How to use Advisor Check Deposit

How to use Advisor Check Deposit

To use Advisor Check Deposit (ACD), you can scan, upload, edit, and deposit checks online through Schwab Advisor Center® into your clients' brokerage accounts. For enhanced image recognition technology, we recommend you deposit checks with the Schwab Advisor Center Mobile app.

To use ACD, you will need the following:

Check Endorsements

Caution: Checks lacking proper endorsement may be rejected by Schwab and/or returned by the drawee bank as unpaid.

Checks payable to your client must be signed by the client and any other payee before scanning and uploading the check image. In addition:

  • Any payee(s) not listed on the Schwab account registration must endorse the check
  • The payee(s) should endorse the back of the check with For Deposit Only to Account #xxxx-xxxx
  • Checks $250,000 to $3,000,000 require signatures from all payee(s)

If the check is made payable to Charles Schwab or Schwab, it does not require endorsement. However, Schwab requires the following to be written on the back of the check:

  • For Deposit Only to Account #xxxx-xxxx
  • For Deposit Only to Charles Schwab Account #xxxx-xxxx

Note: Checks sent to Schwab without account numbers are subject to delays and being returned to the maker of the check.

Note: Except for Canadian checks, foreign-issued checks, checks drawn on a foreign financial institution, Money Orders, and Travelers' Cheques are no longer accepted. Canadian checks cannot be deposited using Advisor Check Deposit, or Advisor/Client mobile deposit; these types of checks must be mailed to Schwab. Contact your Service team for more information. 

A desktop scanner typically is smaller than a flatbed scanner and connects directly to your computer via a USB cable or wireless connection. Certain desktop scanner features such as duplex scanning, auto-cropping of scanned images, and custom naming of files, improve the check image upload process. Follow this process if using a desktop scanner to make digital images of your checks before uploading them for deposit:

  1. Verify your scanner is configured for 200 dpi or higher with black-and-white images.
  2. Save the front and back check images in a single file. Set scanner options to multi-page TIFF or PDF.
  3. Set scanning option for “duplex”, so the front and back of the check are scanned at the same time.
  4. Configure page size setting options to automatically crop the image to the original document size.
  5. Align checks horizontally in feed tray, rotated properly so they do not scan upside-down. If your scanner is equipped with a feed tray, you can stack multiple checks.
  6. If your scanner allows the name of the saved image files to be customized, pick a file name convention or numbering preference. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  7. Save the temporary check images in a designated folder for easy access and administration.

A flatbed scanner is a general-purpose scanner that connects to a network instead of a single computer and provides basic scanning functionality, which may include an automatic document feed tray. Flatbed scanners typically have a glass surface to place documents for copying or scanning. Follow this process if using a flatbed scanner to make digital images of your checks before uploading them for deposit:

  1. Configure your scanner for 200 dpi black-and-white images.
  2. Choose one of two format options to save the check images. The option you select will depend on the file format your scanner supports.
    • Save the front and back check images in a single file. Set scanner options to multi-page TIFF.
    • Save the front and back check images as separate files. Supported formats are JPG, PNG, and GIF. Assign a name to each check, and use "front" for the front of the check and "back" for the back of the check (e.g., FirstBank-check100-front, FirstBank-check100-back). This will help identify the correct pairs of images to upload.
  3. Set the check face down on the clean glass of the scanner. Align the check horizontally near the top of the scan surface to minimize rotation offset (skew). After scanning the front of the check document, flip the check over and scan the back of the check following the same alignment process. Do not use the automated document feed tray with a multi-purpose flatbed scanner, as it may damage the original check document.
  4. Save the temporary check images in a designated folder for easy access and administration.

Follow this process to upload scanned JPG, TIFF, PNG, or GIF image files using ACD. Note: The maximum page size for a single image file is 2 pages. If you try to upload a single file with 3 or more pages, it will fail to upload.

