With so many different finance-related tools available, figuring out which one is right for you is tough. You know you want to help the church leader or church finance committee maintain a precise track of funds, donations, and expenses to ensure the accounting of financial resources, but you need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences and exposure to dozens of different tools as part of diverse worship teams, with my picks of the best church finance software.
What is Church Finance Software
Church finance software is a type of financial management software designed for religious organizations, including churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues. This software typically includes features such as donation, tithes and offerings tracking, expense management, budgeting, membership information management, tax receipts generation for donors, and financial reporting, which can help church leaders to more effectively manage their finances and make informed decisions about their organization's spending.
With the help of finance software, churches can manage payrolls easily so church leaders can devote more time to addressing the needs of their members.
Realm Church Management is a product of ACS Technologies and has a donation management functionality you can use to track donations and generate year-end reports for compliance purposes. Its online giving feature allows you to accept contributions anywhere you are through Realm Church’s mobile app. Realm Church Management provides your church members with the option to contribute through online donations, text giving, or credit cards and debit cards.
ACS Technologies’ Realm Church Management is best for those looking for a nonprofit accounting software they can use as a timesheet management system. Users can use it to specify roles, ensuring that employees receive pay commensurate with their positions. You can also use Realm Church management to review timesheets, ensure accurate payrolls, and avoid disputes.
Realm Church Management’s pricing starts at $29 per month.
Church Windows is a church management system that can also serve your church’s accounting needs like payroll, accounts receivable, financial reporting, and tax computations. You can use it in event registration, child check-in, and post-event reporting so you can assess the effectiveness of your church’s services. Church Windows allows you to send SMS and email communications to ensure that church members are up-to-date with what’s happening in your church.
Church Windows is best for those who want a software solution that works even with no internet connection because it still allows you to work offline. You can still view and update membership records even if you have no internet connectivity meaning you are always productive. Church Windows also allows you to its accounting program offline with records automatically updated once you have internet connectivity to work on your laptop in an area where you don’t have a reliable internet connection.
Church Windows’ desktop version requires a one-time payment of $303 per module, $556 for two modules, $796 for three modules, and $856 for four modules. This makes it one of the few offline payroll software options for churches, which some may prefer!
FlockBase is a web-based church management software you can use to compute payroll, pay your staff and comply with IRS regulations. A fund accounting feature allows you to track your fund balances and ensure that your programs have enough funding. FlockBase also has a robust reporting feature you can use to view balances, funds, and expenses on different levels of your organization.
FlockBase is the best church accounting software if you want one with a robust bank reconciliation feature that allows you to match your bank balance with your book balance. FlockBase’s bank reconciliation feature allows you to immediately detect accounting and bank errors so you can correct them immediately. This feature also helps your church prevent and detect fraud to protect the fund and needs of your church.
FlockBase pricing starts at $29 per month for five simultaneous users. FlockBase offers users a 14-day free trial.
Elexio is a church management system you can use to manage your church’s database, ensuring that you have up-to-date information on all your members. You can also use Elexio to automate simple and repetitive tasks to streamline workflow so you can concentrate on ministering to your flock. Elexio’s church accounting feature is an add-on you can purchase to ensure that your church complies with government requirements even if you don’t have a CPA on board.
Elexio is best for those who want access to their ChMS while working remotely because Elexio is a cloud-based system. You can use Elexio wherever you are as long as you have an internet connection. Since it is a cloud-based system, other team members will automatically see any updates or changes you implement on the system, ensuring that there won’t be any conflicts or discrepancies.
Elexio pricing starts at $35.13 per month for one user.
Aplos church software offers a robust suite of financial features, including fund accounting, bank integration, bank reconciliation, pledge tracking, and check to print. It also has an integrated payroll system to ensure that all employees receive accurate salaries helping you avoid payroll disputes and ensuring employee satisfaction. Aplos also has a donor portal that allows church members to contribute to your church safely and securely.
Aplos is best for those who need to generate financial reports so they can get a clear view of their church’s financial health. You can use aplos church software to generate budgeting reports to ensure that expenses stay within budget. Aplos also allows you to generate donation reports to give you a better idea of where contributions are coming from and plan how you can improve them.
