AUDDIS, BACS files, Direct Debit, processing days
AUDDIS, Bacs, Direct Debit
17, JUL 2017

Bacs publish a calendar every year which show their processing days and non-processing days. But how do you use it in the most efficient way.

Bacs processing works on a fairly simple 3-day cycle – i.e. there are 3 days involved. These are known as the “Input Day”, “Processing Day” and the “Entry day” in simple terms that means that you need to send your file to bacs 2 working days prior to the banks entering the transaction on their database.

In the real world that means for a Thursday direct debit collection you would send your file on Tuesday (2 days earlier). Bacs always mention that you can send your file up to 30 days in advance however our advice would be to only do that as an exception as you are typically better off sending the file just 2 working days prior to the collection day. The reason for this is that circumstances can change between sending the file and the date that you want to collect on. A customer may cancel their contract of query the amount that you are collecting. By sending the file just 2 working days prior to collection you will send the most up to date information and probably receive fewer unpaid items.

Time of day does make a difference too. You are able to send a file to Bacs any time after 7.am and up until 10.30 pm. Our advice is to first download any new reports that you have received overnight or from the previous day so that everything is completely up to date and then to send the file in the first half of the day rather than leaving it very late. The reason for this is simple. If there is any problem with your file then you will have longer to address the issue. Banks carry out some monitoring of files and if a potential error is spotted (A common error might be the same file uploaded twice) then they will be looking to get in contact with you. It is far easier if they can call you through the working day rather than submitting your file just before you disappear off home and they may or may not have an out of hours number for you.

The final thing to consider is sending the AUDDIS file (The one that sets up new Direct Debit Instructions at the bank). The rules state that the Service User must not collect any direct debits from a new instruction until 2 days after lodgement (i.e. 2 days after it is set up at the bank) but we would recommend leaving a slightly longer gap (5 working days) to pick up any rejection reports so that again your data is clean before trying to collect.

If speed is more important to you than accuracy then by all means collect just 2 days after the Direct Debit Instruction is set up at the bank.

When you take all of this into account I would use the bacs calendar as follows: –

Find the collection date e.g. the first of August 2017 (a Tuesday) then we recommend you send your collection file on Friday the 28th (In the morning). For any new instructions that you wanted to collect against we would recommend that you send them in a file no later than 21st of July (Exactly 5 working days earlier – 7 days total)

And for the first of September there is a bank holiday to consider. The 1st is a Friday and so the collection file would need to go on the Wednesday (August 30th) and the new instructions 5 working days earlier (8 days total because of the extra day) on the 22nd of August.

The Bacs calendar can be found here: – https://www.bacs.co.uk/documentlibrary/bacs_processing_calendar_2017.pdf