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Church Accounting & Bookkeeping - Software & Resources

There are a wide variety of church accounting software programs and multi-purpose programs available to the church to help provide a good accounting of the management of its finances.

On the low end, some churches use a simple excel spreadsheet to keep track of income and expenses, while on the high end are several very good programs that integrate not only church accounting, but also giving & attendance in one easy program.

One of the biggest complaints we hear from lenders about churches is the difficulty the bank has getting accurate financial information from the church.  Lenders need your financials in a Generally Accepted Account Practice format.  The information needs to be complete and all transactions need to balance. Further, your church membership is due a fair, clear and accurate accounting of the church finances that good fund accounting software can provide.

There are a number of reasons why the church should invest in dedicated church accounting software.

  • First of all, church accounting is not like normal business accounting.  The management of church funds requires a program to do "fund accounting", which is different than businesses use.  While it is possible to make some low-end programs, such as Quickbooks, function in this manner, it takes a good understanding of both fund accounting and nuances of Quickbooks along with good discipline. 
  • Another reason is that you need a good audit trail for the accounting process.  Many low-end church accounting programs allow you to move money around and jiggle accounts without balancing the transactions or providing a good audit trail.   This allows an unscrupulous person to easily juggle the books to cover financial misappropriations.
  • Thirdly, the church often needs to track other data besides accounting for income and expenses.  Churches need to track of giving against pledges, something that general purpose accounting will not do; they need to track church and Sunday school attendance and keep membership information; and they need to differentiate between designated and non-designated funds. Multi-purpose programs allow you to offer church accounting and membership tracking in one software program.
  • Lastly, at some point in time, your church will probably need to go to the bank to borrow money.  The better your church accounting looks and the more accurate it is, the easier it will be to get a loan.

Church Accounting Software Product Recommendation:

One church accounting product that does all of the above PLUS Membership Tracking  is Membership Plus.  Membership Plus seems to be a very comprehensive program at a bargain price that will provide the the accounting control and reports needed by most churches, but has the added bonus of also doing membership tracking.

Click here to see more Church Accounting Software Reviews - Coming Soon


 

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