will remind them, but it won't add a late fee or interest. I still have to change the invoice. I want a program that does this for me (adds the late fee).

2) If a client has an automictic recurring payment, but their bank or card information changes or expires - I still need to manage it (chase down the client, enter the data, etc). The time costs for this task seems endless for some reason. I am looking for a way to make the client enter their payment information right into the system for changes to automated payments. (bill.com can have the client enter the info - but not for changes to 'automated recurring payments'. It only does this if I send the client a bill each time).

3) If I have a client for whom I wish to charge a monthly or quarterly amount, but that amount varies, it does not remind me to bill them for the period or run it automatically after I update the amount. I need a system that shows me who I need to bill, I enter an amount, and it charges their card on file automatically.

It doesn't seem like my systemization requests above appear to be that difficult or complex.

Does QB do these things? Does any service do these things?
Last edited by ItDepends on 16-Oct-2020 4:20pm, edited 1 time in total.
 

#12
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Regarding #1, QBO handles that flawlessly. You can set multiple reminders to automatically send X number of days before or after the due date. Can't say for QB Desktop.
 

#13
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I don't love Intuit either but I'll give them money when they have a cromulent system. I've never used bill.com before but my understanding is that QB syncs well with it. Couldn't you just automatically have QBD generate late fee/interest invoices to take care of #1, and set up your invoicing as memorized transactions in QB to send to bill.com so that they aren't considered automated recurring payments under #2?

For #3, I am confused on why you have monthly or quarterly charges that vary each time. Is this a situation where you bill by the hour but for some clients you will only send an invoice once every quarter? If so, you could look into using customer types in QuickBooks to track this information in QB. But it won't be automated... I don't know of any solution that could automate such a complex billing system.

Automated billing will not happen until you streamline your billing practices. You can have some clients on hourly billing and others on fixed fee arrangements if you want, but their options need to be on your terms. For example, if you have a client that only wants to be billed quarterly, you can accommodate that, but they have to agree to a fixed fee arrangement.
 

#14
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ItDepends wrote:
Does QB do these things? Does any service do these things?


You are asking too much for off-the-shelf software relative to merchant account rules/regulations. You need a custom solution/ERP to address what you mentioned, but will still encounter hurdles.

Intuit handles #1 very well, and is fantastic if integrated with something like Bill & Pay. #2 is difficult because of the regulations and rules concerning merchant accounts for merchants, so you're not really going to find it. #3 is a process issue, not software limitation. If the amount varies, how can your software possibly know? Yes, you can get customized software to remind you a variable fee client needs to be invoiced and the payment processed, but good luck getting full automation. I keep client payment info on record, in this case, and have signed authorization that I can process payments for any amount I determine to be due.
 

#15
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what's the update on the topic of choices for small firm that uses QBO to get paid and have the payment automatically record in QBO?

Low volume, but payments usually over 2k each.

Don't accept credit cards.

My small bank doesn't do Venmo or the other one.

I'm ok with paying a fixed 3 or 4 bucks per transaction, but not a percentage that everyone wants for credit cards.

Intuit QBO Merchant Services 1% max of $10 is tolerable. But can I prevent clients from selecting pay by credit card?

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/learn-sup ... 00/535052#

Don't an "ATM" choice.

Looked at Bill and Pay, but that looks like only an intermediary with a payment processor. So fees on top of fees?
 

#16
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There is not really any reputable merchant processor that is going to have a flat fee for debit or credit cards--they are always going to be percentages. Every single merchant company I have seen take a fixed-fee approach with clients typically does not retain the clients very long and has tremendous turnover because they ultimately cannot deliver what they promise.

I know in QBD, I can select which payment methods are available to each client. I believe you can in QBO, but I'll have to look at a client's setup to confirm.
 

#17
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i just spoke w Fattmerchant.com. They wern straight forward and said they're optimized for credit card transactions and competitive at 7,000/month sales per month and above. Otherwise their subscription model doesn't work.

Almost none of my clients would be using credit cards. So I'd have to pay their monthly subscription plus 1% on ACH.

