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
- 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
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 -