At the end of every year, Bacs release their processing calendar for the year ahead, giving organisations the info they need to plan Direct Debit transactions around holiday periods.
Whilst we’re now some of the way through 2020, situations such as the COVID-19 outbreak have meant that many businesses have had to devote a lot of their time to fire-fighting, rather than strategic planning.
This can mean that important deadlines and dates fall under the radar, so here at DFC, we’ve put together a guide on how to monitor and use the Bacs processing calendar so that your business can stay on track – even if you’re worrying about other things.
Why is the Bacs calendar so important?
According to Bacs themselves, the Bacs processing calendars “are a valuable tool to help you ensure you don’t miss those important processing dates over the holiday period. The Bacs processing calendars supply you with the all-important Julian dates you need to process your payment files.”
Simply put, this calendar will stop your business from missing any important deadlines which could have a catastrophic impact on profit, cash flow, or customer satisfaction.
What do the colours mean?
The greyed-out boxes indicate the non-input and non-processing days. On these days, Direct Debits won’t be processed, which means that you’ll need to allow more time for Direct Debit transactions to process or organise your Direct Debits to come out earlier.
On the whole, processing will take place over a three-day cycle, but it’s vital to make sure you leave enough time for any payment bounces. If you’re not up to speed with Bacs processing cycles, you can find out more here.
The blue boxes show Northern Ireland bank holidays.
Christmas processing dates
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for most businesses, so making sure that you’re up to speed on Bacs Christmas processing dates is important.
During the holidays, Direct Debit payments can be submitted up until the 22nd December to be paid in time for Christmas Day.
Important processing information
Along with the calendar, Bacs has also released important processing guidelines:
- Ensure your software reflects Bacs non-processing days
- You can submit your file up to 30 calendar days in advance of the processing date. If you cannot submit in advance, we recommend early submission on input day (from 07:00 onwards)
- Ensure all staff involved in processing your Bacs payments have access to a copy of the Bacs 2020 processing calendar
Remember, if you are a DFC customer, then you don’t have to worry about remembering dates, calendars, instructions, or rules. We’ll handle all the processing for you so you can simply focus on running your business.