Even as a religious institution, a living church ministries manages its own finances-a fact that people usually find a bit awkward. It is because of the widely held belief that religion and money must never go together. But it is hard to imagine how any organization-religious or secular-survives its daily operation without money. Ask any priest or pastor: he would tell you that money is important in practically every activity, project, or event initiated by a church. Managing the funds of a church is quite complicated because money is used in many aspects such as monthly salaries of employees, water and electricity bills, and daily collections. Sometimes, huge donations from generous parish members need to be handled efficiently as well.
Handling the finances of a church should be no different from that of a business. Churches can take advantage of modern technology to aid their daily operations just as businesses can. Aware of the money management needs of religious organizations, software providers have come up with various church accounting software programs.
Improving the accounting system of any church is the main goal of using a church accounting software. Because this software is automated, it makes handling the income and expenses of a church much more convenient. A good accounting software allows users to easily record cash inflows like daily collections, pledges, accounts receivables, donations, and profits gained from church-related events or projects. Aside from income, the software can also easily track down release of church funds for expenses such as electricity and water bills, building and equipment maintenance, salaries of employees, insurance, and charitable programs.
A church accounting software can also address transparency issues that rise from running the finances of a church. Parishes typically have no external auditing in place to check how their funds are being managed. Most accounting software programs are easy to use and accessible to multiple users. These software programs also allow recording of any change in the entries. Such features make audit trail possible, allowing church officers to regularly audit the accounting system of their church. That way, the accounting officer or treasurer of a church would not be tempted to mismanage the funds or be accused of such practice.
In addition, using an accounting software makes the administration of a church more efficient. This means financial data can be recorded, stored, and retrieved without any hassle. With the help of an accounting software, different reports can be created and church budget can be prepared in just a matter of hours. Parishioners also stand to benefit from an accounting software during tax payments since money used for church activities are tax-exempt. Church members can request for reports that show the tithes or donations that they gave to the church. Such reports can be accessed and printed easily.
A number of software programs can aid in the non-financial aspects of church management. For example, an accounting software program can be used to monitor church attendance and church activities such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals.