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Feature - Elliott AR ACH Processing

Release Date: 1/27/2015


Elliott AR ACH Processing is designed to debit a customer's bank account through ACH debit transaction by using NACHA (National Automatic Clearing House Association) file. You need to coordinate with your bank to enable ACH capability on your account and determine how to transfer NACHA file to them securely. As a good business practice, you should get your customer's approval to debit their account through ACH transaction.  You can also use this feature to credit your customer's bank account when you process negative payment (another form of credit) through A/R cash receipt.

There are two ACH transaction types: PDD and CTX. PDD transactions are for personal purposes. CTX (Corporate Trade Exchange Entries) transactions are designed for businesses where additional record type 7 can be appended for reach record type 6 to describe the detail of the transaction. Elliott will only create a NACHA file for the CTX (Corporate Trade Exchange Entries) type of transaction.

Elliott AR ACH Processing is an add-on feature.  If you are licensed for this feature and it is enabled, then the following areas in Elliott will be affected:
  • Global Setup
  • Customer/Ship-To File Maintenance
  • COP Payment Window
  • COP Invoice Printing
  • COP Invoice Posting
  • A/R Cash Receipt
  • A/R ACH Processing (New Menu Item)
Elliott Web Services also supports ACH Processing. Therefore, it is possible for you to develop a web interface to allow your users to pay the outstanding invoices online by leveraging the ACH support in Elliott back end.

1. ACH Setups

1.1 Global Setup

 Go to Global Setup ->Add-Ons -> AR ACH processing.  You will see the following setup flags:

1. Enable ACH Processing?”:  Set this flag to “Y” will enable ACH function.

 2. ACH Cash Account” and “3. ACH Cash Clearing Account”: After receiving an ACH payment though “AR cash receipts processing” and posting the payment, the GL debit distribution goes to “ACH Cash Clearing Account.” It does not go to "ACH Cash Account" directly because NACHA file is not created yet.

Once you review the ACH queue and convert  it to NACHA File, the GL distribution will show the amount is transferred from “ACH Cash Clearing Account” (credit) to “ACH Cash Account” (debit).

The "ACH Cash Account" could be your main cash account or yet another temporary clearing account depending on your method of cash reconciliation with your bank.

4. NACHA File Path and Name”: The path and file name for NACHA files. File name supports support date masks: YYYYMMDD, YYMMDD, MMDD, and time masks: HHMMSS, HHMM.  You should be aware that the system does not allow duplicate NACHA file names. When the system converts ACH Queue to NACHA file, it will make sure the exported NACHA file does not exist.  So adding Date/Time to your file name is a great way to avoid duplicate file names.

5. NACHA Record 1”: These are the fields needed for NACHA record 1. Verify with your bank if you are not sure about the value.

  • Bank Immediate Destination: Typically, this is your bank's routing number.
  • Bank Immediate Origin:  Typically, this is your bank account number.

6. NACHA Record 5”: These are the fields needed for NACHA record 5. Verify with your bank if you are not sure about the value.

  • Your Company ID: Typically, this is your bank account number.
  • Originating DFI ID:  Typically, this is the first 8 digits of your bank routing number.

7. Last ACH Batch Number”: Every time a user creates a NACHA file from ACH queue, records in ACH queue go to ACH history table, and they will be assigned to a batch number incrementally from 000001. This field indicates the last batch number used. Normally you do not need to modify this field.

8. Last ACH Trx Number”: The following fields indicate the last ACH transaction’s detail.  Normally you do not need to modify this field.

  •       Last ACH Trx Date/Time
  •       Last ACH Trx Amount  
  •       Last ACH Trx Created By

9. Req Ref for ACH in Cash Rcpt/Payment Window”: If this field is “Y,” the following fields are required while using ACH payment: “Ref:” field in Cash Receipt Processing; and “1. Reference” field in COP payment window. The reference field, which is to be entered you manually, will show up on your customer's bank statement.  If you require your users to always enter reference information to help your customer reconcile their bank statement, then answer "Y."

"10. Prompt Effective Entry Date When Create NACHA File?" When you create a NACHA file, there will be two dates in the file: "File Creation Date" and "Effective Entry Date". "File Creation Date" will be the system date.  "Effective Entry Date" must be greater than the "File Creation Date" and by default, Elliott make it "System Date + 1". For example, if you create a NACHA file on Friday, the the "Effective Entry Date" will be Saturday. Some banks does not like "Effective Entry Date" to fall on weekends or bank holidays.  In that case, you should set this flag to "Y" so when the NACHA file is created, you will have a chance to override the "Deposit Effective Entry Date" to the following date when the bank is open (e.g. Monday). The default value for this flag is "N". Please verify with your bank if it is OK for Deposit Effective Entry Date to fall on the weekends or bank holidays.

