church-accounting-software

The Best Accounting Software for Your Church in 2023

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Nina

Not all accounting software accommodates churches specifically. However, the best ones have a church-oriented version to help these entities keep track of their particular finances. 

If you are not sure which church accounting software you should use, you are not alone. That is why we created this guide to introduce you to some programs on the market as well as provide you with some additional resources.

Here is what we will cover today:

Let’s go!

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church-accounting-software-what-is

What Is Church Accounting Software?

Accounting software is a program that is specifically coded to help businesses keep track of their finances. When it comes time to file taxes, accounting software more than pays for itself. Plus, it is not as confusing as physical ledgers or Excel files. 

Church accounting software is specific to churches and other nonprofits that want to keep track of their donations. It has the same basic features of for-profit accounting software, which makes it easy to use and understand for nearly anyone with a modest accounting background.

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How Much Does Church Accounting Software Cost?

Church accounting software can range in cost from free all the way up to a few thousand dollars. It all depends on what you are looking for. 

church-accounting-software-costSalma is looking to see how much church accounting software will run her.

For small churches with basic accounting guidelines, you can find a free plan that is restricted to just essential features. You can also try a low-cost plan that is usually between $20 and $100 per month. If you have a large congregation and need a robust program that can handle church fund accounting, we recommend spending a few hundred dollars per month. Lastly, there are a few software companies that offer a la carte services, which is useful for paying as you go. 

Pro Tip: Keep track of the cost of your accounting software. In some cases, your accountant may be able to treat it as a deduction. 

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How To Choose a Church Accounting Software

There are three main aspects you want to consider as you are looking for a church accounting software: the employees using it, the available features, and the church’s potential for growth

User 

The number of staff members who have access to your church’s accounting software matters. It is certainly not feasible (or advisable) to give everyone access to it, but maintaining accounts for more than one person can help your church function with greater efficiency. 

You should have at least two accounts — one for the accountant and one for another staff member. The staff member can enter the information, and the accountant can use that information to compile tax records and financial reports. 

Your accountant should have enough experience with accounting software to know how to use even the more complex features. However, the other staff member may not have much experience. Keep that in mind as you look into a software’s available features.

Features

Every church accounting software should be able to manage:

  • Accounts payable

  • Accounts receivable

  • Donor information

  • Fundraising

  • Fund accounting 

  • Payroll

From there, you can decide if you need other capabilities. For example, maybe you want the software to automatically generate and send giving statements to donors. Or, maybe you want it to keep track of congregation members as well as donors.

Future

One important question you want to ask yourself before you purchase accounting software is: how can it support us in the future? You want your software to grow with you instead of inhibiting your progress. For example, if you expect to increase your reach in the next year, then you should not choose a basic plan that only tracks a certain number of donors. 

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The 7 Best Church Accounting Softwares

While there are numerous accounting softwares out there for churches, here are our top seven picks. 

#1: Springly

Springly is a cloud-based software for nonprofits — churches included. It has an entire accounting suite attached to it that can save you up to 30 hours per month. With this suite, you have the option to use it alone or integrate it with QuickBooks. Either way, it keeps track of all of your data to help you compile church charts of accounts and other financial documents. 

Springly allows you to choose the level of accounting help you need without requiring any prior financial knowledge. In addition, you have the option to activate more features as your church grows. And with data updated in real-time, it is a hard deal to pass up. 

Pros

Cons

  • Has step-by-step support

  • Does not require accounting skills

  • Provides real-time information 

  • Includes an interactive dashboard 

  • Can only access some advanced features in the paid plan

 

Pricing

You can try Springly’s advanced features for free for up to 14 days. After that, you can continue with the free Liberty Plan or choose the Serenity Plan, which varies in price based on how many contacts you need to track. 

  • Liberty Plan: $0 per month

  • Serenity Plan: 

    • $25 per month for up to 100 contacts

    • $50 per month for up to 250 contacts

    • $80 per month for up to 500 contacts

    • $110 per month for up to 1,000 contacts

    • $150 per month for up to 2,500 contacts

#2: QuickBooks

If you know anything about accounting, you have heard of QuickBooks. This reputable accounting software guides thousands of businesses every year. 

church-accounting-software-best-softwaresSadie is a big fan of Springly! Although she may be a little biased...

In response to a demand for church-specific accounting software, the creator behind QuickBooks, Intuit, began offering QuickBooks for Church Plus. This accounting program can create invoices, track income and expenses, maximize deductions, run reports, manage contractors, and handle other nonprofit- and church-specific tasks. 

Pros

Cons

  • Acts as a one-stop accounting shop

  • Has a large pool of for-profit and nonprofit clients worldwide

  • Has QuickBooks ProAdvisors standing by for help 

  • Costs more than the other accounting softwares on our list

  • Has a learning curve for some features

 

Pricing

QuickBooks offers different plans based on the number of users you need. Each plan includes unlimited product updates, customer support, and security patches.

  • $549.99 per year for 1 user

  • $849.99 per year for 2 users

  • $1,149.99 per year for 3 users

  • $1,449.99 per year for 4 users

  • $1,749.99 per year for 5 users 

#3: Aplos

Aplos’ accounting software balances price with features. Aplos integrates payroll with accounting, so you do not have to invest in two separate programs. In addition to basic features, such as online donations, fund accounting, and recurring donations, Aplos offers customizable solutions.

If your church currently employs an accountant, Aplos should be a handy software to have. However, if you plan on outsourcing your accounting duties, not all private accountants are going to be familiar with this church-specific program. 

Pros

Cons

  • Provides affordable accounting reports

  • Includes a payroll function

  • Offers an assisted bookkeeping feature 

  • Charges a fee for integrating with Gusto for payroll

  • Has a niche target audience, so not many general accountants are familiar with it

 

Pricing

Each of Aplos plans vary in price based on the available features and number of allowed users.

  • Aplos Lite: $59 per month

  • Aplos Core: $79 per month 

  • Aplos Core + Advanced Accounting: $179 per month 

#4: Wave

Wave is an affordable bookkeeping solution that only charges you when you use specific features. These a la carte features can help your church keep its costs down while still taking advantage of the free services that Wave offers. 

Wave offers plenty of add-ons, but the basics should cover you for the most part. One feature that may be worth the additional cost is Wave Advisors. Wave Advisors can assist you with your church’s bookkeeping, which can come in handy if you are training a staff member to do your in-house accounting. 

Pros

Cons

  • Does not have ads

  • Offers free accounting, invoicing, and receipt scanning 

  • Works well for small and new churches

  • Does not have a budgeting feature

  • Charges a fee to use Wave Advisors

  • Cannot handle online donations

 

Pricing

As we previously mentioned, every Wave user starts out on the free plan. As they use certain features, they pay.

church-accounting-software-best-softwaresTristan is loving all these options!

#5: PowerChurch Plus

Some accounting programs have a lot of fluff to them, but not PowerChurch Plus. This straightforward software is your all-in-one solution. It manages your accounting, payroll, and donor and member database. 

You can choose between a desktop and cloud-based version. While an unlimited number of users can use these two versions, only two users can be accessing the same information at the same time.

Pros

Cons

  • Can choose between a desktop and cloud-based version

  • Manages restricted and unrestricted funds as well as pledges, tithes, and other contributions

  • Offers integrated payroll

  • Can give an unlimited number of users access to it

  • Does not have an assisted bookkeeping function

  • Supports only two concurrent users

  • Produces only cash-basis reports 

 

Pricing

The cost of PowerChurch Plus varies based on whether you are using the online, downloadable, or CD version of the program.

