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Free Accounting Software For Church

Free Software For Church Finances. If you are operating on a shoestring budget it would seem reasonable to assume that most everything you need to know about the basics of free software for church finances is available right at your local library. But even if it is, finding out which particular set of data will be the best choice for tracking church finances (even if that is the main issue) may be an entirely different question.

Managing a church, its event, and people is a very complicated job. One wrong or omitted record can lead to completely wrong estimation or report generation. A church accounting software is a must for every church. Accounting software for churches needs to have the capacity to handle the data involved according to the size of the church. There are, of course, a variety of small church accounting software. The choice of the best church accounting software for you depends on a variety of factors. Let us help you make that choice.

What church accounting software does

In its most basic form, church accounting software manages payroll, tracks budget, and records donations.

If you have stacks of fading receipts wrapped in rubber bands if you find yourself “guesstimating” your budget for the rest of the year, and if you keep track of donations on sticky notes, you most certainly need church accounting software.

And if you think the French Riviera is a foreign car, you might be a redneck!free church accounting software

That was a lot of fun, but let’s back to the business at hand.

While there are lots of general free accounting software options available, and even some specifically catered toward non-profit organizations, we all know that churches have unique accounting needs that must be addressed in any church financial software.

For instance, the best church accounting software incorporates membership data to make donation accounting easier at tax time, and uses specific church terminology.

As Jeff Campbell, General Manager at PowerChurch Software, pointed out: “Churches struggle to keep track of donor restriction and track those balances … for example, a college will have a huge donor restriction fund, while a church will have lots of little ones.”

But we’re not just looking for accounting software tailored to the needs of churches. No, that would be too easy. We also need it to be free, because Millennials.

Here is our list of the best FREE and/or open source church accounting software.This article looks at three highly rated free church accounting software options. See the full list of free church accounting solutions here.

GnuCash

free church accounting software

GnuCash is a free, open-source double-entry bookkeeping system created with the goal of providing capabilities similar to Quicken.

GnuCash has been around since 1998, so it has almost two decades of development and refinement on its side.

While GnuCash isn’t specifically designed for churches, it does have features tailored for small businesses.

Even more helpful, Jacob Oommen of Finance and Accounting for Churches created a comprehensive, 14-part guide on using GnuCash for church accounting.

Oommen stumbled upon GnuCash when he was tasked with taking charge of the accounting at St. Stephens Mar Thoma Syrian Church in Bangalore.

“On taking over my duties, I discovered that the accounts in our church were maintained using the old method of Physical Ledgers,” he wrote. “We decided at the outset to migrate to a software system to maintain the accounts.”

“I decided to do a prototype bookkeeping implementation using (GnuCash), to evaluate how it could be used for our purposes,” he added. “If it worked, it could potentially save, our church, and possibly other churches, a lot of money.”

Oommen documented the process on his blog, which provides detailed instructions on everything from the basics through advanced features like year-end reports.

Although Oommen originally implemented GnuCash at his church in 2013, he updated the guide in February of 2017 to reflect several new features including auctions and split transactions.

If you have enough free time and computer expertise, you can follow Oommen’s plan to download GnuCash and customize it for your church, all for the bargain price of $0 (minus your own labor).

ChurchTrac 9

free church accounting software

ChurchTrac Online is one of the most affordable and user-friendly church management solutions according to Capterra.

Starting at less than $10 per month, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more affordable church management package.

But it’s not free, and that’s where ChurchTrac 9 comes in.

Retired in 2012 due to compatibility issues after 10 years of service, the desktop based ChurchTrac 9 is still available for free download for churches with less than 100 names, though you may need an older operating system to successfully run the program.

ChurchTrac says that it will still provide basic tech support on ChurchTrac 9 through the end of this year, and ChurchTrac 9 users can easily be migrated to the fully supported ChurchTrac Online product.

While ChurchTrac 9 provides basic accounting features, it lacks some advanced features like online giving, volunteer management, name archiving, family check-in, congregation access, and fund-based accounting.

But if your church’s computer is still running on a Pentium 4 chip and you have a small congregation, ChurchTrac 9 could be all you need.

ACTS

free church accounting software

ACTS is a free, open source church management system that has been in development in China for more than 10 years. In 2015, the OpenOffice-based program was translated into English.

Because ACTS is native to China, some of the instructions may be a little difficult to understand for English speakers. But the development team does offer support in the form of a comprehensive manual, a Facebook developer community, and even email support.

The developers report that the program has been downloaded more than 13,000 times as of February of 2017.

ACTS has an impressive list of features—including membership data management, facility management, donation management, and accounting functionality like vouchers, profit and loss and balance sheets, and unlimited account codes—and is completely free.

It is available for download via SourceForge.

1. FlockBase

Flockbase is a popular small church accounting software solution (also good for medium-sized churches) that offers a user-friendly and affordable option for church accounting. The Flockbase Accounting offering provides effective and simple management of churches’ income and expenses, alongside bank reconciliations, payroll processing and check writing all with the running of a church in mind. A range of accounting reports provide all the information needed to make good decisions about the churches finances. Flockbase prides itself on ease of use, with users needing no specific training to get to grips with its platform.

This is a popular church accounting software choice because the elements consider how to work best with how a church needs to work internally and also with the wider community.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • All accounting tools needed
  • Simple to set up
  • Good user manual

Cons

  • Dated interface
  • Issues with support process
  • Reporting elements not easily split

Download FlockBase>>


2. ParishSOFT/Logos

ParishSOFT is a church accounting and management software that is designed to be used by dioceses and parishes. The church is incurred on the basis of modules, with a great offer enabling you to get free access to updates and support for the first year. It helps member manage their schedules, memberships, religious education, etc. It can also enable the church staff to connect with the dioceses. This software is being used in the dioceses of Baltimore and Petersburg.

Pros:

  • Great synchronization features of parishes to dioceses
  • Software understands the needs of Catholic church management
  • Impressive tracking capabilities
  • Good support staff

Cons:

  • Can’t create forms or fill scanned forms
  • No impressive encryption technologies
  • Not platform independent
  • Very limited feature set

Download ParishSOFT/Logos>>


3. Aplos Software

Aplos software is one of the best picks in church accounting software since it is comparatively an inexpensive option. Although, it’s true that it has been designed for the use of relatively small churches. It is a perfect solution for those churches that depend on a non-accountant for the task of data entry. It is entirely web-based, which means you don’t need to download or install any plugin.

Pros:

  • Very reasonably priced at $25/month
  • Offers a 15 day free trial for your ease
  • Offers free service for 6 months if church is new
  • Provides services of online giving

Cons:

  • Can’t edit scanned or image-based church documents
  • Is not very feature rich
  • No password protection or encryption facilities
  • Can’t handle large amount of data

Download Aplos Software>>

Conclusion

Choosing the best free software for church finances may be one of the more difficult tasks you face. We’ve looked for free church accounting software that’s affordable, easy to use, and fully featured. The Best Free Software for Church Finances listed here is our top picks.

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