How are ACH Payments Processed?

Millions of payments are made each day through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. Money moves, seemingly effortlessly, between accounts to the tune of 5.7 billion transactions per quarter. But, how does it work, and how can allowing clients to make ACH payments benefit your accounting firm?


ACH Payment Processing in Four Steps


Thanks to a nationwide network, ACH payments can be processed quickly and seamlessly. Here’s how a typical ACH payment is processed:


Step 1: The ACH request is initiated


The originator requests a transaction be made. This transaction can be a direct deposit, a bill payment, a person-to-person transfer or any number of other types of ACH payments. The originator can be an individual, a client or an employer – anyone with a financial account can be eligible to make ACH payment or transaction.


Step 2: The ACH transaction is batched by the originator’s bank


The ACH payment request is collected, along with other requests, by the financial institution where the consumer requested it. All the payment requests are gathered into a batch by the financial institution (technically known in this case as the ODFI or Originating Depository Financial Institution).


Step 3: The ACH transaction is sent to the receiver’s bank


The transaction batch is passed to an ACH Operator, then all transactions received are sorted and re-batched to go to the financial institutions indicated by the originator.


Step 4: The ACH transaction is processed to the receiver


The financial institution where the receiver’s account is (the Receiving Depository Financial Institution), receives the transaction and either deposits money into the receiver’s account or pulls money from it, depending on the original ACH payment request.


So, that’s the technical process, but here’s what matters to you: how can you use ACH payments to help your business, and what does that look like for your customers?

Whether it’s an ACH payment, a credit card or fee financing, QuickFee offers the tools to help you get paid faster. Contact us today to learn more.

How can I offer ACH as a payment method for my accounting firm customers?


QuickFee offers multiple payment options for your customers through a custom branded portal designed for your firm. The portal allows customers to interact with your accounting firm and make payments through several convenient payment options, including ACH payment, credit card and fee financing.


Step #1: Connect with QuickFee


If you’re interested in offering your accounting firm clients more flexible and convenient ways to pay online, our QuickFee team is ready to help. Complete this contact form and our team members will reach out to provide a free consultation and determine whether our payment management services are a fit for your business.


Step #2: Make your portal available


As a QuickFee client, you’ll use a custom-branded payment portal, designed to match your accounting firm’s branding, to connect with customers and process their payments.


In addition to offering ACH payments as an option, the portal also gives your clients access to payment choice – allowing them to accept ACH, credit card and QuickFee’s fee financing. The portal makes business more convenient for them and for you, because it gives them the option to pay quickly and easily.


Step #3: Get your money


Once you’re a QuickFee client, the process moves quickly. In fact, our team can have your portal up and running within 48 hours. After the portal is functional, you can let your clients know and you’ll begin receiving your payments immediately.


Increasing the speed of turnaround on client payments can really help your accounting firm’s accounts receivable efficiency. Since many accounting firms report payments running more than two months behind schedule, getting your clients comfortable with an easy and instantaneous process can be an easy and painless solution for both the firm and the client.


What does the client see when they request an ACH payment through my portal?


If customers are interested in making an ACH payment through your custom-branded portal, they’ll see an option to complete an ACH to pay their invoice in full.


Once they complete the request and their bank processes it, they’ll see the funds pulled from their account. If they’re not ready to make a payment in full, QuickFee’s financing option also allows them the opportunity to spread their payments over several months, while making sure your firm gets paid immediately.

What are the benefits of offering ACH payment options to my clients?


Quick, easy processing


Processing paper checks and invoices is a hassle. It can be time-consuming to wait for payments to arrive and to match them up manually with the correct clients and invoices.


ACH processing is all electronic, which means the payments are labeled with the proper client information and are deposited directly to your account. Clients just pay with ACH through the payment portal and QuickFee gets the payment to you the very next day.


One added bonus: Clients don’t have to select ACH for you to get the convenience of an ACH payment.


When you allow clients to pay through QuickFee’s fee financing feature, you will also receive your payments as a convenient ACH to your account. No need to worry about invoicing or processing payments; they show up right there in your account.




ACH payments are a safe way to make a transaction, because they create an electronic transaction record and because they only expose your account information once. A check carries your account information on it at all times, and check fraud remains one of the more prevalent forms of payment method fraud.




One of the most frustrating things about making or receiving payments with a paper check is not knowing when the check will be cashed or deposited. It can be difficult to plan other payments or transactions when you’re waiting for a check to clear the bank.


When your company is a service provider, like an accounting firm or a law firm, clients may feel more comfortable waiting to pay you than waiting to pay vendors that provide tangible goods. Combining that delay time with additional processing time can cut into your revenue and available cash flow and create frustration on both sides.


With ACH payments, there are rules in place regarding processing time for transactions. There’s even a same-day ACH option that can get your payments to you even more quickly, although processing time and fees can vary from bank to bank.

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