Church Accounting Software Tips

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 fund accounting software that best fits the needs of your particular organization.

Choosing Church Accounting Software:

Some questions to ask yourself in selecting your nonprofit or church accounting software:

Choosing Church Accounting Software
  1. What is your budget for accounting software?
  2. How much does technical support and program updates cost for the software you are considering?
  3. Do you need accounting software specifically designed for nonprofits or churches or will a standard accounting package do?
  4. How user-friendly is the software?
  5. Do you need payroll capabilities? Will it integrate with your current or future payroll software?
  6. Will the software package require additional hardware?
  7. What are other users saying about the software you are considering?
  8. How easy will it be to train your current and future staff how to use?

Tips for choosing and setting up your accounting software: Changing Accounting Software

Keep in mind that what works for one organization may not work as well for another! Although it is good to check with other similar organizations on the software they use, every church and nonprofit is unique and what accounting software may work for your friend, Joe's church may not work as well for yours with more or less assets and liabilities.

So do your research, read other people's reviews, take advantage of free trials, but most importantly keep in mind that you want the best accounting software that will fit comfortably with your particular organization:)

*See 3 common mistakes people make when choosing church software.

The following church accounting software reviews are a quick summary of a few of the well-established accounting software companies.

They are not a recommendation as most of the software listed I have not personally used except for Aplos, QuickBooks Pro, and QuickBooks Online (QBO). I am relying on our considerate readers to give their feedback and comments on the church accounting software they personally use.

Church Windows and PowerChurch are 2 of the top church accounting software; however, they do require some training and are quite expensive for small churches that may not need such a robust software.

So I am emphasizing again to do your homework before you purchase any software for your church or nonprofit organization.

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!

Church Accounting Software:

Aplos®:

This is my nonprofit accounting software of choice! It is perfect for churches and nonprofits that rely on non accountants for data entry. 

Aplos Software was made specifically for churches and nonprofits. You don't have to install anything because it is web-based, and it is easy to use. 

They are reasonably priced and they offer a 15 day free trial for new users. Also, if you are a church that has planted within the past year, or is planning to launch soon they will give you 6 months free.

Note: FreeChurchAccounting readers can also enjoy a 30% discount for 12 months simply by entering FCA30FOR12 in the promo code box!

Aplos also integrates with WePay, an online giving app. See more about it in this article: How to Accept Online Giving

Because I have set up many churches in Aplos and taught them how to use it effectively and because I have many current bookkeeping clients in Aplos, I can give you an in-depth review of that church accounting software here: Aplos Software Review

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

QuickBooks®:

QuickBooks Pro and Premier is an off-the-shelf accounting package. Although the price can be considerably lower than specialty church accounting software, there are some factors you need to be aware of such as its limitations.

It will track income and expenses; however, it is designed for for-profit business, so users have to develop ways to work around its fund accounting limitations. Its class tracking feature works well for tracking restricted and designated funds. 

I believe it can be an affordable option for many churches. Especially with a wonderful resources like CPA,Lisa London's QuickBooks for Churches book! The book is written for beginner and advanced church bookkeepers alike, in a friendly and easy-to-understand style. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up or improve Quickbooks for your church. Note: FreeChurchAccounting readers can enjoy a 10% discount simply by entering "FCA" in the discount code box! She also has online classes that are awesome for setting up and using the desktop AND online versions of QuickBooks.

The Quickbook Pro usually runs about $150 - $200. The QuickBooks Nonprofit edition is considerably higher at around $300 - $400.

Quickbooks Online (QBO) is also a good option for churches and nonprofits. Even though my nonprofit and church accounting software of choice is Aplos, TechSoup's free offer (well almost free ...there is a $50 admin fee) QBO or QB (desktop) is had to beat. QBO is currently $60 a month...so I advise most of my monthly bookkeeping clients to take advantage of that generous offer. See more on TechSoup's offer.

