Find the best accounting software for your church. Compare product reviews, criteria and pricing in our in depth review of the best church accounting software.
Churches need to track income and expenses like any other organization – but they also have some more specific requirements that some accounting software can’t easily support. Features like managing individual donations and tithes (and providing tax receipts) are unique. Similarly, keeping detailed reports of which church ministries and projects are funded, and how those funds are utilized are crucial to the success and transparency of a church accounting system.
Furthermore, while most accounting software is set up for the needs of businesses and requires some basic knowledge of accounting and bookkeeping. Church accounting software, by contrast, is typically geared toward non-accountants, making it easier to use.
Finding the right tools to maintain compliance and balance the books can be a challenge with so many hoops to jump through. We reviewed the best church accounting software platforms based on reputation, ease-of-use, features, price, and more. Here are ten of our top picks.
Best Church Accounting Software Shortlist
- Xero – Best accounting software for small churches
- QuickBooks Online + Breeze – Best for medium-sized churches
- Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches
- ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems
- IconCMO – Best for web-based system
- PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system
- AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation
- ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping
- Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping
- Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits
What is Church Accounting Software?
Church accounting software is simply an accounting system that helps churches keep their books balanced. It’s a general ledger used to track income (accounts receivable) usually in the form of member and donor contributions usually from regular tithing, and giving, as well as managing fundraising, gift days, grants. It includes budgeting management, expense tracking, and provides an accounting solution for tracking the pay of vendors or staff.
Most churches are registered as nonprofit or have charity status. Because of this, church accounting software offers similar functionalities as traditional nonprofit software, such as donor management and fundraising. It’s no surprise that these accounting features can be found in many standard accounting software solutions.
Many churches don’t have experienced accountants on staff, so the needs of churches are perhaps different from other nonprofit organizations. Churches, particularly small churches, need user-friendly accounting software that’s easy to use and set up, with the categories and types of transactions churches need to track. Accounting software that offers pre-made reports can also be helpful for presenting a church’s financial picture to church members and stakeholders.
How Much Do Church Accounting Software Programs Cost?
Most church accounting software is cloud-based and available for a monthly subscription. The convenience of having the platform online eliminates the need for churches to buy the right computer for their software. In most cases, any current computer with internet access will do.
We found that subscription-based church accounting software typically ranges from $16 to $79 per month, with $350 being the high end. Many offer tiered pricing options based on the features a church needs. Higher tiers typically include more advanced finance features like payroll processing and advanced reporting.
Features of Church Accounting Software
While each software solution will be different, these are some of the most commonly found features in a church accounting software solution:
- Accounting: Covers things such as accounts payable (AP), accounts receivable (AR) and a general ledger (GL). Given the nonprofit status of most churches, the AR functionality will usually work in unison (or be replaced) with a donor management, fundraising, or fund accounting functionality.
- Payroll: Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports
- Donor management & fundraising: Know how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual basis and provide annual giving statements to the members for tax reporting purposes. Solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Create campaigns that to encourage smaller donors to contribute more.
- Membership tracking: Manage information on your members such as attendance, frequency of gifts, personal information such as address, volunteer details, interested, activities, and more. Analyze trends to see when attendance is increasing/decreasing.
Benefits of Church Accounting Software
The best kind of church organization has taken advantage of two things: knowledge, and efficiency. While recording information via paper spreadsheets may be cost-effective, is not the most efficient way of your time. Having to go back through records in different file cabinets or different offices is slow and cumbersome. The key is finding the right balance.
Organize Your Member Contributions and Attendance
A majority of church income comes from member contributions, so tracking member contributions is a needed function to give you insight into how much each member has given on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Now only does this allow you to give annual giving statements to members for tax reporting purposes, but it also helps keep your financial reporting as clean as possible.
Having more advanced reporting on who is giving, and when, can help you solicit donations with targeted campaigns. Larger donors can be targeted for capital campaigns, or even encouraged to have the church listed as a beneficiary when they are creating their estate plans. Smaller donors can be worked to contribute more frequently based on numerous small events or projects the church may be working on.
Get A Better Grasp At Finances With Church Accounting
Accounting will work as accounting should. So what features make it exclusive to managing a church organization?
One ability that may go overlooked is the ability to print accounts payable and payroll checks in a self-mailer format. Mailings may seem like a thing of the past with the prevalence of emails and online newsletters, but sometimes an old-fashioned mailer sent to a members home is a great reminder of their past gifts and an easy way to encourage them to keep giving. It is especially beneficial for the technology-averse crowd.
Nonprofits should look for a solution with the intent of saving time. Online training is a great tool for self-paced learning, which is beneficial when you have a part-time staff composed of volunteers.
Overviews of the 10 Best Church Accounting Software
Here’s a brief description of each of the church accounting software on my list, showing what it does best, plus screenshots to showcase some of the features.
1. Xero – Best accounting software for small churches
2. QuickBooks Online + Breeze – Best for medium-sized churches
3. Sage Intacct – Best for larger churches
4. ACS Technologies – Best for church oriented systems
5. IconCMO – Best for web-based system
6. PowerChurch Plus – Best for all-in-one system
7. AccountEdge Pro – Best for local installation
8. ZipBooks – Best for free church bookkeeping
9. Botkeeper – Best for automated bookkeeping
10. Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT – Best for nonprofits
Other Church Accounting Software
- Church360 Ledger
- CDM +
- Church Windows Software
- ShelbyNext Financials
- ACS Church Accounting
- Shelby Systems
- Elexio Church Financials
- Paxton Charities Accounting
- PowerChurch Plus
- Breeze ChMS
- AccountEdge Pro
Church Management Software and accounting
If you’re looking for a more integrated accounting and church management solution, that combines financial management with church management, you should check out our list of church management software. Many of these tools integrate church accounting functionality.
What church accounting software do you use?
Have you discovered or used any church accounting software recently? What did you think of it? Let us know if the comments below.