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Church Accounting Software

Software exists to help with almost every aspect of running a business, so it’s no surprise that there are an equal amount of tools available for nonprofits, and thus, faith-based organizations such as churches.

Finding out what motivates church accounting software buyers is very useful information for not just the companies that sell the software, but also companies that are in the market for the solution. Finding our common motivations can help paint things into an easier light for you to make decisions. If you feel you are in the same boat as a different church who is shopping for software, perhaps it’s time you looked at doing so as well.

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The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter

Church Accounting Software Features

While each software solution will be different, these are some of the most commonly found features in a church accounting software solution:

  • Accounting: Covers things such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) and a general ledger (GL). Given the nonprofit status of most churches, the AR functionality will usually work in unison (or be replaced) with a donor management, fundraising, or fund accounting functionality.
  • Payroll: Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports
  • Donor management & fundraising: Know how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and provide annual giving statements to the members for tax reporting purposes. Solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Create campaigns that to encourage smaller donors to contribute more.
  • Membership tracking: Manage information on your members such as attendance, frequency of gifts, personal information such as address, volunteer details, interested, activities, and more. Analyze trends to see when attendance is increasing/decreasing.

The Benefits of Church Management Software

The best kind of church organization has taken advantage of two things: knowledge, and efficiency. Unfortunately, usually the most cost effective way of recording information (via paper spreadsheets) is not the most efficient way of your time. The key is finding the balance but unfortunately having to go back through records in different file cabinets or different offices is slow and cumbersome.

Member Contributions and Attendance:

A majority of church income comes from member contributions, so tracking member contributions is a needed function to give you insight into how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Now only does this allow you to give annual giving statements to members for tax reporting purposes, but it also helps keep your financial reporting as clean as possible.

Having more advanced reporting on who is giving, and when, can help you solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Larger donors can be targeted for capital campaigns, or even encouraged to have the church listed as a beneficiary when they are creating their estate plans. Smaller donors can be worked to contribute more frequently based on numerous small events or projects the church may be working on.

Church Accounting:

Accounting will work as accounting should. So what features make it exclusive to managing a church organization?

One ability that may go overlooked is the ability to print accounts payable and payroll checks in a self-mailer format. Mailings may seem like a thing of the past with the prevalence of emails and online newsletters, but sometimes an old-fashioned mailer sent to a members home is a great reminder of their past gifts and an easy way to encourage them to keep giving. It is especially beneficial for the technology-averse crowd.

Nonprofits should look for a solution with the intent of saving time. Online training is a great tool for self-paced learning, which is beneficial when you have a part-time staff composed of volunteers.

Church Accounting Software vs. Generic Software

The question may get asked by someone in the organization: “Why purchase a solution geared toward religious organizations? Can’t a generic (and likely less-expensive) software such found on the shelves of a retail store meet my needs?” Simply put, those solutions are not designed for not-for-profit organizations, let alone churches.

The most simple way to describe it is that nonprofits and churches alike are pursuing a mission rather than profits, which changes the landscape of how you record your accounting. Things are no longer looking to be recorded as profit and loss in a nonprofit setting, since (as the name implies) there is no profit.

Churches and nonprofits stand to lose benefits when they purchase an accounting program that is not designed specifically for them. Instead of having the freedom of movement, they are forced to operate within the restrictions of general accounting principles. Nonprofits, in particular, have to worry about fund accounting, which is the management of resources that have been designated for specific uses. This means that a generic accounting system won’t be able to create a trial balance by the fund or provide the necessary reports or checks/balances to ensure resources are being allocated as needed.

Typically in a nonprofit, a fund will be in the form of a grant that was awarded to them by the government. The nonprofit will need to prove to the government that the money was spent for it’s intended purpose and not on other areas of need. Funds can also come in the form of large donations, where the donor has asked that the money from the donation be put towards something specific.

For example, a church may receive a large donation from one of its members. The donor indicates that 100% of the donation must be used on their pipe organ restoration project that they’ve recently started. However, a sudden rainstorm causes some flooding in the church’s basement, and they need to pay a contractor to fix some water damage. Not only is it unethical to use the donated funds towards this new problem, but it will cause reporting issues when the church is trying to show in their accounting ledger where the money to pay this contractor came from.

What Does Church Accounting Software Offer?