I am a QBO Pro Adviser and specialize in setting up and training churches how to use QBO. I also offer monthly bookkeeping services in QBO. See more on my bookkeeping and payroll services here: Church Accounting Services

Since I do work with so many churches and nonprofits in QBO and have set up more churches than I can count in that online accounting software, I can give you a pretty extensive review of QBO on this page: QuickBooks for Churches

ChurchWindows®:

Church Windows software tracks your church congregation, its happenings and its giving. It handles the church receipts and disbursements, its budget and its employee payroll. It is a church software package that consists of a number of programs that can be used alone or as a unit. The five modules currently include:

  • Membership
  • Scheduler
  • Contribution
  • Accounting
  • Payroll

Note: This is a church accounting software that has been around a long time and is probably great software (I have never personally used it); however, the feedback I am getting from my readers is that it and PowerChurch are a little expensive and a little too robust for smaller churches...especially for those churches that rely on volunteers for their accounting. It may be a little difficult for new volunteers to learn and efficiently use.

PowerChurch®:

PowerChurch organizes membership, contributions, accounting, events, and general record keeping, with one complete package. You can account for contributions, maintain payroll, track your budget and automate your accounts payable and receivable.

The Accounting system is not just for non-profit fund accounting use - it is specially designed for churches. A setup assistant walks you through the process of creating your chart of accounts and establishing beginning balances. The accounting section also includes accounts payable, accounts receivable and payroll modules.

Note: a recent survey indicates a shift in preference towards cloud-hosted options for church accounting software! You can view the report here: Church Accounting Software Buyer Trends

Church Management Software:

Shepherdbase...

Shepherdbase (Church Membership Database) provides small to large churches with an affordable, easy solution to track: memberships (unlimited), groups, events, contributions, attendance and much more.

Shepherdbase has many great benefits and features such as the ability to generate reports within minutes ready to print for the Pastor after he calls requesting such reports as the Membership Directory (includes each member's address, phone, birthday, anniversary, etc.), Church Attendance Report, Events Report, Groups Report, Family Report, Contribution Statement, and Contribution Letters.

See more Shepherdbase information and Shepherdbase screen shots.

Church Community Builders...

Church Community Builders is a cloud-based management software used to track contribution management and online giving, volunteers, membership, check-ins, etc.

I have not personally used this software, so I cannot give you an in depth review of it, but several of my clients have used and are currently using it.

From them I have received a variety of opinions, many loved it but most of my smaller church clients that relied on "not really tech savvy" volunteers said it was not the best church management solution for their churches.

*Want an in-depth peer review of a LOT of church software? See Capterra's Church Management Software


Donation Management and Online Giving Software

As I stated above, I use only 2 different accounting software for my clients: Aplos and QuickBooks. I know there are more "full bodied" church accounting software systems available...but those are the 2 accounting software that I am an expert in and they both work quite well for my clients =)

I love Aplos for tracking donors and their donations as well as their accounting ...BUT I don't like tracking donors/donations in QBO. It can be done...but not efficiently...so I use an "outside" donation management software with most of my QBO clients.

AND with the higher demand for online giving....I try to make sure the donation software will handle online giving AND let me put in offline giving as well. 

See more on How to Accept Online Giving!

Again...I can only give you an honest review on what I have personally used ...so the 3 donation management and online giving software I like the best are...

Planning Center Giving...

I personally think this  is the best and easiest to use for tracking online and offline donations and donors....BUT the monthly fee is based on the amount of donations...so it can get expensive for those with greater amounts of donations.

Let me start off by saying, Planning Center has a lot of different modules that you can use for such things as music, registration and check in services, event planning, etc., but I am only familiar with the "giving" module...so that is what I am reviewing.

Usually the set up is handled by my clients, but all of them have said that is was pretty easy and planning center's support was good.

As their accountant, I love the reporting capability of Planning Center Giving! It is the easiest software I have ever worked with as far as being able to log in and get reports for my clients online and physical (offline) donation breakdowns. 

My clients also tell me their donors really like the "ease" of setting up and using the online giving.

Donors are issued an instant donor receipt when they give online, but generating contribution statements are also a snap in planning center.

Overall I think Planning Center is a great option for donation management...but it can get pricey...so another option is...

Breeze...

Breeze will track offline donations as will as processing and tracking online giving like Planning Center, but unlike Planning Center that has separate modules you can purchase individually and collectively....Breeze includes all of their church management features in one "package" with one simple flat rate of $50 per month.