  1. From Schwab Advisor Center, click More and then select Check Deposit to open ACD.
  2. At the "How are your scanned images captured?" prompt, select the appropriate option:
    • If the front and back images of a check are in a single file—Click 1 file per check, and then click Select check images to upload. Browse to where your check images are saved. You can select one or more TIFF files to upload.
    • If the front and back images of a check are in separate files—Click 2 files per check, and then click Select check images to upload. Click one selection box to upload the front image of the check and the other to upload the back image of the check. After both sides are uploaded, click Add another check or, if you have uploaded all your checks, click Finish.
  3. When the upload is complete, review the screen for error messages, and resolve any errors (see "How to resolve check deposit errors" below). The entire deposit must be free of individual check errors to be submitted online. Confirm the number of check files uploaded and the amount of each check. If a check file is missing, confirm that you selected the correct check file for upload or rescan the check. Continue until all checks are uploaded without errors.
  4. Proceed to the "How to edit deposit data" module for steps on cleaning up your check deposit batch before submitting to Schwab.

You can enter and edit values in any of the fields displayed for a check before submitting it for deposit. All editable fields except the Amount field are optional for depositing checks. Follow this process to enter and edit deposit data:

  1. In the To Account column, enter the account number in which the check should be deposited. You can also type the first few characters of the account number or client name to generate a drop-down list of possible matches and select the account from the list. If you don't see the account, be sure it is eligible for deposit and you have permissions to view the account in Schwab Advisor Center. If the account is not eligible for deposit, it must be removed from the batch (see step 5).
  2. To deposit checks, the Amount field cannot be empty; the amount value of each check should display after upload. If the Amount field is blank due to a failure to scan the value, or an incorrect check value is scanned from the check image, enter the amount value manually by editing the individual check. Note: If you edit the scanned amount for any check, the application warns you that the value has been changed.
  3. Optional check fields when editing, such as the Date, Payor, Payee, and Memo fields, are not used at this time. They are intended for planned future functionality.
  4. If you deposit a check to a retirement account such as a 401K or an IRA, select one of the following options in the Deposit Contribution Type Selection field: Current tax year, Previous tax year, Employer contribution, Employee contribution, or Rollover contribution. If the current date is past the IRS deadline for a previous tax year contribution, the previous tax year option is not presented.
  5. To remove a check from the deposit, select the box corresponding to that check, and then click Remove Selected.
  6. Select View Check to view the scanned image. Click Close to hide it.
  7. To add more checks for deposit during your editing session, click Add more checks.

While editing a check batch for deposit, you have the option to split a client check into multiple separate Schwab accounts. However, the following checks are restricted from being split for deposit:

  • Checks payable to minors
  • Checks payable to retirement accounts
  • Checks payable to an entity (corporate account, conservatorship, guardianship, estate, or trust)
  • Checks for SIMPLE retirement plans 

Checks can also be split between previous and current tax year contributions within the same account. To create a split check deposit, follow these steps:

  1. Select Split Check for the check you wish to deposit across multiple accounts.
  2. When prompted, answer all of the questions to confirm the check is eligible for split deposit.
  3. Enter the number of client accounts you wish to split the check deposit across.
  4. Enter the client account numbers and dollar amounts for all rows in the split table. Be sure the full amount of the check being split for deposit is allocated, with no remaining funds unallocated.
  5. Address any errors that occur when splitting a check for deposit. These errors may include under or over allocation of funds, missing data, empty rows, and duplicate accounts.

Follow this process to review your check deposit:

  1. On the Check Deposit screen, review the information from each check for accuracy. Click Edit Deposit to correct discrepancies. Be sure each check is assigned to a deposit account. If the account is an IRA, confirm the type of contribution.
  2. You may see warnings displayed in your list of checks—warning messages will not prevent checks from being submitted for deposit. However, error messages will prevent a check from being deposited online. See below for resolving check deposit errors.
  3. When all required fields are entered and no errors remain, the Review Deposit button is enabled in green. Click Review Deposit to go to the Check Deposit Review page.
  4. View the image for each check listed, and then click the box in the Confirm Amount column to confirm each check amount.
  5. If you need to make any corrections after reviewing the check deposit information, click on the Edit Deposit button, which will bring you back to the previous page.

