In many ways, churches need to manage their finances similar to any other business or organization. Money coming in needs to be accounted for, and money going out, to pay for expenses and salaries, also needs to be tracked.
However, churches also have unique needs when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping. For example, most money coming in is in the form of donations rather than sales of products and services.
Accounting software for churches also needs to easily track who is tithing and donating throughout the year, so they can prepare tax statements for donors and church members.
As a result, churches typically forgo standard accounting software in favor of church-specific solutions. Wondering how to choose church accounting software? Need to know why church accounting is vital to the success and growth of your congregation? Then keep reading for answers to all your accounting questions.
The Importance of Church Accounting Software
Church accounting software has different needs and goals than standard, for-profit business software. For starters, the income is from a completely different source.
Most church income arrives in the form of weekly or monthly tithes. These are essentially regular donations. Many people are now tithing online or through an app. But still, some prefer to tithe in cash or by check.
Usually, when this happens, church members will fill out a tithing slip with their information, letting you know who the money is coming from. These will then need to be manually added to your accounting system.
Church accounting software will also help you create individual and family profiles, linking donations to these members. Because they are donating to non-profit organizations, they can write these off on their taxes.
Software that can end out annual giving statements to donors automatically will make your job way easier come tax season.
Navigation Staff Employment Status
Another consideration for churches choosing software is understanding the rules regarding your staff members. Church staff roles can often get messy.
Designations can include clergy members, employees, and self-employed team members. Each status has different regulations and laws regarding payment and taxes that churches need to stay on top of.
If not, churches stand to pay penalties when not withholding taxes when they should. Proper church software will help you manage this process with ease.
You also want a solution that’s affordable. As a church, you have a mission and a purpose for existing. That mission is not to pay for random things, but to serve people.
Finding a solution that can function the way you need it to, without spending too much money each month, means you can focus your finances on the things that matter.
With all of that in mind, here is a quick list of the best accounting software for churches, both large and small.
- Icon Systems
Icon Systems provides an all-in-one church accounting and general management system. This makes all the digital aspects of managing your staff and congregation a breeze.
For starters, it gives you a simple to use e-giving platform so that members can donate online, making everything easier for your staff to manage. Plus, making it easier for members to give can provide a much-needed boost in monthly giving.
You’ll be able to easily print or email donor statements. Banking, accounts payable, checkbook management, payroll, and many other vital features are all included, making this your one-stop shop.
Plus, the software is compliant for non-profit organizations that rely on donations as their main source of income.
You’ll also be able to use this software for many other important church functions. Event management, childcare services, church membership management, and many more features make this software perfect for churches of any size. Visit https://www.iconcmo.com/ for more details.
Aplos was founded by a former CPA and executive pastor who was frustrated by the lack of effective nonprofit software. This led him to create Aplos, which is now used by tens of thousands of organizations around the globe.
The cloud-based software stores everything online, making it easy to use on any device that can connect to the internet. It’s simple to use for basic functions such as church bookkeeping, invoicing, and processing 1099’s.
It automatically tracks giving and produces giving statements for your members. While you can’t use Aplos to process payroll, it easily integrates with other reputable payroll software.
You can start a 15-day free trial to see if Aplos is right for your organization.
- ACS Church Accounting
ACS Technologies produces all kinds of church management software, including church accounting. Their reputation dates back to the 70s and has a strong reputation.
With its long history and a full suite of products, ACS is the go-to solution for large organizations. It can handle all of the basic accounting requests, such as expense tracking, budgeting, check-printing, invoicing, 1099s, and much more.
ACS includes payroll processing with an emphasis on understanding the unique roles that come with modern churches. They also have a dedicated support team, able to help with any issues or requests.
Breeze is a smaller, lighter, simpler-to-use software. It focuses on tracking giving through on and offline sources. It also provides your members with simple ways to give.
You can also use it to manage events and coordinate volunteers and teams. It’s not a full-on accounting software, nor can it process payroll, but might be a solid tool for many lean churches.
Flockbase is an affordable solution for smaller churches looking for a complete management program. The accounting piece can do it all; offer online giving, track giving, track expenses, process payroll, and more.
You can also use it to track church membership check-ins. Keep up with attendance reports and create mailing lists with ease.
Flockbase offers either cloud-based or desktop software. It’s affordable, easy to use, and offers a free trial.
Choosing Accounting Software for Churches
When it comes to accounting software for churches, there are tons of options. Many churches will even use regular accounting software, as they have figured out a way to make it work for them.
But if you’d like a custom-made solution specifically intended for the unique needs of your church, the options above will make church management much easier for you.
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