1.2 A/R Customer File

In Customer File Maintenance, choose "special function" (the F button), and ACH Information, or Alt-A,

The the ACH Account Information window will pop up as follows:

This is a list of ACH accounts that can be used for this customer. Press F1 to add an ACH account or press Enter to edit an existing account. See sample screen below:

Account Nickname: Enter an account nickname here to help your users to communicate with your customers when trying to select the bank account to pay.  For example, you can enter something like "Checking" or "Money Market" for the nickname.

Bank Routing Number: This is the 9-digit bank routing number including the check digit.  You can usually find the bank routing number on the bottom left corner of the check.

Bank Account Number: This is your customer's bank account number.

Main Account: The first account you set up for this customer will always be the main account.  If you have additional bank accounts set up for this customer, you can use this flag to determine which is the main account.  By default, the main account will be used in A/R Cash Receipt or COP Payment Window.

Hold/Terminated: Once a bank account is added, you can't delete it.  But you can terminate it.  The terminated bank account does not show in the ACH account list window, even though you can use the F2 key to force them to be displayed. You can terminate a bank account, for example, if your customer told you the account is closed.  You can also a bank account on hold without terminated.  You can select a hold account during A/R payment processing, or COP Payment window.  Holding an account is usually a temporary measure and not as permanent as one that is terminated.

1.3 Ship-To File Maintenance

 In Ship-To File, click “Change,” select the Ship-To that needs to be added to an ACH account, then click the “special functions” button and select “ACH Information (Alt-A).” A list of ACH accounts for this Ship-To will pop up. Press F1 to add an Ship-To ACH account or press Enter to edit an existing account.

In this screen, ACH account information window shows Ship-To ACH accounts and customer ACH accounts, but Customer ACH accounts are read-only so the user must go to “Customer File” maintenance screen to edit customer ACH accounts.  During COP Order Entry, if a Ship-To for a customer is used, then the Ship-To main ACH account (if present) will be used by default over the customer main ACH account.

1.4 Terms Code File Maintenance

 In Terms Code File, a user can specify a terms code for using ACH payment. To set up an ACH term, set “Prepaid Terms” to “Y” and “Payment Type” to “A.” You can optionally enter ACH payment in COP Payment Window for all terms codes, but if you set a terms code specifically for ACH type, then during COP Order Entry, the payment window will require the user to select the ACH payments info.

2. Use ACH Payment

After enabling the ACH function and setting up ACH accounts, a user can use ACH payment in the “AR Cash Receipt Processing” screen and the “Order Payment Information” window, which appears in the last screen of “Order Entry,” “Order Billing” and “Sales Desk.”

2.1 AR Cash Receipts Processing

In Cash Receipts Processing, click “Add”; type “AC” in payment type. The field “2. ACH Acct” will appear onscreen.

Schedule Future ACH Payment

If you enter the Batch ID in the YYYYMMDD format, then it implies this is a scheduled ACH payment batch.  For example, if you enter the Batch ID as 20160630, the it implies this is an ACH batch and the cash receipt posting routine will not post this batch until on or after 6/30/2016.  See the following link for more information:

ACH Cash Receipt Transaction Entry Screen

In the Cash Transaction Entry screen, with ACH batch, you will see the screen looks a little bit different than the regular cash receipt because the system now does not prompt for Check Number.  Instead, the system wants users to select the ACH account and enter potential reference information.  See sample screen below:

Reference Field

The reference you enter here will show on your customer's bank statement. Please adopt a procedure on what reference information to enter here to help your customer understand the nature of your charge.  You could enter something like "Per Edward" to indicate who authorized the charge.  You can also enter something like "Invoice# 123456."  Some customers may request that you to show the check number. This happens when your customer authorizes the ACH payment, then uses a check (voided without mailing to you), and records the nature of the payment in their check ledger.  When they receive the bank statement, this can help them reconcile. In that case, you can enter something like "Check# 1234" in the reference.

Post Cash Receipts

When ACH payments are posted, in addition to all cash receipt posting activities, the system will also append the ACH transaction records to the ACH Queue.  Keep in mind, the NACHA file for the the ACH processing has not yet been created at this time.

2.2 Order Payment Information Window

In “Order Entry,” “Order Billing," or “Sales Desk” screen’s last screen, select “10. Amount Paid,” which will result in the “Order Payment Information” window appearing onscreen.

If “5.ACH Amount” is more than zero, or this order’s term code is an ACH term, it means this order uses ACH payment, and the user has to select an ACH account.

