Choosing a Bank Account
Choosing a bank account can have long term impacts on your organization. To help you choose wisely, we've addressed some things you should consider before committing to an institution.
Once you receive youremployer identification number (EIN) your next step is to open up a bank account for your organization. While it may seem straightforward, you shouldn’t pick the first institution you come across. Instead do your research to ensure you are choosing the bank account that best suits your needs.
- Do you require face to face customer service?
- Is it important for you to easily make a deposit or ask a question?
- Do you need multiple locations?
What fees are you willing to pay? Research where a bank stands on overdraft, ATM, transfer, and maintenance fees in advance by asking the following questions:
Are there monthly maintenance fees?
- Some institutions charge a fee simply for having an account with them (Service fees, maintenance fees).
- Is there a maximum amount of checks your bank will allow you to write?
- For example, can you only write 10 checks before you are charged a processing fee?
- What is the fee if it is not?
- If you pay a bill through the bank will the funds be removed from your account right away? Or will the funds remain in your account until the payee cashes their check?
- Will you incur fees if your account becomes overdrawn?
- Will the money be loaned from the bank?
- What will the payment requirements be?
- Will the money come from your checking account?
- How much money will you be required to provide upfront? Is this in your budget?
- Will you be required to deposit a minimum amount each month?
- For example, a savings account that is attached to a checking account will often require a transfer of a minimum amount each month.
- Will you be required to maintain a minimum balance in your account?
- What will the fine/fees be if you do not?
- Is there a way to sign up for email/text notifications?
- Do they have an app for smart phone users?
- Can you view your account information online? From your phone?
- Can you deposit checks from your phone?
- Can you make account transfers online? From your phone?
Note: Some institutions offer special checking accounts for nonprofit organizations…however that isn’t a guarantee that it will be a better fit for your organization. The fees may be different, and a standard checking account may benefit you more. Don’t forget to look into local credit unions and online banks which can also offer customized services.
- Interest rate
- Minimum balance (to open)
- Monthly fee
- Online banking
- Account alerts
- Mobile banking
- Free checks