  • New users: $295 for download or $315 for CD

  • Existing users: $159 for download or $179 for CD

  • Online: $39.95 per month or $455 per year

#6: IconCMO

IconCMO grows with your church, albeit at a price. There comes a point when a large church might experience diminishing returns. For instance, other accounting software programs on our list integrate their add-on features into their monthly fees, whereas IconCMO charges you extra for them. 

However, if you are a small church, IconCMO can help you get the ball rolling. It manages online donations, charts of accounts, and recurring donations at the monthly price and event registration, payroll, and more for an additional fee.

Pros

Cons

  • Can manage payroll for an unlimited number of employees

  • Works for small- and medium-size churches

  • Allows an unlimited number of users

  • Costs extra to use many of the features

  • Can quickly get expensive for large churches 

  • Requires an internet connection for some functions

 

Pricing

Below, we list the prices for the base plans as well as the prices for some of the most popular add-on features. 

  • $35 per month or $385 per year for 1-100 families

  • $59 per month or $649 per year for 101-250 families 

  • $72 per month or $792 per year for 251-500 families

  • $89 per month or $979 per year for 501-750 families 

  • $101 per month or $1,111 per year for 751-1,000 families

  • $113 per month or $1,243 per year for 1,000-3,000 families 

  • Add-ons: 

    • Icon Check-In: $15 per month or $180 per year

    • Icon Payroll: $25 per month or $275 per year

    • Event registration: $15 per month or $180 per year

    • Text messaging: $5-$500 per month or $60-$6,000 per year

#7: Church360 Ledger

No matter what size your church is, Church360 Ledger has the accounting software you need. In addition to the base software, you can also purchase additional products as your church grows. You can even get discounts as you purchase more products. 

Access to Church360 Ledger requires an internet connection, but you can export reports if you need to look at them without Wi-Fi. Church360 Ledger also allows for unlimited users. In fact, you can even limit what parts of the software each user can see. The company offers training and support for these users when you are first getting them up and running. 

Pros

Cons

  • Offers a 37-day free trial period

  • Works for churches of any size

  • Can assign roles and permissions to each user

  • Has a confusing interface layout

 

Pricing

As you add on each product, your monthly or annual rate decreases.

  • Church360 Ledger: $40 per month or $400 per year

  • Church360 Ledger and Church360 Members: $30 per month or $300 per year

  • Church360 Ledger, Church360 Members, and Church360 Unite: $20 per month or $200 per year

church-accounting-software-best-softwaresMatt is doing some research on these church accounting softwares!

Other Honorable Mentions

The following church accounting programs made our honorable mentions list: 

  • ShelbyNext Financials

  • Xero

  • MIP Funding Account

  • Sage Intacct

  • ACS Technologies

  • AccountEdge Pro

  • ZipBooks

  • Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT

  • ChurchTrac

  • FlockBase

  • FreshBooks

While some of these programs may offer similar features at similar prices, we have found our list of seven to be useful to churches of all sizes, needs, budgets, and locations.

Pro Tip: As you are comparing church accounting software, be sure to look forward. Find accounting software that can grow with you. It is much easier to pay for a little more than you need now than it is to switch between programs down the line. 

church-accounting-software-final-thoughts

Final Thoughts

Finding the right accounting software for your church can be a struggle, but not once you have your hands on our list. With any of these seven accounting software programs, your church is bound to flourish. How will you use your new church accounting software to achieve your mission?

Enjoyed the article? Download it to keep or share with others!

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FAQ

💡What is the best accounting software for a church?

Our top pick for church accounting software is Springly. However, QuickBooks, Aplos, Wave, PowerChurch Plus, IconCMO, and Church360 Ledger also make our list. Find out more. 

🔑 What features should my church accounting software have?

Church accounting software should be able to handle accounts payable, accounts receivable, fundraising, and other elements that churches are required to report on to demonstrate transparency. Find out more. 

📝 Can I use QuickBooks for my church accounting?

Yes, you can use QuickBooks for your church accounting. QuickBooks for Church Plus is specifically designed to help churches manage their funds. Find out more.

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Nina
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