BillandPay.com monthly is 30 bucks but the ACH cost is a fixed low.55 So that sounds like more matched to my needs of low volume higher dollar amount non credit card bills.

Wonder what the risks are going with any of the less well established payment processors? Still remember a local N California payroll processor of some years ago that went under. Quite a few companies, including some large ones, lost their withheld undepositied payroll taxes.
 

#18
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I ended up going with bill.com and I'm happy with it. I would recommend it.

I think that being worried about going with a smaller merchant is a valid concern. The time costs of having to switch again later are always more than you think.
 

#19
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just spoke w https://cpacharge.com/features/pricing/ . Salesguy was straightforward. He explained that the profit for them was in credit card processing, not ach. If anything ACH is higher risk for them if the payer bounces a payment.

For aicpa members, they'll waive monthly fee for six months, for calcpa members they'll waive for an additional 3 months plus give 200 credit towards fees.

Doesn't sound easy to prevent clients from paying by credit cards, which is what I want to do.
 

#20
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QBO has the same option as QBD to prevent clients from paying via credit/debit card. It can be eCheck only (similar to ACH).
 

#21
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just got off the phone w QBO. They confirmed what you said about restricting customers to a method of payment, say ACH.

But the deal killer for me, was her saying that trying to attach the invoice i create in another app, e.g. Timeslips, to the QBO invoice is not going to work well. And there's no way to just send my own email with my Timeslips invoice and include a link to QB for payment.

The other payment processors I think, allow creation of a payment link.

Are you using QBO for the only invoice or are you sending an invoice created by your non Intuit time/billing app and separately sending a QBO payment request?
 

#22
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I think you are trying to make this overly complicated. First, Quickbooks--both Online and Desktop--include pretty decent time tracking. Why not utilize it and transfer it to invoices so you are using your accounting system to its max potential?

T-Sheets is really what Quickbooks can integrate with as a third-party time tracker. I do not use it but I have heard great things about it.

Other than Bill.com and Bill & Pay, I do not utilize much outside of what Quickbooks has to offer. I like time tracking, invoicing, payments, etc., being in one system that is pretty refined, at this point.

Using QBO o QBD for invoicing, when their payment merchant services is attached to your account, sends a nice little e-mail with access to the PDF (includnig if the client opened it), and a payment link at the bottom. When client pays, QBO fully automates it and QBD automates 95% of it (the 5% if is you accessing the Merchant Payment Services module under the Banking menu). It works. It works smoothly. I have only encountered a few unique scenarios where a problem popped up and I was able to work around them. They're so unique I do not feel a need to mention them. I have been using this setup for 10+ years with numerous companies and while I am not necessarily the biggest fan of Intuit at times, this system simply works well and I do not mind the small cost to have virtually zero collection matters to address.
 

#23
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For sure if I used QBO to invoice or I switched to their T-Sheets from Sage Timeslips, I'd save myself much more time than just using a E payment provider.

Timeslips is a dinosaur. I don't see any easy way to link QBO and Timeslips. But for my situation with relatively few clients, with high invoice amounts with lots of detail that I edit, and many separate tasks during the year, and only independent contractors no employees, it's ok except pita for remote staff independent contractors.

Correct me on this but QBO invoicing and T-Sheets don't look like they would give the invoicing editing control I want. There also doesn't seem to be a historical data conversion from Timeslips to T-Sheets)
 

#24
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I have not actually used T-Sheets. I use QBD for my own firm and it is very easy to modify invoices despite the time entries through QBD's own time tracking, which also flows into payroll module for hourly people.
 

#25
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Just read the smaller print (30 inch high res monitor) on the CPACharge.com price schedule. ACH/echecks above 5,000 to a max of 30k only if you pay a 1% fee and a higher monthly fee. Below 5k per transaction, it's no % and a flat $2 per transaction for ACH. Clearance time same 5 biz days as QB Merchant Services for ACH: 5 biz days. That appears to be imposed by the processors to protect themselves from bounced ACH and Echecks. And CPACharge. requires the higher monthly fee if you want to suppress your clients' choice to pay by cc. All that was a deal killer for me because I send out relatively few invoices, with bulk of the dollars from invoices over 5K. Those clients don't even want to pay by cc.

