Church Bookkeeping Accounting Tasks for Churches

bookkeeping for churches

She currently serves as a business consultant, operations manager, and content strategist at Doubting Thomas Research Foundations’ Afghan Liberty Project, a small non-profit organization. Churches that want to save money and error-proof their accounting via easy-to-use intelligent automations should consider Zoho Books. Using Aplos’ CRM tools, you can create a member and donor database with profiles. Profiles house details including household relationships, group or ministry involvement, volunteer preferences, key dates and notes. You can also create people lists for member segments, such as those who’ve recently started tithing or joined a class.

For example, many churches record their bookkeeping on a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Whilst this is acceptable, you should also consider how a new treasurer, with little or no accounting experience, might accounting for churches cope if they had to take over your bookkeeping. This statement allows your church to see your revenue sources and how you leverage the resources at your disposal toward activities that advance the church’s mission.

Accounting For Churches — Avoid These Mistakes

Assign every dollar to a membership, committee, program, or worship fund, so you always know where your organization stands. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.

  • Church Management Software (CHMS) is a specialized online platform designed to help congregations manage their day-to-day operations.
  • Create unique user IDs for each volunteer and assign access levels for each.
  • Checks should be written by one staff member while the reconciliation process is completed by another.
  • With a 4.5 out of 5 star rating on Capterra, Realm deserves an honorable mention on our list of best church accounting software solutions.
  • Church accounting and accounting at a for-profit company differ greatly from one another.
  • This can save time and frustration for staff and volunteers, especially those who are not familiar with bookkeeping or accounting principles.

In his lessons on Aplos Academy, he draws on his degree in Business Administration and experience serving at his own church. As a result, a church bookkeeper will use a different method of recording the organization’s financial information than a corporate accountant uses. QuickBooks allows you to pay employees and contractors by direct deposit or check. Just enter hours worked and QuickBooks automatically calculates taxes and deductions. Whether you’re presenting in a monthly meeting to congregants or delivering financial presentations to the board or committee, it’s easy to create the right report for each audience. Religious organizations are generally, but not always, exempt from income tax.

Clergy Financial Resources

When choosing accounting software, churches should first determine if the chosen software’s plans fit within their budget. The most affordable plan may not include all the features your church needs. Also, look to see if the chosen software offers a discount for churches and nonprofits. With it, you can receive payments, automate payment reminders, send recurring invoices, track expenses and mileage, import bank and credit card payments, pull reports, customize invoices and manage contractors. Zoho’s paid plans range from $15 to $240 per month (if billed annually) and add features such as workflow automation, project-expense tracking, tax figuring, in-depth analytics and customizable reports.

A bookkeeper can help you avoid confusion (and fines!) by reviewing your organization’s salary and contract data so that you can stick to the IRS guidelines at all times. If you confuse the two and tell the IRS that someone is a contractor when in fact they are on your payroll, your church will become liable for a penalty or fine by the tax authorities. Labor laws apply to people who work for a church the same way they do for any professional organization. Church bookkeeping involves recording, organizing, and planning the financial matters of a church. At ChMeetings, we understand as well as anyone the importance of church bookkeeping.

How is a church’s nonprofit accounting system different from a for-profit business?

We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent. The training & support I get through Benkorp has given me the capability to use Xero to deliver our finance processes. Tangled-up bookkeeping hinders your ability to make mission-driven decisions.

bookkeeping for churches

If you’re interested in our payroll software, you can start a free 30-day trial when you sign up for Wave. Lexie was born into a family of pastors and other church leaders. She was trained by her grandfather and worked as an assistant youth pastor in a megachurch in her twenties. Now she runs a peer support group and is the Technical Consultant for her current church, MCC Illiana. While she is no longer pastoring, she is staying active in other parts of the ministry.


This happens when donors are giving a lot of their resources to a designated fund like a building remodel, thus ignoring the undesignated General fund that keeps the lights on. Churches should be careful about how many designated funds are allowed at a time. A long-standing accounting principle is to report the ‘cost’ of a fixed asset such as a building.

  • Breeze is not a full accounting software, but it does produce most of the reports your church leadership will want.
  • Financial documents and reports are used to tell the story of your church’s accounting activities and check in on the financial situation of the organization.
  • We will go beyond the numbers to provide accounting efficiencies and financial control to give you and your congregation clarity and peace of mind.
  • Contributions must be recorded and tracked so that it is ensured they are being used for their intended purpose.
  • The bookkeeper would have to reconcile all these checkbooks each month.
  • I’ll show you the strengths of each option and highlight the key features you may find helpful.
  • When you come back home you wouldn’t put the $10.00 in the gas or dining out envelope.
  • You can also track donations on giving dashboards, enter and manage donor pledges and manage restricted funds.

Information on this site is provided for informational purposes. This site is meant to be used as a reference work only,
which may or may not help you make informed decisions concerning your church or ministry. It is not to be used in replacement of or as a substitute for a lawyer or CPA. As always,
you should seek the counsel of a competent lawyer or CPA.

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