Unlike other payment types, ACH payments are posted to A/R when we use “Posting Invoices to A/R,” while other payment types -- like cash, check or credit card -- are posted to A/R real time in the payment window.

Invoice Printing

Elliott assumes the original ACH amount you enter during the order entry payment window can change.  This can happen when you modify the order or fill a back order at a later date.  Therefore, during printing of the invoice, the order ACH payment amount will be adjusted to equal the balance of the order total amount. For example, if an order has a total amount of $10, and the ACH payment amount is $1, the cash payment amount is $1, during invoice printing the ACH payment amount will be adjusted to $9 so that the order is always fully paid while using ACH payment.

Invoice Posting

In “Post Invoices to A/R,” ACH payments will be posted to A/R, and the corresponding ACH transaction will be appended to ACH Queue. Again, the NACHA file for the the ACH processing has not yet been created at this time.

2.3 A/R ACH Queue/History

ACH Queue is used to store ACH transactions that haven’t been converted to NACHA file. After creating the NACHA file, records in ACH Queue will be moved to ACH History.

2.3.1 Review ACH Queue 

On the daily basis, you should review the ACH queue. Press F1/F2 to see transaction detail/account detail. If everything is as expected, then press F3 to create NACHA File.  How you transfer the NACHA file is between you and your bank.  Since the NACHA file contains sensitive information like the bank account, your bank may require additional security measures like encryption when you transfer this file to them.

2.3.2 Review ACH History

Once you create the NACHA file from ACH Queue, the ACH Queue is moved to ACH History and organized by batch. Press Enter to see the detail of the ACH batch. If somehow you lost the NACHA file and need to recreate it, only user SUPERVISOR can select that ACH batch and create a duplicate NACHA file by pressing the F3 button.

2.3.3 Print ACH Queue Edit List

We can use this function to print ACH Queue Edit List to review before creating NACHA file.

2.3.4 Print ACH Log Report

If you need to audit any ACH Batch (NACHA file was already created), you can print the detail of that batch where with ACH History Log report.

Reference - ACH NACHA File Layout Sample

Each record in NACHA file is 94 bytes. We append CR (Carriage Return) and LF (Line Feed) to the end of each record.  Therefore, the NACHA file created by Elliott is just a common text file and can be brought up or even edited by using Notepad.

Below is a sample NACHA File Layout provided for your reference:


Q - Can I delete the ACH record once it is in the ACH queue?

A - No. You can't. To delete the ACH record in ACH queue will cause integrity issue since the ACH payment is already reflected in A/R open items, G/L distribution and many other tables. On the other hand, it is possible to reverse the ACH entry by adding an negative ACH payment in cash receipt.  When this negative ACH payment is posted, it will reverse out the impact on A/R open, G/L distribution and other tables.  For the ACH queue, it will create a refund record.  If your bank offer a user interface to your ACH batch,  you could delete these two entries through their user interface.  That way, your customer won't see both credit and debit entries on their account.

Q - How will the description of the ACH transaction looks like on my customers' bank statement?

A - Each bank may show the description of the ACH transaction somewhat differently.  The following is an example with Bank of America:


  • NETCELLENT - This value come from ACH Global Setup, field "6. NACHA Record 5 - Your Company Name"
  • PAYMNENT ID: CHECK# 1801 - This is the first 15 characters of the REFERENCE field in A/R Payment Processing, or COP Payment Window.
  • INDN: EDWARD M. KWANG - This come from the customer or ship to name.  In some cases, if you override the ACH Account Name, then this represents the ACH Account Name.
  • CO ID:XXXXX26951 - This masked value comes from ACH Global Setup, field "6. NACHA Record 5 - Your Company ID"
  • INFO: REF*CR*CHECK#1801 - The "CHECK#1801" come from the full field of REFERENCE (up to 30 characters) in A/R Payment Processing, or COP Payment Window.

Q - My bank does not support CTX format.  They only support PDD format for NACHA file.  Can I still use the NACHA file created by Elliott to interface with my bank?

A - It is possible.  From our understanding, the main difference between PDD and CTX is PDD does not support record 7 which is used to store reference information.  Since we store the first 15 characters of reference (maximum 30 characters) in the "PAYMENT ID" field, so this may not be an issue.  Another difference is on the INDN field.  In the above example, PDD format will show the INDN field as "0001EDWARD M. KWANG".  You need to ignore the "0001" which is used by CTX format.

In the example of Bank of America, the ACH is processed through their CashPro portal.  They have two methods to import NACHA file: (1) ACH Import; (2) ACH Validator.  The ACH Import assumes the NACHA file is in PDD format.  The ACH Validator assumes CTX format which is a better fit for us.



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