Like Planning Center, you can use Breeze for organizing church events and check-in/registration, and like most church management software, you can also organize your donors into groups and have their contact information at the touch of a button.

As my client's accountant, I think the "fund designation and batch" reports are a little harder to pull up and use for splitting up deposits in QBO. Reconciling those reports with QBO can sometimes be a pain too, however...

my clients that use Breeze tell me that that the set up and use of the online giving is a snap.

Breeze states on their website that they are "focused more on small and mid-sized churches" and I do believe it can be a good option for church management and online/offline giving tracking for churches.

Breeze also has a comparison page to see the difference between them and Planning Center...but keep in mind that Breeze wrote it =) Planning Center Online vs Breeze

WePay...

If you use Aplos, a good option for online giving is WePay. It integrates with Aplos and does the hard work for you by automatically entering the complete donation on the donor's giving record and then applying the fees where they go in your accounting.

BUT I have had a few of my clients complain that there are more "failed" giving attempts with WePay ...but if you use Aplos you may want to try it out. It has low processing rates too.

Keep in mind that it is just for online giving and offline giving will still need to be tracked with Aplos's donation module...which is pretty simple to use and integrates with their accounting module.

Note: there are lots more donation management solutions available such as Church Community Builders I reviewed in the Church Management section above, and I will be adding to these sections as I get the opportunities to try some of them out...but in the meantime...

do your due diligence!

Research Research Research!

And use free trials before purchasing =)

Church Accounting Software Comments

Please take a moment out to help a fellow church volunteer/staff by submitting a comment on the church accounting software you have used.

Please include approximately how many church members your church has for comparison sake. (Your church fund accounting software might be just right for your 300+ member church, but be a little too much for someone else's 30 member church.)

Please also include what you like or dislike about the software.

Would you recommend the software to another church administrator?

You can also ask questions about accounting software...again include approx numbers of church members.

Search this site and comments here: Site Search

Questions, Comments, and Reviews About Accounting Software

Do you have a question or comment regarding church accounting software? Share it!

Archive of Church Accounting Software Questions and Comments

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

(Click on the read or post comment on the bottom of the question to see the answers and/or add your own comments or answers!)

Money Counts 9 
Installed a new HP OfficeJet 6978 printer. Also have large Toshiba copier in the office. The HP is set as the default printer, but in check pay the …

Quickbooks Online 
Two of the issues with any software is where it resides, and how many people can use it. We started using Quickbooks Online (QBO) about 8 years ago. …

We are a non-profit 501-c-3 mission organization and look for a good donor tracking accounting software 
We are currently using quick books and are not satisfied with the limited amount of customization of donor receipts and year end statements. We would …

ChurchPro Pros and Cons??? 
We have been using Church Pro for approximately 7 years. The program is not user friendly but the support staff has always been helpful and patient. …

looking for accounting software that covers different assemblies 
Our church a little growing church that’s organized in assemblies of about 10 to 150 members each and we would like to have an accounting software that …

Small Church - Deciding on Using Flockbase Accounting Software 
We have a small church with 24 members and 3 person on the payroll. I just started to work with the Treasurer to help with the accounting. We have …

Does ICONCMO do what Quickbooks does plus membership data 
We are in transition. We just purchased the newest Quickbooks Pro to update our old version, and then heard that some members of the finance committee …

New Church - New full suite software 
We are forming a new chuch and need to select a software package that will provide as much as possible in one package. Any suggestions. We have 200 members …

mEMBERSHIP pLUS 6.0 
We purchased a new computer. We could not transfer all information from old computer to the new one. And the old installation disc can't be found. …

Weekly reports on income in column format  
Our church is used to seeing reports in the column / table format. Each week of the month is in a separate column, and expenses within the week are simply …

Does Aplos give you the ability to print checks like Quickbooks? 
Looking into getting Aplos but I can't tell if it gives you the option to print checks.. also can you keep up with tithes and print year end donation receipts? …

Church Financial Software for Migrating with Existing Data 
I am a treasurer of a small/medium congregation (150 average Sunday attendance; 500k approximate budget per year). I've been using a (rather good) …

