1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
AccurateNow Review

Best for Very Small Businesses

A Business News Daily Review

Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

After much research and analysis, we recommend AccurateNow as our 2019 pick for the best background check service for very small businesses. 

Hiring decisions can make or break a company, especially very small businesses and startups. Since each new hire is critical to your business's success, it is important that you make wise hiring decisions based on accurate information. To learn about a potential employee's history, many businesses take advantage of background checks. 

New hires are few and far between for most very small businesses; as such, most microbusinesses need an agency that offers affordable rates and no monthly minimums. It is also crucial that very small businesses choose an agency that complies with FCRA guidelines. These guidelines help to protect you from lawsuits – a critical aspect, since a single lawsuit could ruin your business.

AccurateNow, a division of Accurate Background, has all the necessary features a very small business needs in a pre-employment screening service: affordable pricing, pay-as-you-go plans and user-friendly online reports.

To understand how we selected AccurateNow, as well as our other best picks, you can view our methodology, as well as a comprehensive list of background check services, on our best picks page.

AccurateNow is designed specifically for small and midsize businesses. You can purchase background checks on an individual basis, and there are no monthly minimums. There are three different levels of background checks to choose from, plus a variety of add-on services that can be tacked on to each plan.

Here is a breakdown of its offerings:

Basic

  • Cost: $29.95 each
  • Searches: A Social Security number trace, a current county criminal courts search, a national criminal search with county verification and a national sex offender registry search

Standard

  • Cost: $59.95 each
  • Searches: A Social Security number trace, a current county criminal courts search, a national criminal search with county verification, a national sex offender registry search and a global watch search

Premium

  • Cost: $74.95 each
  • Searches: A Social Security number trace, a current county criminal courts search, a national criminal search with county verification, a national sex offender registry search, a global watch search, one education verification and one employment verification

Add-on services

  • Cost: $9.95 each
  • Options: Motor vehicle records search, one education verification, one employment verification, one professional license verification and a federal criminal search

Editor's NoteLooking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

buyerzone widget

The only other cost, in addition to the $25 setup fee, is for electronic preadverse and adverse action notices. These notices are sent to candidates when something undesirable is found in the background check that could impact whether they are hired. For $5, you can automatically email these notices directly to the candidate.

We were pleased with how transparent AccurateNow is with its pricing. All of its costs are clearly listed on its website, which wasn't the case with many of the other providers we evaluated.

AccurateNow's online platform makes ordering and reviewing background checks an easy process. To get started, you need to register for an account by providing details about your business, including its address, website, phone number and federal tax ID, as well as some information about yourself. After paying the one-time setup fee and electronically signing the user agreement, your account will be sent to AccurateNow agents for verification. The verification process typically takes one day, and then you can begin ordering background checks.

To order a background check, all you need to do is choose a plan and enter the job candidate's name and email address. The candidate is then sent login information to the system. Once they log in, they enter the pertinent information that's needed for the background check, such as date of birth, Social Security number, address, past employers and education. In addition, the candidate is provided a consent form to electronically sign. We like that all of the responsibility of inputting the correct information and getting the consent form signed is in the candidate's hands. Other background check services we considered required employers to handle these tasks.

Once the background check is underway, you can log in to the system to keep tabs on its status. Once it is completed, you are sent an email notification letting you know the results are ready for your review. On average, checks take between one and three days to complete.

AccurateNow's reports are simple to understand. The first page features all of the candidate's information, when the report was ordered, who ordered it and when it was completed. It also provides a summary of the specific searches that were conducted.

The rest of the report offers details on each search. If nothing negative is found, there is a green circle with a checkmark inside it beside each search. If something negative or a discrepancy from what the candidate provided is discovered, there is a yellow circle with a question mark inside it next to the search.

For criminal records, AccurateNow provides the charge, case ID number, whether there was a date of birth match, if the incident was a misdemeanor or a felony, the date of the offense, the charge and the verdict. For verifications, the report shows the information the candidate provided and how that aligns with what the educational institution and employer report.

AccurateNow's online system is mobile-friendly, so you can order and review background checks from your smartphone or tablet.

We were pleased with the high level of customer service AccurateNow provided. We called the company multiple times posing as a new small business owner interested in background check services.

Each time we reached out, helpful customer service representatives immediately answered our call. The representatives we talked to answered all of our questions thoroughly. AccurateNow agents were knowledgeable and did not push to make a sale. Instead, they answered our questions and provided additional information about how to set up an account, should we want to. 

AccurateNow offers support by phone and email.  While the AccurateNow website does not provide any additional resources, the Accurate Background website has a blog, webinars, sample forms and legislative updates.

AccurateNow is an accredited member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), the official accrediting agency of the background check industry. To become an accredited member, a service has to comply with a variety of standards that are set forth by the Background Screening Credentialing Council. Accreditation lasts five years, after which companies must undergo the process again if they wish to remain accredited.

While AccurateNow's parent company Accurate Background is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, it has an A+ rating. It has had seven complaints filed against it in the past three years.

One potential downside with AccurateNow is its fees. AccurateNow charges a setup fee of $25 and a preadverse and adverse action notice fee of $5. While these are only minor costs, other companies we evaluated did not charge for these services. If you anticipate using AccurateNow as a long-term background check provider, these fees may be worth the charge.

Another downfall is that AccurateNow does not offer an online demo on its website. Demos are a great way for users to familiarize themselves with background checks and the features each service provides. It can be especially useful for first-time users. If you have questions about AccurateNow's services or features, you'll need to contact a customer support representative.

Editor's NoteLooking for information on background check services? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:

buyerzone widget
Skye Schooley

Skye Schooley is an Arizona native, based in New York City. After receiving a business communication degree from Arizona State University, she spent nearly three years living in four states and backpacking through 16 countries. During her travels, Skye began her blog, which you can find at www.skyeschooley.com. She finally settled down in the northeast, writing for Business.com and Business News Daily. She primarily contributes articles about business technology and the workplace, and reviews remote PC access software and collection agencies.