Choosing the best business account is an important step towards reaching your business growth. Depending on which you choose, it can have a big impact on your finances — both in terms of how you manage business funds, and the bank fees you might need to pay. The right business bank account will align with your business’s needs and keep costs low, while providing quick, easy access to your takings as quickly as possible.
Let’s look at the top features that define the best business accounts, and how to choose a financial services provider that matches your business situation.
A business account is a specific account that is opened in the name of an entity, and holds business funds. Certain business structures, like partnerships, companies, and trusts, must have business banking accounts for tax (and visibility) reasons. And, while sole traders don’t necessarily need to have a separate bank account, the many benefits that come with them make it a good decision regardless.
With a business account, you'll find it easier to:
Business accounts offer another benefit that isn’t closely tied to financial management but is still very important: creating a sense of professionalism. When your vendors and customers make payments to or receive funds from a business account, they’re likely to notice that your company has taken the extra steps to go beyond using your own personal account.
Fees in general are especially important to consider when choosing a business account. Unlike personal accounts, which are typically free or available for a small fee, business accounts often have costs attached to them. However, fees vary greatly from one provider to the next.
Some costs, like account-keeping fees, are easy to spot. Others can be hidden in pages of paperwork. The best business accounts will keep costs low, and have a transparent fee structure. It shouldn’t be difficult to work out how much you’re being charged for your account. Taking the time to tally up the different costs and compare them will help you keep costs low and still find an option that supports business growth.
Another important consideration is transaction limits. Business accounts make it easy to accept deposits and send payments, however many providers place a cap on the total number of transactions allowed each month before additional fees kick in. That cap can vary wildly, so it pays to shop around. Some providers — such as Zeller — may not include this type of limit. An account that features limited fees is valuable indeed.
The speed at which funds can be accepted through your EFTPOS terminal and then appear as cleared income in your account is critical. As a merchant, you need fast daily settlements in order to spend your takings on things like product materials or staff expenses, for example. Some providers can take upwards of two business days — which, when you consider weekends and public holidays, can mean you don’t see your takings for a long time.
Business accounts are simply vital for tracking your company’s finances. It’s that much easier to stay informed and make good decisions when you can quickly look at current balances, past transactions, and other important information. Dependable, secure, and easily accessed online and mobile banking options are critical here. You don’t want to have to make a phone call or a trip to the nearest branch whenever you need assistance with your account. Be sure you can easily access the relevant websites and tools as you consider your business banking options, and make sure they’re secure as well. You’ll want to make sure you can easily share the needed info with your accountant as well, if you’ve brought one into the fold.
Every business account offers the basic functions your business needs to handle outgoing and incoming money, but not every account provides foundational features, useful value-adds, and a constrained strategy for fees. The goal is to pay as few fees as possible while also benefiting from perks that support your business goals (such as fast settlements).
The first step is understanding what’s most important for your business. Building a relationship that makes it easier to access credit might be a top priority, for example. However, that doesn’t mean you need to open an account with one of the traditional, big four Australian banks. The rise of alternative financing has lowered the need to partner with an established, conventional bank for credit, loans, and similar financial agreements.
Maybe your business has to deal with a lot of small transactions. In this case, low fees are especially important — because the costs will add up quickly. Plus, you’ll need an account that has a high monthly transaction limit (or no limit at all).
Perhaps you’re seeking a package deal, something that offers not only an account but also the tools needed to accept card payments via an EFTPOS terminal — as well as debit cards that make it easy to access deposited money.
It’s likely that easy and quick access to financial information is at the top of your list, in which case a robust option for digitally viewing those numbers is a clear priority. Whether it’s sharing records with a financial partner as part of an application for business credit or doing your own accounting, you want an option that makes it simple to find the details you need. For this reason, it’s critical that the financial services provider you choose makes it as easy as possible to see up-to-the-minute transaction details at a glance, in a user-friendly interface.
Write a list of must-haves, and be sure to reference it frequently when choosing the best business account for your small business.
When comparing business accounts, it’s also important to consider their intended purpose. A business account might seem like a good fit on the surface, but if it’s intended for multinational conglomerates, as opposed to a small business, there may be a high number of fees, unachievable minimum balances, and other tedious hoops to jump through. These requirements can make the account more of a burden as time goes on.
Other accounts can offer similar advantages, along with terms and conditions that make more sense based on your business’s revenue, volume of sales, and similar factors.
As a small business owner, you work hard each and every day to grow your company and provide top-notch service to your customers. At Zeller, we’ve built a modern financial solution with the needs of business owners just like you in mind.
When you sign up for Zeller, you receive a free business transaction account as well as a Mastercard to spend the funds in that account — no trip to the bank or waiting in a phone queue necessary. Funds accepted via your Zeller Terminal are settled into your Zeller Transaction Account nightly, meaning you put your money to work faster. It’s the fastest way to access your takings.
Zeller was built to help Australian business grow, and when it comes to business growth visibility is critical. By using Zeller Transaction Account as your business bank account, you can see the money flowing in and out of your business in real-time — allowing you to identify any anomalies, spot customer trends that could be leveraged, and see at a glance how business is going. Plus, there are no hidden fees or lock-in contracts.