Bottom of the line: I activated Intuit Merchant Services. Don't like paying 1% fee for a 5 day clearance wait, and their cc fees not the best either, but they cap the 1% ACH fee at $10.

Would think Intuit Merchant Services integrates much better with QBO than any 3rd party. And it does let one disable cc or ach choice.

Intuit dollar limit entirely based on the accountant's credit rating. Mine was higher than the 30k limit of CPAcharge.com

Main downside of Intuit with QBO is that the email sent to client will always include the QBO invoice pdf. Since I usually want client to get my Timeslip invoice, clients will get two pdfs every time. And Intuit does not allow you to simply provide a link in your own email for client to click on to pay.
Last edited by lenraphael on 19-Dec-2020 12:23am, edited 1 time in total.
 

#26
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I guess I'm still not grasping why you want to continue sending Timeslip Invoices instead of utilizing the built-in time tracking that very easily converts to an invoice within QBO. If you are generating the invoice in QBO, then why the need to include the Timeslip?
 

#27
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not generating the invoice from within QBO. Use Timeslips for that.

So I'll have to attach the Timeslips generated bill to every QBO Merchant Services bill. Confusing to clients.

Switching to Timesolv effective Jan 1. They say they integrate w QBO but not why I'm switching.
 

#28
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So far QBO Merchant Services invoicing for payment not so great.

My test client is an Uber software engineer who uses a Yahoo mail account. The QBO invoice email is not reaching his mailbox even though QBO says he has viewed it three times. QBO tech support remoted to my machine and compared the client's email address to one of his emails to me and agreed it was correctly entered.

Thinking Yahoo mail is blocking QBO invoices. Hard to believe.

But the part that does bug me is that QBO invoicinhg requires me to input a due date for each invoice. Can't leave it blank.

If you select "due on receipt" the invoice shows invoice date.

Most of my clients and all of my bigger ones pay promptly without me ever giving a payment due date. Intuit puts a five day hold on all ACH payments. So just by using QBO to bill, I'm slowing down collections. If I put say a "Net 10 days" I'm just inviting clients to pay slower than before.
 

#29
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QBO techs, even the Market Services ones, not fully aware of the options of the electronic billing.

A copy of the bill is put in an Intuit cloud and you can use your own email to send the link to client.

But so far, have figured out how to totally suppress a due date on the bill.
 

#30
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Abandoning QBO invoicing and Intuit Merchant Services.

Switching to Timesolv for time and billing. They have a hookup with LexCharge for credit cards and ACH that is a fixed 2 dollars or so per any ACH, and supposedly about a two business day clearance time.

Was told originally I could limit specific clients to either CC or ACH, but so far haven't succeeded at that. Awaiting tech support answer.

I tested out with one techie client today.

He checked out Timesolv on "crunchbase" site and decided that he didn't want to trust a small biz with his bank info for ACH. He chose CC.

My reaction (after spending three days locking down every online account with MFA and 15 digit unique pw's after my Microsoft Store account got hacked day before Christmas) is that the same Federal protection of credit card transactions applies to ACH. Except if you get ACH fraud, you might have to week months before your bank refunds your stolen money.

Still, I don't see the risk of using ACH by my client as any higher than using a paper check.

Your thoughts?
 

#31
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The risk of ACH fraud is no higher than ability to commit same fraud by someone getting their hands on someone's paper check. Problem is too many people do not realize it is the SAME EXACT INFORMATION exposed with either method of payment, especially the older crowd (55+). I actually recently dealt with ACH fraud initiated by a criminal stealing a paper check from a mailbox, and it is not the first time. Or, they create fake check stock and cash checks.

I give most clients the option of paying by ACH or credit card. It is probably equally split in what clients choose, but I am not afraid of paying merchant fees when my cash flow is DRAMATICALLY improved by it and with significantly reduced float time. I'm at the point with Intuit where I can get instant deposits to my account if I wish to pay an extra 1%...on a $3k payment, for example, I may very well be willing to pay an additional $30 for instant deposit (as in within 30 minutes). Other times I am willing to wait the standard 1-3 days. if I accept $150k in electronic payments, I am paying, at most, $4,500. Well worth the cost, IMO, but everyone has different feelings on the subject.

