When you shop around for new business solutions, from practice management software to bank accounts to office equipment, you know you need to be discriminating to find the tools that will best fit the way your business operates.
Choosing a credit and debit card processor is no different. There are a lot of payment solutions out there, and they’re not all created equal—nor will they be equally appropriate for a CPA firm like yours. In this post, we’ll examine five things CPAs should look for when choosing a payment processing solution.
1. Designed for accounting professionals
A lot of payment solutions on the market are general-purpose in nature; they’re designed to work for any type of business. Since retail, restaurant, and hospitality businesses are so numerous, these generic payment solutions have features, functionality, and pricing that cater to these business types.
But you’re running a CPA firm—not a bar or convenience store. A typical point-of-sale system is designed to ring up items and generate a paper receipt. This type of payment interaction cheapens the experience for your clients, who are receiving complex, valuable professional services from you.
That’s why you should choose a payment solution that’s designed with professionals like you in mind. The benefits of working with a company focused on professionals—and even better, accounting professionals—rather than retail or restaurant businesses are numerous. Specialized payment solutions have teams of industry experts working on product development, support, and security that cater specifically to businesses like yours.
A solution designed for accounting professionals is also more likely to build integrations with software products you use and love. Knowing how much CPAs rely on spreadsheets to organize and analyze their data, these solutions will offer easy export functionality for greater flexibility.
2. Flexibility for both invoiced and in-office payments
Speaking of flexibility, this benefit applies to payment features themselves. Professional services firms like yours sometimes need the option to process payments in your office but often invoice clients for payment after services have been performed.
Today 74 percent of online households report paying bills online. Being able to offer clients the option to pay online from their computer or mobile device, on their own time, is a huge boon to client service. But not all payment processors facilitate online payments. Many are optimized solely for in-person transactions.
Look for a payment solution that lets you process both invoiced and in-person payments with ease. This will be one that offers secure online payment pages where you can send clients to pay their bill, as well as easy in-person payment processing through an online virtual terminal, with or without a card reader of some kind.
If online payments are only offered as an add-on for an extra charge rather than as a core component of the solution, it’s usually a sign that the program isn’t really designed for professional services firms like yours…
Continue reading and find out what this means for your business by visiting the CPACharge blog.
Visit aicpa.org/cpacharge or call (877) 685-3778 for more information on the AICPA online payments program for AICPA members.