Churches and non-profits typically do what is called Fund Accounting. According to generally accepted definitions: Fund accounting is an accounting system emphasizing accountability rather than profitability, used by non-profit organizations and governments. In this system, a fund is a self-balancing set of accounts, segregated for specific purposes in accordance with laws and regulations or special restrictions and limitations.
Many church software programs do not offer accounting. In fact, two of the most well known church software programs, Fellowship One and Servant Keeper, do not offer an accounting module. According to both of their websites, they defer to programs like QuickBooks, which they claim is the most popular and best software for churches to use for accounting.
“Church Accounting Software” vs “Accounting Software for Churches”
If a church looks only for accounting software designed for churches by Church Management Software companies, they will be more limited in their options for accounting software. Because of this we are including in our Top 5 the programs that churches have most often told us that they 1. use for accounting and 2. would recommend to other churches.
“Church Accounting Software” vs “Donor Management Software”
Tracking donors and their donations is different than doing your accounting. So for the purpose of this article we are not including church management software programs that handle contributions and donors, they have to have an accounting feature set that tracks expenses, allows check-writing, and does things like taxes and payroll.
So here is our list of the Top 5 Accounting programs churches and non-profits may want to consider using.
More churches are using some version of QuickBooks than any other church accounting software available.
From the site: Business runs better with QuickBooks, the #1 accounting solution for small business. Everything you need to run your business is right here. Now you can quickly do your invoicing, bookkeeping, and billing because QuickBooks gives you the things you need most, all in one place. Easily track sales and expenses, accept payments, scan receipts, and be ready for tax time.
Many churches are using Logos for accounting with favorable results. They like that it is easy to do Fund Accounting with Logos.
From the site: LOGOS Fund Accounting is specifically designed for the unique needs of churches, schools, and other non-profit organizations giving you the power and flexibility of a high-end fund accounting system with the ease of a check-writing program. LOGOS Fund Accounting automates your handling of all fund activity: income, expenses, and transfers in a fully auditable system.
3. Sage 50 (formally known as Peachtree)
Another popular accounting software for churches, Peachtree is small business accounting software that can get the job done.
From the site: Get organized and become more productive with Sage 50 Complete Accounting 2014. Robust core accounting and customizable business management features save you time and money.
- Manage cash flow, customer payments, and collections
- Gain insight with custom reporting for budgeting, cash flow management, and benchmarking
- Get a high-level view of your key metrics
- Track inventory, plan purchases, or expand service offerings
- Reduce errors and deter fraud with screen-level security and a clear audit trail
4. Raisers Edge by Blackbaud
From the site: The Raiser’s Edge is a complete fundraising system that helps you communicate with your constituents and make better decisions through segmentation, analysis, and powerful reporting capabilities. The Raiser’s Edge offers Web access, powerful customization options, an entire suite of e-philanthropy tools, and optional modules to meet specialized needs. To extend your fundraising online and to manage your website, choose Blackbaud NetCommunity.
From the site: Simple fund accounting software for churches and nonprofits. Save yourself time and a headache with a user-friendly fund accounting software that you can access securely anywhere, anytime. No accounting experience necessary! Quickly input your transactions and generate professional reports. And don’t worry about set-up. There are no installations, easily import your historic data, and support is always free! All for as little as $11.99/month!