While some churches could be considered as “for profit” (and thus have income), for the sake of this discussion, we’ll go with the more common discussion of churches being classified as a nonprofit entity. At its core, church accounting software is going to provide you with basic accounting to track income and expenses (or since churches typically don’t have any income, “money in” and “money out”).

Given this clarification, you can understand why church accounting software would offer similar functionalities as traditional nonprofit software, such as donor management and fundraising. So why the distinction?

One important difference in how software may (or should) be operated from a church to a standard nonprofit organization is tracking member contributions and attendance. While almost all nonprofit organizations will have some form of membership, churches will regularly set up group meetings such as Sunday School, Bible studies, confirmation classes, or other services that need to be tracked separately from the general fund.

If one were to poll many of the most successful churches in an area, they would likely learn that these churches have taken advantage of all tools and resources at their disposal to get where they are. So what benefits are being utilized within church management software?

Church Accounting Software Purchase Motivations

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As recent as 2018, the primary motivation churches are looking for new software is to replace an older system. A similar report that dove into the buying trends of companies purchasing fund accounting software (which, as mentioned before, is a software primarily used by nonprofits) found that they too had the same primary motivation.

Why are churches coming from older systems? Common sense may tell you that churches will tend to postpone technology purchases compared to other organizations or small businesses due to budget constraints. Many organizations just don’t have money in the budget to upgrade their technology every year, and a complete volunteer-ran ministry may need to develop the attitude of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This mindset may lead to churches hanging on to the same software for years, surpassing many recommended updates from developers.

An alternative scenario is a church that has the means (usually the funding) and the motivation to pursue a new software solution. However, they need to ensure that they have the resources available to train their staff. Some churches, especially smaller churches, may have many unpaid staff members who will need to utilize the software, and training them on their own schedule can prove to be time-consuming and costly.

Related Software Solutions

While a solution that was developed specifically for the church is recommended, you may find success using solutions found in these related software categories.

  • Nonprofit Accounting Software contains industry-specific functionality developed to meet the accounting needs of the nonprofit sector.
  • Fund Accounting Software is designed to enable improved allocation management of resources which have been designated for specific uses.
  • Fundraising Software and donor management software applications allow for tracking the acquisition of donor contributions and for facilitating related communication and data management tasks.

Popular Church Accounting Software Products

Looking for software for your religious organization? Over the years, we’ve helped match thousands of organizations just like yours with great software. Below you can check out a list of the options most commonly considered by others in your industry. Browse for fits or let us help you find the best choices for your needs.

Which software is right for you? Get quick and accurate recommendations.

What if you could simply tell someone about your software needs and they’d find your best choices? Look no further. We’ll listen to your needs and find your top software matches. That’s it. There’s no pressure, no cost.

The companies and representatives you sent our way were prompt and thorough… I definitely would recommend your company as a means to exploring options with qualified providers. — Bruce Conley
Your service saved me some very valuable time and hooked me up with some excellent resources. Thanks for providing this top-notch service. — Linda Vittori
Thanks! Having a service like this to help navigate the ocean of accounting software and help identify potential good-fits without having to delve through numerous bad-fits is of tremendous value! — Mark Carpenter
  • Shepherd's Staff by Concordia Technology Solutions

    Shepherd’s Staff complete church management software provides the organizational tools you need so you can focus on what matters most—the spiritual care of your members. Whether you're a ministry leader or administrator, this Windows-based software...

  • Gabriel Church Management by Emerald Consulting Partners

    Gabriel helps churches manage Family and Member information including Language, committee/ministry membership, Fund Raising (Pledges/Contributions), Religious Education, Ministry Scheduling and more. It is built using the latest Microsoft .Net...

  • IconCMO ‑ Church Management Online by Icon Systems

    IconCMO - Church Management Online is the only web-based church management software with membership, accounting and parishioner access module. Icon Systems is the best choice for solving the technology needs of your church. Why IconCMO?...

  • ZionWorx by Jubilate Software

    The process of developing quailty software takes a lot of effort, and we want to use our time and skills to create something that is truly affordable. Why? Because there are many church communities around the world that are simply too small or...

  • Seraphim by Seraphim Software

    *We are passionate about churches, not just software.* We started Seraphim to bring modern technology to churches. We saw that in our professional and personal lives, technology has erased barriers like location and time, but in churches some of...

  • ShelbyNext Financials by Shelby Systems

    Shelby2000 is a totally integrated system - financial modules among themselves as well as with the database and accompanying records for members and participants. Designed on true fund accounting principles following FASB guidelines. Financial...

