As an accountant, you can tell when the numbers just don’t add up — and they rarely add up in the credit card processing industry. Long-term leases that cost thousands of dollars for equipment that can be bought for less than $500? Hundreds of dollars in early termination penalties? Hidden markups on transaction fees? It takes a sharp eye to avoid common contract pitfalls. However, if you can steer clear of excessive costs and long-term leases, there are a number of beneficial payment processing services for CPAs like online invoicing, accounting software integration, and virtual terminals.
To help you find the right service for you, we’ve put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for accountants. The companies on this list offer invoicing tools, accounting integration, virtual terminals, and other features that make it easier for you to get paid. More importantly, though, they are also known to provide low-commitment contracts with transparent pricing and quality customer service. To find the right provider for your accounting firm, be sure to research each processor’s products and features and compare their pricing and terms.
Best Merchant Accounts for Accountants
Host Merchant Services is a Newark, Delaware-based merchant account provider that is well-suited for independent CPAs and CPA firms. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions for contractors, online marketing tools, custom third-party software integration, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, and merchant cash advance. Host Merchant Services specializes in e-commerce businesses and provides a free website and business-class email address to interested merchants. Host is an ideal option for accountants who would like to accept online and in-person payments at a reasonable cost.
Host Merchant Services has received only positive feedback on public forums, with most reviewers singling out the company’s customer service for praise. Host offers interchange-plus pricing with no early termination fees to all of its merchants, meaning that users will enjoy the most transparent pricing model and can cancel service without penalty. The BBB gives Host an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives the company an “A+.”
Based in Woodland Hills, California, PaymentCloud is a merchant account provider that specializes in serving high risk business types. The company’s products and services include point-of-sale solutions, mobile phone swipers, an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, EMV-compatible terminals, and merchant cash advances. PaymentCloud is a good option for CPAs.
PaymentCloud provides a dedicated account rep to all new merchants for the life of the account. The company has not received any negative complaints on consumer forums, and it customizes its pricing according to each merchant’s business type and processing history. The BBB does not maintain a profile for PaymentCloud at this time, but CPO gives the company an “A.”
Active since early 2014, Fattmerchant is a merchant account provider leading the industry’s move toward flat-rate, subscription-style pricing. The company’s products and services include EMV-compatible countertop terminals, a virtual terminal, an online payment gateway, an online shopping cart, mobile phone processing, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and recurring billing. Fattmerchant is capable of serving all standard-risk accountants and offers a comprehensive dashboard for tracking all payments and customers.
Fattmerchant offers multiple pricing plans with different rates. Merchants can select either a plan that charges a flat fee on all transactions or a plan that charges a fixed monthly fee plus a fixed per-transaction dollar amount above interchange. In other words, merchants can choose whether or not they are charged a percentage markup on each transaction. Fattmerchant currently has an “A” rating on CPO and an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Located in Chesapeake, Virginia, CDG Commerce is another reliable option for CPA firms of all sizes and types. CDG has been privately owned since 1998 and offers a proprietary online payment gateway (as well as a discount on Authorize.Net’s payment gateway), a virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, mobile phone processing, sales reporting, security breach protection, and vulnerability scanning. CDG Commerce is ideal for accountants who require a simple, low-cost, fully integrated processing solution across all payment channels.
CDG Commerce only charges a low, fixed fee per transaction and offers competitive contractual terms, including no annual fees, monthly minimums, or termination fees. CDG also offers next day funding to most business types. CDG has earned an “A+” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Payline Data has consistently rated as one of the best merchant account providers on CPO since we first reviewed the company. Payline is capable of serving bookkeepers and accounting firms of all sales volumes. The company offers traditional retail credit card terminals, mobile phone credit card processing (via Flint), an online payment gateway and virtual terminal, QuickBooks integration, online invoicing, and API integration for online payments. Payline Data is a good general option for any accounting business, regardless of size or business type.
In addition to its wide array of services, Payline Data offers interchange-plus pricing with month-to-month contracts and no early termination fees. As a result, the company enjoys a large number of positive testimonials from its clients on this website and in other consumer protection forums. The Better Business Bureau currently assigns Payline Data an “A+” rating, and CPO also gives Payline an “A+.”
Based in San Francisco, California, Dharma Merchant Services is a highly rated merchant account provider that places a corporate emphasis on social consciousness and community outreach. The company’s products and services include countertop terminals, a tablet-based POS system (via a partnership with ShopKeep), mobile device payment processing, an online payment gateway (Authorize.Net), QuickBooks integration, small business financing, and custom fundraising pages for non-profits. The company extends special pricing to non-profit organizations and donates a percentage of its profits to non-profits of its choosing every year. Dharma is best suited to provide savings for CPAs who process over $10,000 per month.
Dharma scores highly in our review and elsewhere due to its positively reviewed customer service, transparent marketing practices, competitive interchange-plus rates, and fair service agreements. The BBB currently assigns a rating of “A+” for Dharma Merchant Services, while CardPaymentOptions.com also gives the company an “A+.”
Headquartered in Levi, Utah, ProPay is an e-commerce merchant account provider that provides simple billing and payment options for accountants. ProPay users can utilize digital invoicing to collect payments from clients via email or purchase ProPay Jak, the company’s mobile phone processing solution to take payments in person. ProPay is also able to process ACH transactions through its virtual terminal and online payment gateway. ProPay is an ideal choice for accountants who require a fully-featured digital payments option without the physical equipment offered by traditional providers.
ProPay’s pricing will vary depending on each merchant’s business type, size, time in business, and preferred method of payment acceptance. The company is a TSYS subsidiary and has a very low complaint total in the past three years for a provider of its size. Our review of ProPay currently gives the company an “A” rating, while the Better Business Bureau gives ProPay an “A+.”
For more information, see the ProPay website.