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AccurateNow Review

By Skye Schooley, business.com Writer | Updated Sep 11, 2020

As a division of Accurate Background, AccurateNow is an affordable, FCRA-compliant background check service for small and midsize businesses. It is our pick as the best background check company for those on a budget. It offers pay-as-you-go plans; you don't need to meet any minimums or pay monthly fees. This is ideal for very small businesses that need to conduct background checks without being locked into a commitment.

AccurateNow

AccurateNow

The Best Background Check Companies of 2020

The Verdict

AccurateNow is our pick as the most affordable background check company for businesses. It is affordable, easy to use and complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Getting started with AccurateNow is quick and easy. You simply register your account, pay a one-time setup fee of $25 and sign an electronic agreement. You can begin ordering reports after you've been approved. You can access and order each background check through AccurateNow's mobile-friendly candidate and recruiter portals, and reports are typically available to view within a few days, depending on the package you select.

AccurateNow offers three different background check packages – Basic, Standard and Premium. Each plan charges on a per-report basis and is subject to applicable fees, such as New York statutory fees, statewide statutory fees, international searches and third-party verification fees.

Basic Plan

  • Cost: $29.95 per report
  • Included searches: Social Security number trace, address history check, current county criminal search, national criminal check with county verification and National Sex Offender Registry search

Standard Plan

  • Cost: $59.95 per report
  • Included searches: Social Security number trace, address history check, seven-year criminal history search, national criminal check with county verification, National Sex Offender Registry search and Global Watch search

Premium Plan

  • Cost: $74.95 per report
  • Includes: Social Security number trace, address history check, 7-year criminal history search, national criminal check with county verification, National Sex Offender Registry search, Global Watch search, one education verification and one employment verification

AccurateNow offers custom packages and elective add-ons like education and employment verification, motor vehicle reports, professional license verification, and federal criminal searches for $9.95 each. If you unearth troubling information and need to inform a candidate that they won't be moving forward in the employment process, AccurateNow can distribute pre-adverse and adverse action letters for $5. AccurateNow's add-on searches may have restrictions (and additional third-party fees may apply), but as we found in our research, AccurateNow charges less for these services than its competitors do.

AccurateNow doesn't offer a demo that explains how the service works, but you can reach customer support by phone and email. To test the customer service, we contacted AccurateNow, posing as a small business owner interested in background check services. Overall, we were satisfied with the customer service. We received timely responses to our questions and further information on how to set up an account.

Pricing

The cost of conducting a background check varies greatly, depending on the provider you select and the screenings you want conducted. Some background check companies provide their pricing online, but many do not, meaning you'll need to contact those companies for a price quote. Nearly every company we reviewed offers discounts for high volumes of reports.

Some background check providers offer preset packages with specific screenings (e.g., Social Security number traces, criminal history searches), whereas others offer a la carte options so you can select the individual screenings you want.

Most of the services we evaluated offer multiple screening packages, typically ranging from basic to premium. The specific price and the services included in each plan vary by provider. We compiled an average of the types of checks typically included in basic, mid-tier, and premium plans and the average costs for those plans.

Basic Background Checks

  • Average cost:$30 per check
  • Average screenings included: Basic identity verification (Social Security number trace) and criminal history search (searches of national criminal databases and sex offender registries)
  • Ideal for: Small businesses that need inexpensive, basic reports to confirm new employees' identities and check for criminal backgrounds

Mid-Tier (Standard) Background Checks

  • Average cost: $60 per check
  • Average screenings included: Searches of domestic watchlists and county criminal databases in addition to identity verification and criminal history search
  • Ideal for: Small businesses that need to run few to several pre-employment background checks at an affordable rate

Premium Background Checks

  • Average cost: $80 per check
  • Average screenings included: Education and employment verification in addition to previous tiers' searches
  • Ideal for: Businesses that need to run thorough screenings on potential employees, including confirmation of their education and employment history 

Additional Fees and Requirements

  • Minimum commitment: Some companies require you to commit to a certain number of checks each year.
  • Drug testing: Most services charge extra for drug testing. Fees range from $50 to $150 per test, depending on how many drugs you want to screen candidates for.  
  • Setup fees: Some providers charge a one-time setup fee to cover the cost of the account verification process – typically $25 to $50.
  • Third-party fees: Additional third-party fees may apply, such as for education and employment verifications and court costs. Fees vary by state and screening provider. They are primarily charged in states that have more complex processes. For example, in New York, court processing fees often range from $15 to $100 per check.
  • A la carte options:Many background check companies offer a la carte services, like motor vehicle records and professional license verification, that you may want to conduct. Some companies offer these services solely on an a la carte basis, rather than including them in plans, which can become costly if you need an exhaustive series of checks on multiple people.

Image Credit: Ivan-balvan / Getty Images
AccurateNow

AccurateNow

The Best Background Check Companies of 2020

The Verdict

AccurateNow is our pick as the most affordable background check company for businesses. It is affordable, easy to use and complies with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Skye Schooley: Staff
Skye Schooley,
business.com Writer
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.