There are many factors to consider when selecting software of any kind - including functionality, pricing, vendor reputation/credentials, support policy, update schedule, training/implementation, scalability and ease of use - just to name a few. We're going to focus on ACH functionality and offer some guidelines to consider:
Does the ACH software create an ACH file in the SEC (Standard Entry Class Code) you need?
PPD and CCD are the most commonly requested SEC codes by SMB users - and the majority of ACH software packages will create them. If you need other codes, such as CTX, you should confirm that they can they create the EDI detail. If you need TEL, WEB, IAT or any other SEC code - confirm with the vendor that these can be accommodated.
ACH Universal: Handles ACK, BOC, CCD, PPD and many other formats. Please see NACHA SEC Code Specifications.
Does the software handle pre-notes, offset records and addenda records?
While these are all basic functions - vendors handle them all very differently. Don't rely on a specifications sheet, make sure you test (see #4 below). Also, be sure that your software can initiate both debit and credit pre-notes.
ACH Universal: Handles all of the above.
For more information regarding pre-notes click here.
For more information regarding offset records click here.
For more information regarding addenda records click here.
Are you able to integrate the software with your data - whether an accounting package or simply a spreadsheet?
An important consideration for many people is to ensure that they are able to import data without manually keying it in. For example, if you're a QuickBooks user, you should able to pull transactions directly from your data files. There are a number of packages that can do this and you should not need to export/import.
Treasury Software can easily integrate with QuickBooks. In addition, if you can export your data into an Excel or CSV file, then you can import this into the Treasury Software for the ACH file creation.
Is there a free download available for you test?
With the ACH software, you should be able to create an ACH file with your data and send it to your bank to confirm.
Is it easy to use?
Ask yourself, "Is this a program I can use?" "Is it easy enough for someone else in my department to create an ACH file when I'm out of the office?" Also, take a look at the user help files and documentation. Introductory training videos can also be helpful.
Is phone support available - and what kind of assistance do they provide?
Will the software company help you set up the program? Are they knowledgeable about ACH/NACHA issues?
We always recommend calling the software vendor before licensing - to see if you get through.
If you can't reach a person during the pre-sales/sales process, it may be a warning sign if you want support later on.
Yes, the phone support hours are Monday - Friday 10am - 6pm EST. In addition, email and chat support are available during this time.
Can you email remittance 'check stub' information to your vendors?
You should be able to send an email with detailed check stub information indicating the invoices and related amounts that you have paid via ACH.
Treasury Software does have the ability send out email remittance. In addition, Treasury Software can integrate directly with your Outlook to send these emails. Not using Outlook? Not a problem, just use the email setup wizard to easily configure the SMTP.
Can you easily create a reversing entry if you make a mistake?
If you make a mistake - is there an easy method ('Point and Click') in place to let you reverse an ACH transaction that has already been sent to the bank?
Yes, not to worry, Treasury Software does have the ability create a reversal with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Can the process be automated?
Can the entire process be automated - from data import to ACH file creation to file transmission?
Absolutely, Treasury Software can be integrated with your Windows Task Scheduler or kicked off through a command line prompt. In addition, the software has a built in SFTP client that will automatically send the file securely to the bank. So, yes the Treasury Software can be fully automated.
What security is in place? Is encryption available?
At a minimum, you should be able to password-protect user access, and there should be a full audit trail for each transaction (from import to ACH file creation).
Ask if the internal data files can be encrypted ('data at rest') with AES-256, and if applicable, if the ACH file transmission process can be encrypted ('data in transit') with SSH-FTP.
Treasury Software does take security very serious. The software does have the ability to create user accounts and passwords. The transmission file can be automatically sent securely using the built in SFTP client. In addition, the software does offer the latest Encryption (AES-256) to encrypt your file.
Can the software be installed on more than one computer for the purpose of disaster recovery?
The ACH software license should cover multiple machines for uninterrupted access for disaster recovery purposes. In addition, ask if there is an automated backup process available for the data files.
Yes, with the lowest level edition, the software comes with 3 workstation licenses. The software will automatically make a backup once you enter/exit the software.
Does the software license cover both debit and credit transactions?
Most licenses cover both debits and credits - but some do not. Check carefully.
With the Treasury Software, you can do both debits and credits.
Do I have the option of either subscription or traditional licensing?
While there are advantages to each, if you opt for subscription licensing, make sure that it can be canceled at any time without penalty.
Subscription licensing pros: Monthly payments let you avoid the up front financial burden of purchasing software. In addition, it makes the software company 'earn' its value each month as it typically includes software updates (both IT and NACHA), as well as client support.
Traditional licensing pros: For entities with a longer-term financial horizon, this may be more cost effective over time. Be sure to inquire about maintenance contracts so you'll have access to ongoing support and updates.