Follow this process to submit your check deposit:

  1. After reviewing the check deposits, and if you have not already done so, click the box in the Confirm Amount column to verify each check amount. When all check amounts listed on the Check Deposit Review page have been confirmed, the Submit Deposit button is enabled. 
  2. Click Submit Deposit
  3. ACD generates a confirmation page for your deposit and your deposit has been submitted to Schwab. You can either exit ACD or continue to deposit more checks.

Follow this process to resolve check deposit errors:

  1. Review the error message to determine why the check will not be deposited. The following is a list of common errors and their solutions:
    • Check image upload errors—If you receive upload errors for check images you selected for deposit, read the error message details to help resolve the problem. Settings on your scanner or the position of the check may need to be adjusted to obtain a better image quality for upload. If you receive an upload error specific to check images not within acceptable dimensions, ensure that either the DPI value is set to 200 on the scanner and that light colored checks have a defined border.
    • Account restriction errors—If the receiving account has restrictions that prevent deposit of a check, contact your Schwab service team for assistance. If the deposit restriction cannot be resolved the same day, you will need to send the physical check to Schwab via overnight delivery.
    • System or internal errors—Any system or internal error encountered might be due to a temporary interruption of service. Try the operation again, and if the error message persists, contact your Schwab service team.
  2. If the problem you are encountering cannot be resolved the same day, remove the check from your list, and send the physical check via overnight delivery to Schwab for deposit. View the How to deposit checks article for a list of Charles Schwab Bank operations centers.

Follow this process to access check deposit history:

  1. From the History tab, use the dropdown to select the deposit method: website or app.
  2. Select a date range or account number.
  3. Click View details to view check images.
  4. To export check deposit history for your records, click the Export link.

After depositing your clients' check with Schwab Advisor Check Deposit:

  • Funds are typically available for investing the same business day if your deposit is submitted to Schwab without errors by 5 p.m. ET.
  • Stamp the front of each check in the deposit with an ink stamp that meets the requirements stated in your Schwab check deposit agreement or write Electronically Presented in ink on the front of all checks in the deposit. For requirements, refer to your Advisor Check Deposit Services Terms of Use.
  • Store the physical checks in a secure area for at least 14 business days prior to destroying them.
  • Access deposit history in Check Deposit History tab.
  • If you have questions about submitting check deposits with ACD, contact your service team. Be prepared to provide the following information:
    • Schwab account to which the check was deposited
    • Date the deposit was submitted
    • Amount of the check
  • To troubleshoot uploading issues, you may be asked to provide Schwab a copy of the image file(s) you used. You can securely provide check images to your Schwab service team by clicking New Service Request on the homepage of Schwab Advisor Center.
Resource: Advisor Check Deposit Quick Start Guide
Resource: ACD video
Resource: Key Features and Information of Advisor Check Deposit


Is there a limit on the amount of a single check I can deposit online using ACD?
Yes. You may deposit a single check that is no more than $3,000,000.

Can I submit multiple checks at a time?
Yes. You can upload multiple check images in a current deposit session, and you have the option to upload additional checks when editing and reviewing deposits.

Is there a mobile option for my firm to deposit checks through Schwab Advisor Center?
Yes. You can deposit checks using Schwab Advisor Center Mobile app and your clients can deposit checks directly to their Schwab accounts with Schwab Mobile DepositTM. The application may be downloaded for iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone users.

How long should I hold the physical checks before they can be destroyed or returned to the client?
According to the Advisor Check Deposit Services Terms of Use, you must hold checks at least 14 business days before they can be destroyed by your firm or returned to the client. Do not destroy them sooner, since issues can surface with checks that have been deposited and Schwab may require you to send the physical check for processing.

I have tried rescanning or re-entering deposit data for a check, but the system still cannot read the check. What should I do?
If you continue to have problems depositing a check, the best course of action is to remove it from the deposit and mail the physical check via overnight delivery to one of Schwab's operations centers. View the How to deposit checks article for a list of Charles Schwab Bank operations centers.

How to deposit checks
How to use the Schwab Advisor Center Mobile app