And don't get me started on merchants that refuse to accept AMEX. :evil:
 

#32
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in the final decision, it wasn't Intuits fees (which were excellent for ACH and acceptable for cc's) or the float time. It was that I had to attach their invoice every time. Don't recall whether I could disable "net due" which I'd have wanted to.

When my Microsoft Store account (not MFA and an old simple pw) and Facebook (MFA and complex pw) accounts got hacked between Christmas and New Years, AMEX immediately covered me for the 2,800 of Xbox "gift cards". Facebook was just a clusterfk. Wierd thing is the hacker managed to change the cell phone number and FB was about to allow the hacker to change my pw if I hadn't noticed it. When I tried to change the cell phone back to mine, I was prompted to input my authenticator code. Unpleasantly for me and totally coincidentally I had changed iphones a week beafore. Authenticator backup didn't work. Emergency codes were out of date :(

If it hadn't been for a friend of my son's who worked at FB, I'd still be locked out because I needed to have MFA disabled. FB security staff probably overwhelmed now.

Also had $50 Amazon gift card charged to my MFA protected Amazon account. Most likely it wasn't Amazon that was hacked but a vendor of Amazons who resells Amazon gift cards and I had sometime in past bought something from them. Sheesh.

Re the safety of credit cards vs ACH, the BOA fraud guy said BOA doesn't automatically reverse fraudulent ACH transactions until they've investigated. But if cc, BOA doesn't make you pay them until investigation finished. What's the experience of others out there?
 

#33
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Intuit just increased their ACH fees from $0.50 per transaction to 1% ($10 max). This is a 20x increase in fees and I am now looking around for alternatives to Intuit to accept ACH payments. Does anyone use another ACH provider that is cheaper? I'm starting to hate Intuit.
 

#34
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I have been hating intuit for a while.

I use bill.com now as a solution to the op and it works pretty well, with a few glitches here and there. 4 out of 5 stars.
 

#35
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SF, check out https://portal.lexcharge.com and the more expensive cpacharge.com

these processors make their money off credit cards not ach. ach is riskier for them.

using anyone other than a big outfit like intuit, clients might balk at providing their banking info. never understood that reluctance but it's there.
 

#36
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lenraphael wrote:using anyone other than a big outfit like intuit, clients might balk at providing their banking info. never understood that reluctance but it's there.


Interesting. I've never had anyone balk at paying online through the QBO invoicing system.

Although I am flexible and also offer the option to mail in a physical check to my PO box.
 

#37
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i'd think there's probably some risk that between the time a processor collects your fee and remits to you, they could go belly up. On a large bill, I'd ask for a paper check if the processor weren't one of the big ones.
 

#38
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I cannot imagine a more efficient method than QuickBooks online at Intuit Merchant Services. Everything is automated once the bill goes out, even invoice reminders for past due invoices.
 

#39
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That's just it. I don't love paying $10 for each echeck payment, but what's the alternative? QBO invoicing is convenient, highly automated, and I already have the system well ironed out and in place.
 

#40
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Just like to share my secret. Chase ACH service. I started using ACH to collect from business clients on a monthly or quarterly basis since 2017. Chase costs $25 per month for up to 25 transactions and it's 0.25 for each additional. If you google Chase ACH, you would be lead to ACH payement service page. But they have a ACH collection service as well. In order to set this up, a rep from Chase would have to review your business to make sure it's legit. It's kinda tedious, they asked for financial, tax returns, etc. But once you finish with the process, it's well worth it.

I only use ACH for biz clients. Although I have used this service on couple habitually late paying individual clients.

With Chase, you don't go thru a third party, you get the account number and routing # which you probably already have and just set up everything up on your own. You can set up repeat collection so if you put client on a monthly retainer fee, you just need to do it once.
 

#41
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Just might use that for my bigger biz clients. Thanks.
 


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