Aplos integrates with Gusto Payroll System.
Aplos pricing starts at $29.50 per month. Aplos offers a 15-day free trial.
Powerchurch Plus software combines church management and a church accounting system you can use to balance your accounts and produce auditable trails to enhance accountability. It also has a simplified payroll system to plug in specific requirements that will automatically compute for you. The system also allows you to track restricted gifts to ensure compliance with FASB 117.
PowerChurch Plus is best for religious organizations that issue many checks for their transactions because of its Quick Check feature. You can use Quick Check to print checks for issuance to suppliers, partner organizations, utility companies, and payroll. Powerchurch Plus software also allows you to keep an accurate record of issued checks to ensure that your account stays balanced and has available funds for your checks.
PowerChurch Plus pricing starts at a one-time payment of $395 per user.
CDM+ is a fund accounting software designed specifically for the unique needs of churches and nonprofits. You can use it to track your income and expenses, ensuring that you have enough funds to attend to your ministry’s needs. Church leaders can use CDM+ to generate reports about the church’s financial health and share them with boards, committees, and staff to give them a clear view of its structure and financial standing.
CDM+ is best for those who work remotely because it has a mobile app version that you can use on iPhones and Android mobile devices. CDM+ mobile allows users a safe and secure way of accessing sensitive financial information. CDM+ also has features available on church management software like access to the member database, calendar management, and push notifications.
CDM+ pricing starts at $100 per month per user with a charge of $5 per month per additional user.
One Church Accounting has a bank integration feature that provides users a convenient way of importing and categorizing bank transactions for accurate reconciliation. It has a chart of accounts feature to have a complete listing of every account in a general ledger allowing you an easy-to-understand view of your fund’s subcategories. Its budgeting feature will enable you to track your annual budget and ensure that your expenses are within your church’s financial capability.
One Church Accounting is best for those who want customizable dashboards for easier viewing of financial records. This church accounting software presents you with graphs and metrics to have an overview of your income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow in a user-friendly and easy-to-understand format. With the real-time data of One Church Accounting’s dashboards, you can immediately address financial concerns and prevent them from becoming major issues.
One Church Accounting’s pricing starts at $24 per month billed annually. Users can try this church management software for free for 14 days.
Xero is a church accounting software you can use to safely accept donations online so you can replenish funds for your church’s operations and expenses. You can use it to track expenses and settle your bills so your church can continue operating and serving its members. Xero also enables users to track accounts receivables and payables, allowing church administrators a clear view of their churches’ cash flow.
Xero is best for small churches because it has a basic interface ideal for straightforward and recurring pay runs. A small church can use Xero to compute payroll, and it allows churches to pay employees manually or via batch payments depending on the church’s preference. Xero gives you the option of a third-party payroll app as your church grows and your payroll needs become more complex.
Xero pricing starts at $30 per month.
QuickBooks is a church accounting software you can use to automatically run payroll daily so you can concentrate on your ministerial duties for your congregation. You can use QuickBooks to manage employee benefits to ensure employee satisfaction and increase loyalty. It has a time-tracking functionality ensuring that timesheets are correct and preventing payroll disputes.
QuickBooks is best for settling taxes because it automatically calculates, files, and pays payroll taxes for users after setup completion. QuickBooks also provides users with a guarantee that tax calculations are accurate, and QuickBooks promises to cover up to $25,000 of payroll tax penalty if the calculations are incorrect.
QuickBooks pricing starts at $35 per month plus $4 per employee per month.
Best for financial forecasting
Best for payroll systems
Best for custom paychecks
Best for CRA compliant receipts
Best for partner management
Best for tithe & donation collection
Best accounting software for automation
Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT
Best for fraud prevention
Best for recurring online payments
Best for recording receipts for midsize churches
Other Church Financial Software Reviews
After reading this list, you may have decided you need something a bit more compact or robust than the church accounting software listed here. Here are a few similar church software reviews that may help:
- Church Accounting Software
- Church Bookkeeping Software
- Church Payroll Software
- Church Giving Apps
- Donor Management Software Comparison
How I Selected the Best Church Financial Software
If you're wondering how I selected the best church financial software, here's where I'll break it all down for you. First of all, I started with church financial software that have high user review and satisfaction ratings. Then, using my experience in church management, I discerned what key criteria were most important for church financial software and compared how each of them stacked up against the rest.
