Accounting for Churches and Nonprofits

Accounting for churches and nonprofits is a whole different ballgame than commercial accounting!

Been asked to do the accounting for your church or nonprofit and have no idea where to start?

This site was built for you!

See links below for pages on bookkeeping tips, fund accounting, setting up a petty cash account, understanding financial statements for nonprofits, etc.

Learn Accounting for Churches and Nonprofits:

Accounting for Churches and Nonprofits

Accounting is define as a system of recording and summarizing financial (business) transactions in such a way that they can later be analyzed or used to communicate with others.

However, all accounting is not created equally!

Where commercial accounting’s main focus is on measuring profit or loss…fund accounting (used primarily by churches and nonprofits) focuses more on measuring the incoming and outgoing funds to aid in the ethical and legal responsibilities of the nonprofit.

Learn basic accounting concepts that will help you with that measuring on the basic accounting for churches and nonprofits page listed below.

In the mid 1990’s, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) Numbers 95, 116, 117, and 124. They describe the way nonprofits should account for contributions, present their financial statements, and account for certain investments.

The emphasis of the SFAS financial statement reporting is now on “net assets” classification. Learn the three main categories of net assets on the fund accounting page (link below).


Learn more...

Knowledge of some basic accounting concepts and bookkeeping systems is necessary in order to set up and maintain an accounting system.

Learn the difference between two bookkeeping systems and basic accounting for churches and nonprofits...

Basic Accounting

Fund accounting is an accounting method that groups assets and liabilities according to the specific purpose for which they are to be used.

It keeps restricted and unrestricted funds separate for churches and nonprofits. See this page for more details...

Fund Accounting

Even though each organization's chart of accounts is unique, most nonprofit and churches use a universal numbering system to avoid confusion for your staff, bookkeepers, accountants, and financial institutions.

See tips on building an effective chart of accounts...

Building a Chart of Accounts

Need help setting up an effective accounting system!

Overwhelmed with the accounting part of your ministry?

Have a high turnover of individuals keeping the books?

Hiring a full time in-house bookkeeper not affordable or even a possibility at this time?

Let us take care of your books! 

We can also set up an accounting system and train you how to use!

Gifts in-kind are donations of items, use of property, and professional services. Accounting for those non cash donations can oftentimes be confusing.

See how to acknowledge and account for those donated goods and services...

Accounting for In-Kind Donations

Definitions to help you better understand the accounting terms used on this site.

Nonprofit Accounting Definitions

A “fund” in church fund accounting is a unique designation of money that is tracked separately that everything else, but is still a part of your larger total. See what pitfalls to watch for in fund accounting...

Church Fund Accounting Guide

A fund accounting system is simply a system of collecting and processing financial information about your church or nonprofit.

Setting up an effective accounting system is one of the most important things you can do for your organization. See tips on setting up the best accounting system for your organization...

Setting up a Fund Accounting System

Church Accounting Package

A set of 4 ebooks that covers the following topics...

  • Fund Accounting Examples and Explanations
  • Setting up a fund accounting system
  • Donation management
  • Minister compensation and taxes
  • Internal controls and staff reimbursements
  • Much more - Click here for details

Choosing nonprofit or church accounting software for your organization can be a stressful and tedious chore!

You are not looking for the best accounting software on the market. Instead...you are looking for the church fund accounting software that best fits the needs of your particular church...

Church Accounting Software Tips

Changing Accounting Software

If your church is embarking on the process of shopping for a new church accounting software, there are a few tips to keep in mind to make it a smart choice. See tips on setting up that new accounting software as well...

Changing Accounting Software

Preparing and understanding financial statements for a church or nonprofit organization is easier if you follow this simple rule....

Understanding Financial Statements

Before you generate your financial statements, there is a process you should go through to ensure the accounting reports you give your pastor, treasurer, or governing council is accurate and complete...

Prior to Preparing Financial Statements

See explanations and examples of nonprofit financial statements. Learn what a fund is and what it is not.

Get a workbook with 4 NP financial statements.

Get tips on setting up and maintaining an effective accounting system.  See this page for more details...

Basic Fund Accounting Package

The greatest advantage of having a benevolence fund program properly set up is to ensure donations to that plan will be considered tax-deductible and comply with IRS regulations.

See how to set up and account for benevolence...

Benevolence Fund

Spreadsheet Package

The Spreadsheet Package includes 6 accounting workbooks PLUS a Word document with 3 examples of contribution statements for cash, non cash, and quid pro quo donations that you can customize for your own use!

  • Contribution Tracking Workbook
  • 5 Fund Automatic Accounting Workbook 
  • Bank Reconciliation Workbook
  • Collection Count Sheet
  • Mileage Log Workbook 
  • Much more - Click here for details

Learn the basic on setting up and maintaining a petty cash account for a church or nonprofit...

Setting up a Petty Cash Account

Every church and nonprofit should have a written accounting policy manual.

It will save you future problems down the road and serve as a valuable reference guide for your organization. See how to create one...

Creating an Accounting Policy Manual

Nonprofit and church staff and volunteers from all over the world can help each other out with tips, ideas, comments, and questions on this page...

Church Accounting FAQs

Need a Consultation, help setting up an effective Accounting System, or someone to do your monthly bookkeeping?