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Noel D.Tallon, CPA, PC

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Church Credentials > Banking > Budget > Elders > Expenses > Hardware > Software > Use Your Members >  
Accounting Software
We use QuickBooks.  Use whatever you want.  Something like QB is cheap.  

Very Important:   You do not need specialized QuickBooks or other software.   The standard version is very sufficient.

Some donation software will do your accounting as well.  I haven't looked at them but would personally stay with QB.

Donation Software
IRS requires the Church to provide documentation of any donations of $250 or more.  In this high tech world, you need to track them all except cash.  We use Power Church Plus.  Cost about $300.  ~$130 per year to update..  

Email the statements to every one you can to save postage. 

On Line Giving - Don't be fooled
Disregarding the potential theological issues, online giving is something that most congregations offer.  Don't be fooled by services that use Church click words such as "tithe".  Some of these services are acceptable but so is something like PayPal which is much less expensive and actually easier to use.  This is not rocket science.  Go to the software (PayPal or whatever) create a button.  Put a link to it on your website.  If you use PayPal be sure to apply for not for profit recognition which will reduce the fees.

And don't be fooled into thinking that online giving is going to greatly increase your contribution income.  Unbiased surveys have shown that offering online giving might result in as much as a 3% increase in income.  Reducing them by the fees makes that increase even less.  Software services will sometimes promise 30-40% increases.  That does not even make sense.  Do you think that 1/3 to 1/2 of your congregation is not giving at all or reducing their giving because they can't do it online.

Microsoft Office
Most people are hung up on this.  I would suggest two alternatives, that being OpenOffice or Symphony.  They are both free and will do about anything Office will do.  

Email
If it is not part of your internet service or your service does not provide enough, there are plenty of free ones out there.  Gmail, Yahoo, etc.  

Worship Presentation
I don't know a lot about this but check this one out. http://openlp.org/   It is designed for Churches and is FREE.