  • CDM+ Church Management Software by Suran Systems

    CDM+ is church management software, but it's also much MORE! CDM+ is a dynamic system for complete church information management that is ideal for other faith-based ministries and non-profit organizations, too. CDM+ is powerful database software...

  • TKFlex Church Accounting by TKDatabase Solutions

    TKFlex Church Accounting For Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP™ A Complete Church Accounting System Tracks unlimited fund accounts Tracks donations for unlimited donors Tracks 1099 Information All donations received on one...

  • Acolyte Church Management by Acolyte Technologies

    Acolyte Church Management System maintains church records of: Parishioners and family members All ministries and parish organizations Weekly and special collections Multiple funds and pledges Baptisms, Confirmation, Death,...

  • ACS by ACS Technologies

    Centralize, streamline, and simplify all your finances. Manage the financial information for your organization easily, quickly, and efficiently with the ACS Financial Suite. A true fund accounting system that is designed to handle the...

  • CCIS AccountAbility by CCIS Church Management Software

    CCIS AccountAbility is a true fund accounting program designed especially for churches and non-profit organizations. The program is sophisticated enough to meet all your accounting needs, while simple enough to keep your office running smoothly....

  • Church Growth Software by Church Growth Software

    To grow a purpose driven church there are church growth principles that need to be applied. Church Growth Software is a church management software, that makes it easy in applying Purpose Driven principles. You will spend less time in keeping track...

  • Church Helpmate by Helpmate Technology Solutions

    Provides church leaders, administrators and secretaries an easy-to-use yet effective tool to ease their administrative burdens, and better serve their congregation and community. Church Helpmate...simply powerful...powerfully simple! ## Church...

  • Church Office Online by Church Office Online LLC

    ## Individual Access Give individuals in your church access to their personal information through our church management software. Individual access provides secure access per individual where they can update their own information, view...

  • Churchsoft by ChurchSoft

    Assist 4.0 For Windows is a professional, full featured church management software package for Windows 95 and higher. Assist 4.0 is state of the art, user friendly church software that is being used by thousands of satisfied churches...

  • CMTS by Torbert Data Systems

    Are you tired of shuffling papers or typing updates to church rosters and mailing lists? Are you able to track donations and print annual donor statements without hours of work? Are you able to effectively organize financial records and provide...

  • Church Windows by Computer Helper Publishing

    Church Windows software provides an easy way to track the church congregation, its happenings and its giving. Available in its classic form or under one of nine denominational versions, Church Windows efficiently handles the church receipts and...

  • ParishSOFT and Church Management Solutions by ParishSOFT / Church Management Solutions

    ParishSOFT data management is designed to meet all the needs of a Catholic church. Church Management Solutions meets the various data needs of Non-denominational and Protestant churches. Both packages are supported by our desk top and web...

  • RDS Advantage Church Management Software by RDS Advantage, Inc.

    RDS Advantage provides churches, not-for-profit institutions and denominational offices with easy to use features for ministry management. ## Accounting Managing a church’s finances is important for good stewardship. Solid accounting...

  • Logos II Church/Donor Management by Logos Management Software

    Often, the culprit in people leaving a church not plugged in or unnoticed is because of lack of organization. We know you are shepherds at the core and it breaks your heart to hear stories of people falling through the cracks. With that in mind,...

  • CCIS Membership Management by CCIS Church Management Software

    CCIS's Membership Management program allows you to manage your member's Contributions, Pledges, Activities, and Attendance. In Contributions module, you can establish fund goal amounts, group funds, print contribution statements and labels, and...

  • ACS People Suite by ACS Technologies

    The ACS People Suite is designed to empower users by tracking, analyzing, and reporting on simple and complex people-related information. It's an effective and efficient set of tools that helps you make a personal outreach or track personal growth....

  • Revelations by Icon Systems

    Revelations, award-winning church management software, is helping thousands of churches to manage membership and contribution information. Revelations will enhance communication, build fellowship, manage finances, and automate office tasks in your...

Your Church Accounting Software Recommendations

Ready to find out which software solutions are best suited for your business? Great! Understanding that you are searching for your religious organization gives us a good start. We’ve helped many companies find everything from single modules to full financial management systems. With a bit more information about your unique needs, we’ll narrow down to the choices meeting your specific functional requirements.

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