I empathize with how much time it takes to source the right software for a job. I do this work so that you don't have to. I've been using and reviewing church software for years so you can trust me to do the heavy lifting and compile all the facts you need to make your final decision.
After careful consideration, I've determined that these are the most important criteria when selecting the best church financial software. Here's a brief list outlining the whats and whys of my selection.
Ease of Use
Church leaders and volunteers are not IT people. Any church software, including church financial software, needs to be easy to learn and use. Think of it this way: church members who may be assisting with bookkeeping efforts probably have full-time jobs, family responsibilities, and passion projects they would much rather be working on. I tried to find software that was easy to pick up so that your staff and volunteers don't feel bogged down by the learning curve.
Speaking of ease of use, we all know that inevitably sometime, somewhere, we will need the assistance of customer support while using a new tool. This may be to learn about advanced features, report a bug, or dispute a charge. I look for financial software that has a responsive and friendly customer support team. Ideally, they have church-friendly hours (weekends and evenings) and many points-of-contact, be it live chat, email, or by phone.
Oftentimes, church financial software fits into a bigger picture of the systems and tools you are using in your church on a day-to-day basis. That's why I look for financial software that connects to other platforms you are also using, like task management, calendars, donation collection, comms and messaging systems, membership management, and event planning. Even if just for church budget and reporting purposes, you want all the systems to interconnect to some degree.
Pricing is so dependent on each individual church that it's impossible to say exactly what you'll be looking for here. That's why I tried to include a variety of pricing options, calling out where feature limitations exist in cheaper or no-cost plans. "You get what you pay for" rings true here but plenty of free options for nonprofit organizations have more than enough to get by with the basics! Only you know what you are willing to spend…and what features are a must-have for that price.
There are a few features that the best church finanical software must have, in my oppinion. Here they are:
- Accounts payable/accounts receivable: Basic accounting functions to collect invoice payments (if necessary) and pay invoices
- Payroll: Allows users to automate payroll, ensuring that employees receive accurate salaries to prevent payroll disputes.
- Givings tracking: Track tithes and contributions from your membership or fundraising events
- Bank reconciliation: Accounting tools to help users spot discrepancies and errors between bank balance and book balance.
- Reporting and analytics: Allows users to generate financial statements, budget reports, and other documentation
- Tax calculations: Automatically calculate, file, and pay taxes ensuring compliance with government regulations.
How to Do Church Accounting?
There is no “one way to rule them all” to do church accounting. You’ll want to take into account things like donations, event budgets, facility repairs, payroll, and state-specific compliances. You can use the general guides we have put together to help navigate your planning and prep:
- How To Conduct Church Financial Management + Best Practices
- Complete How-To Guide To Church Records Management
- Complete Guide To Church Management For Lead Pastors
Is QuickBooks Good for Churches?
Depends. Do you want a financial system tailored specifically to church needs, perhaps even with church management functions built in? If yes, then QuickBooks would not be appropriate for your needs.
However, QuickBooks is a great general accounting software option that many CRAs and bookkeepers are already familiar with. QuickBooks can be used for any business, big or small, profit-based or NGO. Therefore, you can definitely make use of it at your church, as well!
You can also tap into QuickBooks resources, like this QuickBooks for churches chart of accounts PDF offered from Fast Trac Consulting. Look for free templates and resources to get QuickBooks set up the way that is most benefical for you.
What Software Do Churches Use?
Alongside church financial software, churches may use software for purposes such as church management, community building, communications, facility management, donation tracking, and so on. Here are a few other tool articles I recommend if you are looking for other software types that churches often use.
- Church Management Software
- Donor Management Software
- Church Website Builders
- Church Presentation Software
- Church Membership Software
- Church Data Management Systems
You can also take a look through our tools section to see other popular choices.
Church Financial Software for Peace of Mind
Finance software can help churches that want to make payroll and expense tracking easier. Using finance software can help church leaders save time because they can automate payroll and accounting needs to concentrate on taking care of the needs of their congregation.
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