What Is Church Accounting Software?
Every business that deals with money should have a decent accounting program to aid with bookkeeping, reporting, and fund management. It assists with viewing your revenue and expenses, specifically with determining your spending habits and planning for the future. You can also keep track of your assets and inventories.
Faith-based institutions require additional tools to aid with activities that you won’t find in any other profit or nonprofit organization. For example, they receive donations and gifts that need to be recorded for annual reporting. They also have clergy and staff who don’t perform the usual business functions and need access to the funds.
Church accounting software is specifically designed to handle all these extra features. It creates tasks and automates processes you may only find in religious businesses. What’s more, their platforms and sites generally have webinars and live broadcasting tools.
When you find mobile apps in the mix, they usually contain the same functionality, with the ability to capture attendance and communicate with the rest of the church members. The software may also include integrations with other programs or company partners to ensure a smooth workflow.
Benefits of Church Accounting Software
Whether you’re a small or big church community, the software should have several functions to help you manage your finances. Here are a few benefits:
- Effective management of donations and tithes: By analyzing the monthly planned giving and donations, you can measure how you’ll achieve your mission goals and operating expenses. You can also report those restricted gifts that may be required.
- Monitoring attendance and child security: While the accounting system mostly focuses on finances, you also have the chance to track service attendance. Some programs allow you to set up family profiles so you can see if anyone has been absent for a lengthy period.
- Annual financial reporting made easy: Keeping records of all your transactions for the financial year reporting can be an arduous task. The tools aid you by ensuring that all the necessary information is captured for your ledgers and income statements.
- Automated processes and tasks: It also helps if the software automates most of the functions for you. Your administrators won’t have to attend to the transactions every hour as they come in, allowing you and your team to focus on your core business.
- Reduced expenses: The largest benefit is reduced expenses. You can set budget or card limits so your church network doesn’t overspend. You’ll have more funds for future missions or to maintain your assets.
Must-Have Features of Church Accounting Software
There are several features that the best church accounting software must have for it to be effective. Here’s a quick overview:
- Financial management: The most significant aspect is financial management tools. You need access to bank reconciliations, accounts payable and receivable, payment systems, general ledgers, income statements, and budgeting.
- Tracking and monitoring: The top way to manage any business is through monitoring results and expenses. You need to track donations and tithes as well as see if you’re meeting your mission objectives.
- Specialized reports: Every business requires decent reports for effective management of its finances. For churches, there are a few extra features you need to analyze on graphs and dashboards.
- Event management: Church events are an essential part of missions, which can take place at physical venues or online. The event planning tool can also integrate with other modules, such as attendance and online giving.
- Customer support and training: Sometimes the software can be very confusing to use in the beginning. The provider should have a detailed knowledge base to help you get through the first hurdles of installation and setting up. It also helps if the support team knows what they’re doing.
The Cost of Church Accounting Software
Each software provider has a different take on pricing models. A few companies provide holistic services to every industry, and you’ll need to select the modules that apply to your church services. In these instances, you’ll have to contact the support team to tailor a quote for your needs.
Other companies have an extensive range of products. You may pay for the number of features you want to use, or the price may increase per range of families in attendance. The latter provides additional tools for online family profiles and memberships. We’ve seen the cost bracket for these types of packages run from $35 to $799 per month.
You’ll also find packages where you pay a one-off start-up fee with no monthly costs. In these situations, you may not receive as many tools or constant support. It may also depend on the number of modules you select. The range we’ve seen for these plans is between $275 and $3,000.