CPAs Can Require Enhanced Payment Processing
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, such as 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.
Top Picks for Merchant Services 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. With this kind of flexibility in payment options, 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.”
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.
National Processing offers several small business processing options and can assist CPAs with identifying the right POS system or virtual terminal for their needs. The company offers two pricing options: one an interchange-plus program or a “zero-fee” program, both of which offer competitively priced rates.
National Processing has a clean reputation with just one complaint filed in the last three years, which is not concerning in nature. Our independent review finds National Processing to be a solid option for most CPAs.
Shopify is primarily known as an e-commerce platform for online merchants, but the company also offers a point-of-sale software solution for iPad and iPhone. The Shopify POS app can accept cards via a headphone jack card swiper, or a $129 EMV reader and includes features like inventory syncing with a web store, emailed receipts, automatic tax calculations, basic email marketing, and in-store refunds. These online payment options and the familiarity of the Shopify brand are great for CPA clients who will feel safe and comfortable using the platform.
The Shopify payment service can also be paired with a Shopify online store, which comes with numerous customization options. Shopify POS is a great fit for CPAs who would like to accept payments on-site using their phones as well as through online billing. Shopify has an “A+” rating with the BBB, and we give it an “A+” rating as well.