The software can be licensed as a subscription or with a traditional license, with no transactions fees with either license. The subscription includes support and is a month to month license with no contracts, so you can cancel anytime.
What is the company's update policy?
How often are updates posted? Are they simply IT/security updates - or do they include ACH rules (NACHA) updates? Are you able to view a version history of the software updates?
Treasury Software Developers actively work on adding new features, along with making the user interface more user friendly. Updates are released on a monthly basis. Please see our version history.
Same Day ACH is coming - does the vendor support it?
What is the vendor's plans for Same Day ACH?
Yes, Treasury Software currently does support same day ACH.
Can the system handle multiple origination accounts in the same ACH file?
Can the software handle transactions originating from multiple bank accounts in your organization, such as a payroll and a disbursement account? Further, if you are a processor (ie. payroll processor) and are working with multiple client accounts - does it meet NACHA's Third Party Rules and Requirements?
The software does support multiple originations and is certainly in compliance with NACHA requirements.
Can the software re-submit transactions from an ACH Return File?
Not all ACH transactions are successfully completed. For example, debit transactions (ie. collections from customers) can be returned due to insufficient funds. How your bank notifies you of these failed items can vary. One method is to send you an ACH Return File. Can the ACH software utilize this file and enable you to resubmit certain transactions?
Yes, the Treasury Software does have the capability of resending transactions from a return file. The ACH Return File can easily be imported into the software with pointing and clicking of the mouse, you can re-submit transactions.
Is it scalable? Will you outgrow the software?
Does the software vendor support multi-user platforms with a central database, such as Microsoft SQL Express or SQL Server?
Can the software be used in a Remote Desktop environment? Can it be placed on a Citrix Server (either stand-alone or clustered environment)?
Is there a Segregation of Duties feature which enables you to grant/restrict feature access on a per user basis?
The software is scalable, whether you are a smaller operation with one to two users or larger operation with many more users we have a solution for you. The software does have the ability to easily migrate from a single user Desktop database to a multi user database such as SQL Express or SQL Server through the use of a user friendly wizard. Don't have an in house SQL Express database or SQL Server? Not to worry, being Treasury Software is a Microsoft Gold Partner, we can provide you with a free SQL Express database. The software can be run in a Remote Desktop environment or in a Citrix Server environment.
In addition the Treasury Software does have the ability to use segregation of duties. With this feature, you can create user roles and limit the duties a user can perform.
Are there any features that you might need in the future? If you change your accounting package in the future, would you lose certain capabilities?
Think about features you might need in the future as your accounting and internal systems change.
For example, does the ACH software have the ability to create profiles for customers, employees and vendors? Can the ACH software warehouse records (place on hold, then release) - or create recurring transactions? Check to see if the software has the capability to convert ACH files to Excel/csv (useful for passing data to additional systems) and merge ACH files.
Profiles can easily be created. These profiles can be used to store the account number, routing number and email address for sending out remittance information. So, if you do change accounting packages you will not lose any of your data. With the Treasury Software, you can easily convert ACH files to an Excel or CSV file. In addition, the software can merge ACH files into one consolidated file.
Does the vendor support positive pay issuance file creation?
Positive Pay and Payee Positive Pay are bank anti-fraud programs to help protect against altered and counterfeited checks clearing your account.
To obtain this protection, entities send their bank a list of checks that they've issued.
Subsequently, when a check is presented against the account, the bank compares the check information on the check against the information on file (from the list of checks sent by the client).
If the check information matches, the check is cleared without issue. However, if there is a discrepancy, the check will be placed on hold - and the client will make a 'pay' or 'no pay' decision.
The format of the issued check file that the client sends to their bank varies by bank - and many larger banks have multiple formats. If this is may be one of your treasury management needs, ask whether the software vendor supports positive pay issuance file creation.
Treasury Software, does offer a Positive Pay solution. This software can easily be integrated with your QuickBooks or you can use an Excel or CSV import file.
Treasury Software currently support hundreds of Positive Pay formats with this list growing on a weekly basis. If your bank's format is not on file our Developers will create it for you.
Does the vendor provide a reconciliation feature?
While virtually all accounting packages provide some level of reconciliation features, many accounting packages in the SMB marketplace do not have the capability to handle data originated outside of their system.
As many ACH transactions originate outside of the accounting system - notably user initiated transactions in online stores, core business systems (membership/recurring billing, insurance premiums) - these activities may need the support of a reconciliation function.
Absolutely. Treasury Software does offer a user friendly Bank Reconciliation program. All you need to do is export your bank data into an Excel or CSV file and import it into the Bank Reconciliation program. The software has a number of matching rules it uses to match your bank and GL data. Please see the Treasury Software videos for more information on this.