Cachet has put together some best practices for handling an ACH processing problem.
This week, Cachet has been assisting several frantic payroll providers with their ACH direct deposit payroll processing needs due to an issue with their current provider. We understand that no company is perfect and sometimes ACH processing errors can occur; being prepared by having a contingency plan can help your staff and your clients in case of emergency. The following are several best practices suggestions that Cachet recommends every payroll provider consider in the event of a problem with their ACH transactions.
Keep the lines of communication open.
This is probably the most difficult item, you will want to respond to each client inquiry immediately but may not have the staff to do so. Make sure to have a method of mass-communicating the most recent information available and assure your clients that you will respond to individual requests as quickly as possible.
Know your ACH provider’s policy for missed transactions.
What are your options and deadlines for your preferred solution? There are usually three options for dealing with a missed or delayed transaction;
- Wait. Your ACH provider likely re-submitted or has already pushed the ACH file through and it will clear the following business day. If you can wait, this is usually the preferred option as it will cause less manual work and is less costly in the long run.
- Run Paper Checks. If you require a same day resolution, run paper checks for all paychecks/direct deposits. Make sure to notify your ACH provider that you are running paper checks so they can stop those transactions from going through.
- Wire Transfer. Another same day resolution is to wire the funds, though wire transfers will require a considerable amount of manual work which you may not have enough time to complete depending on your processor’s wire deadlines. Wires also tend to be the most costly option overall.
Know your clients’ preference.
Keep a record of each client’s preferred resolution in the event of an ACH error on file. It is also a good idea to include legal language in your Employee Direct Deposit Authorizations and/or Client Service Agreements that addresses how a missed transaction or payroll will be handled. Cachet suggests including clauses regarding liability, reversals, and direct deposit timelines for late deposits to your client and employee level agreements. These are suggestions only and should be reviewed by your attorney for your specific needs and situation.
Try to be patient.
Patience is always easier said than done, especially when you have furious clients pounding on your figurative door with questions that you can’t answer. In the event of a missed or delayed ACH transaction, your ACH provider will also be experiencing a higher than normal volume of correspondence and may take some time to respond to your specific inquiry. Be prepared to wait for a response.
Understand your clients’ frustration.
While your ACH processor, their employee(s), their bank, or whomever may have been the root cause of the issue, your clients’ relationship is with you and you alone. They will expect you to have all of the answers and unfortunately you may not have the information they want, do your best to provide all of the information that you do have, explain their options, and listen to their frustrations. Sometimes a sympathetic ear can go a long way.
Cachet has a history of assisting clients who have encountered issues with their current ACH processors. With expedited implementation options and wire services, Cachet offers payroll providers the ability to continue offering direct deposit services for their clients even during uncertain times with their existing ACH provider. Our annual SSAE 16 and financial audits ensure that we adhere to strict internal operational standards, while our $50 million dollar crime bond adds an additional layer of protection for our client’s payroll transactions.