Aplos - Security 
We were a small church of 25 that has exploded to 250. Shepherds Base is what we were using, with few complaints. Aplos has all that I am looking for but …

QB vs other church software 
My co worker wants us to purchase Power Church software and use it for everything, including AP and payroll. I'm "green" so how does PC compare to QB? …

Transaction Reports in Money Counts 
I belong to a small church that uses Money Counts 9.0. Can anyone tell me if it possible to get printable reports showing transactions by Payee name, …

fund accounting 
I am looking for software to keep track of many small funds, such as milk fund, hot lunch fund, grade 1, grade 2, etc., etc. We have about 20 funds. …

Anyone used Working Church mangement software? 
Is anyone familiar with Working Church by Brothers in Christ software company? I am researching various options for our church.

Servant PC Resources? 
Have you heard anything about Servant PC Resources?

How to print 1099's (churchtrac user) 
Our church uses Churchtrac. I need to print 1099's. I have the blank forms, but do I need to buy software to print them correctly?

Shelby Software 
We have used Shelby software for a number of years. It is an excellent software that integrates, membership, accounting, purchase orders, etc, http://www.shelbysyst …

ServantKeeper 
This software comes in 3 parts - Admin Pro, Membership Pro and Contribution Pro. It is very easy to enter and track contributions and generate various …

Please Recommend Best Church Accounting Software 
Need user friendly, easy to figure out church accounting program for non-accountant church treasurer. It must be able to generate reports with graphs and …

RDS Advantage 
I'd like to know if you've had a chance to review RDS Advantage. Their accounting software is really good and they have a desktop version and a cloud version. …

Churchinfo 
I have been using Churchinfo as the church membership and accounting software. It does not cost anything and is very simple and powerful to use. It is …

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Church Windows 
As an accountant by training and church administrator by calling, I like church windows. It's fund accounting works nicely for keeping things seperate. …

Small Church needs uncomplicated software 
Help...We are a very small church with approximately 75 members on the church roll. We only have 2 paid positions, all others are volunteer. We currently …

Church Manage Pro 
I used http://www.churchmanagepro.com I found it had all the features in one and was for a good cause, Highly recommended.

Anyone heard of ChurchPro Software? 
For non-profit church pro 2010 has all that is required including FAS 95 & 117 IRS regulations. Has anyone used this software?

Money Counts 
Is the program 'Money Counts' still available? What is the latest version? Do you have any reviews or comments regarding its use?

any church accounting software 
We need accounting software that will handle two currencies (US dollars and pesos) and is designed specifically for churches - any suggestions? Roberta …

Churchtrac 
Have any of you ever used or are currently using this software? If so, could you give us your opinion on it? Are you using it free or did you pay for …

importing bank info into church acct software 
Does anyone know of any church accounting software that will allow you to import deposits & expenses into church management software? Know the answer?

We are no-profit organization 
Are there any free accounting software for non-profit groups? Where would I find these? Know the answer? Face the same situation? Please post

Free Accounting Software 
A free alternative to QuickBooks is GNUCash and is downloadable from http://www.gnucash.org/ The product can operate on different platforms e.g. Windows, …

Power Church Plus software 
A number of churches in our association use Power Church Plus software. It is wonderful for accounting, contributions, etc. It also has a wonderful module …

Membership Plus Software Application 
Does anyone know where I can find instructions or information on how to use Membership Plus 10?

Shepherd's Staff 
I finally managed to enter my data into Shepherd's Staff. I was able to make a balance sheet report that I first exported to Excel, but the columns were …

Deleting funds in Fund Accounting 
I have several funds that I don't need anymore and I need to delete. I have a custom coded fund accounting system running on a AS/400. When I delete …

Which Church Accounting Software Is Best? 
Question regarding church accounting software: I am the pastor of a 3 months old church. We have about 15 members and I am currently the one doing …

Church Accounting Software 
I am the treasurer to a small church of about 80 members, and I wanted to purchase software that would specialize in fund accounting. I am new to accounting …

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The comments above are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. See full disclaimer.

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