My #1 Recommended Bank Account for Business Checking

podcast Oct 10, 2022
best business checking



As a bookkeeper, there are many situations in which your clients may come to you for a recommendation. Today, I want to give you one of my recommendations: my number-one favorite bank for the best business checking. You can take this recommendation and run with it for yourself and your business, of course, but I’m predominantly having this conversation in the context of bookkeepers helping their clients choose a place to do their banking.

Personally, while I use Bank of America for my personal banking, I prefer Chase Bank for the best business checking. Chase is really great for clients for a lot of reasons. Let me tell you what features make Chase the most bookkeeper-friendly business bank!



Read-Only Access

This is one thing Chase offers that I find absolutely invaluable. When you have a business checking account through Chase, you can go in and add an accountant as a user with read-only access.

Some banks don’t offer this at all; for instance, Capital One doesn’t. This puts it out of the running for the best business checking option. Hopefully that will change at some point in the near future, but for now, the only way that you can actually log into a Capital One account on behalf of your client is if they share their admin username and password with you.

This is doable, and there’s nothing wrong with it, per se—however, in my opinion, it’s not ideal. I wouldn't want to give that information out to anybody that I hired; in fact, I don't even like the idea of having that information as a bookkeeper at all. If I have any say in the matter, I always ask for read-only access.

Why do I insist on having this for the best business checking experience? To me, having that username and password is like having the key to someone’s house. If they're on vacation and somebody breaks in and robs their house, I don't want any fingers being pointed at me. I know I'm not going to do anything funny with that access, but it feels like too much for me to even have. It puts me in a potentially uncomfortable situation. I never want the finger pointed at me, so I prefer only being able to see the activity in the account and being able to pull the statements myself.

The reason I prefer Chase over Bank of America for the best business checking experience, even though I use Bank of America personally, is because Chase allows you to add a user for read-only access very easily…and for free! With Bank of America, it’s still easy to add that user from their website, but you have to pay an extra fifteen dollars a month for it, which I find to be archaic. Plus, when you're already paying for a bookkeeper and paying the cost of the subscription for the software, it just feels wrong to have to pay yet another fee. The ability to get that for free certainly gives Chase the competitive edge.



Another reason I chose Chase for the best business checking option is that they allow Zelle for business banking. And while I don't love too many different ways of paying people, I do prefer to find a good way to receive payment that’s consistent. Zelle is allowed with Chase; it's basically a transfer from business to business or personal to business, and it allows this to be done on business bank accounts. Both Chase and Bank of America allow this, but some other business banks might not.

I prioritize Zelle as a payment option for a few reasons, mainly because I don't hate Zelle like I hate Venmo. While Venmo is popular, if you're using the personal version, it's actually a violation of their terms to do business activity through your personal account.

In contrast, Zelle is a zero-fee platform that offers one clean, instant transfer. If you’re sending a payment, you'll be able to see who it went to and the amount that was sent; or, if you’re the one receiving the payment, you'll see who it's from and the amount.

For bookkeeping, that's fine. It may not be the best way, but it's low-cost to your client and it's not terrible to trace. Because I use that occasionally in my business, I want my clients to be able to use it as well, so that’s definitely something I look for in a business banking account.



Connects to Bookkeeping Software

The other thing you want to look for in the best business checking account is whether or not it connects seamlessly to bookkeeping software. You want to be able to retrieve the statements you need from your client without requiring their sign-in, and the ability to easily connect the bank to the bookkeeping software is crucial for that. You also want to have a feed that you can depend on while pulling transactions to avoid missed or duplicated transactions.


Low or Avoidable Fees

Like I mentioned before, I like Zelle because of its lack of fees, and I look for the same thing in my recommendation for the best business bank account. You want to seek out a bank with low or avoidable fees…within reason. I often see people choose a credit union or some newer bank because it has low fees, but they often don’t have the other factors you want in the best business checking account.

With Chase, it’s free to bank so long as you maintain the minimum balance—at the moment, they require a $2,000 minimum daily balance.

There are other ways to do it, too, like some Chase Inc. business card purchases. But I always find that the easiest way to qualify for free checking is to meet that minimum balance. And truthfully, even if you’re not yet at the point where you can keep $2,000 in your bank account, that should be a baseline goal. You should always have at least that so that you can't dip below and end up overdrafting, which will add on another fee.

So while Chase does have fees, they’re generally avoidable, and even if you do end up incurring one, they tend to be fairly low.



Put Chase Down As The Best Business Checking Bank Out There!

There are costs involved if your clients don’t have the best business checking account out there—both figurative costs and literal costs. If you want them to have the best business checking experience, I suggest recommending Chase every time…not just for their sake, but for your own!

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If you're looking for more tips for bookkeeping, insight on how to become a bookkeeper, and how to say hello to a more confident business model, enroll in Become A Bookkeeper (BABs). 

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