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10 Best Accounting Software for Churches and Nonprofits

10 Best Accounting Software for Churches and Nonprofits

Accounting software help organizations with menial tasks, like auditing and bookkeeping. The Buzzle write-up below provides you with a list of 10 best accounting software for churches and nonprofits.
Buzzle Staff
"What I do is a very strong and thorough review. And that's why I try to be really clear. I never say an accounting audit. I help straighten out church books and accounting software to prevent fraud or errors from happening."
― Mary Lou Turnbull, CEO, Steeple Accounting Services
Churches and nonprofits have a multitude of tasks to handle. They are based firmly on the principle of helping the society and catering to their needs at large. The church helps in raising funds for education, sickness, construction, sports, etc. Similarly, nonprofits work in a variety of fields, like sports, health, social service, education, religion, etc. These organizations mainly function by means of the money raised through fundraising events, charity auctions, grants, donations, contributions, etc. Simple though it may all sound, there is a lot of behind-the-scene management in order to oversee all these tasks and ensure that everything runs smoothly. This involves using specific software to simplify the various bookkeeping tasks. On that note, let's look at some of the best accounting software for churches and nonprofit organizations.
Need for Accounting Software
  • As already mentioned, nonprofit organizations and churches face a lot of challenges with regards to financial management.
  • They have a multitude of tasks to manage, many of which require extensive auditing and rechecking.
  • In churches, there are important records to be maintained like, bookkeeping, data entry, fundraising details, donations, contributions, etc
  • Similarly, in nonprofit organizations, there are tasks like creating reports, tracking contacts, budgeting, investment income management, etc.
  • In the good old days of lesser population, bookkeeping tasks would be done manually. Nowadays, to simplify these procedures, it is essential to use a small church accounting software.
  • In fact, there are so many such organizations, that companies specifically create special software for them.
  • These applications minimize a lot of manual errors and simplify the financial management process.
Best Accounting Software
QuickBooks
  • It is one of the best church bookkeeping software.
  • It is invented by Intuit Corp. and has plenty of accounting features.
  • It has an amazing support, i.e., a helpline with certified finance agents, who can immediately assist customers.
  • It Is easy to use and quite affordable too.
  • It has specialized options, which may not require one to change the accounting programs once you change the software.
ChurchSoft
  • It is available on all versions of the Windows operating system. In fact, it is available in the Spanish language as well.
  • It offers great reporting and payroll facilities.
  • It may be slightly difficult for a newbie to learn the facilities quickly though, which is why you will have to pay for support or hire a bookkeeper.
  • It costs around USD 400, excluding special additional software.
  • The only annoying drawback (if you could call it one), would be that you have to email your organization's name in order to view a demo of the program.
ChurchPro
  • It is a software applicable only for churches, i.e., you can use it for other organizations too, but essentially, it is a complete church management program.
  • It has a user-friendly interface and excellent options for maintaining receivables and payables.
  • Its latest version is said to have more than 750 printable finance reports.
  • A single license costs around USD 400 annually (with free updates), excluding additional facilities and support costs.
  • It also offers an online, annual data bank for periodic backup. This is very useful. However, customers prefer doing it themselves in order to avoid paying the registration fees.
  • Since the interface is easy to use, one could do it himself, but owing to the good features offered by the annual data bank program, investing in it is worthwhile.
Aplos
  • It is a free accounting software for nonprofits.
  • Particularly designed for churches and small organizations, its low cost is one of its attractive features.
  • It has excellent features for creating reports, auditing, tracking down people, budgeting, etc.
  • It costs USD 12, for one month, one user.
  • Favorable reviews suggest that it is easy to use, even for amateurs, and it offers good customer service along with the affordable price and features.
Shelby Inc.
  • Its latest version, Shelby 5.0 is module-managed.
  • This means that you will need to purchase separate modules for each purpose.
  • Unfortunately, this can prove to be a disadvantage, since the modules are not reasonably priced. Each one begins at USD 900, to say the least.
  • Moreover, it is not very easy-to-use, i.e., it will require an experienced bookkeeper to handle the accounts.
  • If it has so many supposed minus points, why is it still considered as one of the best software? The reason is its myriad features.
  • Despite being expensive, it offers some of the best features, like importing from Excel, auditing, member and donor management, etc. If the organization can afford to buy it, nothing like it.
PowerChurch Plus
  • It comes with an easy-to-use as well as complex interface, i.e., it can be used by an inexperienced professional, and in certain cases, where accounting gets complex, a professional would be needed.
  • Also, it has two packages, one of them cheaper than the other (the other one is for USD 400).
  • The cheaper one can be available as a SaaS (Software as a Service) format.
  • In this format, the user can develop a simple interface, create account balances, audit sheets, balance sheets, etc.
  • You will not need any help in order to use this tool, unless your finances are really complicated.
  • Updates are priced at USD 150 on an annual basis.
The Financial Edge
  • It was launched by Blackbaud and is great for nonprofit organizations.
  • Its key features include brilliant fund and grant management.
  • It has a user-friendly and innovative interface as well.
  • It has remarkable reporting, budgeting, and cost managing features too.
Abila MIP Fund Accounting
  • It is known for its grant management features.
  • It also contains features that help the organization maintain proper accounts with regards to online fundraising, donor management, and other accounting operations.
  • It helps create accurate reports and effectively manage the firm's budgets.
  • What is unique about this software is that it does not have a fixed price. It will analyze your needs, provide proper features, and charge you accordingly.
  • It is used by many nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
Logos
  • It has extensive reporting and core accounting options.
  • Its other unique features include account receivables, asset management, module management regarding form and checks, etc.
  • It also includes the basic to advanced options, like ledgers, payroll, deposit processing, etc.
  • Like Abila, it does not list down prices. Customers are required to contact the company.
  • It is easy to learn and use, and provides the option of paying online.
ACS
  • It was launched by ACS Technologies.
  • It has extensive features for budget-tracking, fund-spending, etc.
  • It has a very good support center and internal system.
  • The only drawback is that it is expensive, it charges heavy fees, along with maintenance costs on a monthly basis.
  • Despite that, however, it is purchased by large churches and organizations for the variety of tools it offers.

The above list is not in terms of ranking, i.e., it is a list of some of the best software. Which among these is better for you is completely for you/church authorities/nonprofit managers to decide. All the above software have useful features that serve the basic (as well as advanced) needs. Some may prefer QuickBooks, while some may opt for ChurchPro, according to their needs. The fact is that all these accounting software are manufactured by some of the best companies and are greatly useful for financial and accounting processes.