How to Set Up an ACH Payment on FreshBooks in a Few Easy Steps

Give your customers the flexibility and convenience of paying by bank transfer, now available for U.S.-based customers.

ACH Payments

If you’re an independent contractor, you likely have a diverse portfolio of clients—each with their own preferred payment method. Some opt for online payments, while others stick with old-school checks—after all, money is money.

But the more clients you take on, the more you’ll need to establish flexible payment options to keep everyone happy (and to keep you getting paid).

That’s why FreshBooks is introducing ACH payments (a.k.a. bank transfers). It offers your clients the convenience of paying with ACH and saves you a trip to the bank to deposit the money. The ACH fee is 1% per transaction, capped at $50 or less on FreshBooks Select Plans.

What Is ACH?

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House, and is a network that connects financial institutions across the U.S. and allows your clients to transfer money online from their bank to yours.

How Do I Enable ACH Payments?

To enable ACH Payments:

  1. Log into your FreshBooks account and click the gear icon in the top left corner.
  2. Click Accept Online Payments. Here’s what it looks like in-app:

ach payments 1

3. Click Get Started with Online Payments and then click Continue
4. Verify your email, business information, and add a bank account
5. Now, you’ll have the option to accept ACH on an invoice

You can also enable ACH payments directly on an invoice:

  1. Click Accept Online Payments on the right of the invoice.
  2. Select the checkbox beside ACH.
  3. Click Done. That’s it!

Here’s what it looks like in-app:

ach payments 2

Why Should I Enable ACH Payments?

Here are a few great reasons:

  • Only a 1% flat fee, lower than a credit card payment
  • Get paid 2x faster than by check
  • More flexibility and convenience for clients
  • No setup fees, monthly fees, or minimum charges
  • A good, reliable option for recurring payments

How Do ACH Transactions Work?

ACH payments are similar to a bank transfer or wire transfers (the sending of money from one bank account to another). So let’s say a client wants to use ACH payments on an invoice. When you send the invoice out to be paid, your client can provide their bank account information to you (their account and routing number) and sign an authorization for ACH transactions.

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Then, when it’s time to pay, your bank will send their bank a request to transfer the money they owe from the provided account. And the two banks will then communicate to ensure that there are sufficient funds to process the ACH transaction into your bank account (similar to a direct deposit).

All of this is done through the Automated Clearing House network, who handle the transactions for a variety of banks and financial institutions.

How Long Do ACH Payments Take?

Good question! ACH transfers are often completed in 1 business day. But they can take up to 3 days depending on how long it takes the financial institution to process the transaction from your bank account.

Need Help With ACH Payments?

If you have any questions about getting started with ACH payments (like how to set up ACH payments, what are the ACH transaction fees, or how exactly do ACH payments work) feel free to reach out here.

Plus, learn more about accepting online payments with FreshBooks Payments, Stripe, and Paypal.

This post was updated in August 2022.

Dave Hayes
about the author

Sr. Copywriter, FreshBooks Dave is a Senior Copywriter currently working for FreshBooks, serving all the amazing businesses using the platform. When he’s not writing, Dave can likely be found binging Netflix alongside his dog Indy.