Access ACS FAQs
Access ACS is a useful tool for equipping staff, leaders, members, or visitors to become more involved in your church.
- Does Access ACS work on a Mac?
Yes, your members and leaders can use Access ACS from a Mac. However, since some administrative features do not work on a Mac the Access ACS administrator should use a PC.
- Does Access ACS use a Microsoft Access database?
No, Access ACS uses a SQL database.
- Does Access ACS work with Web browsers on handheld devices like a PDA or SmartPhone?
Yes, it will work with a wireless hand held device for those users who have permission to search for records.
- How do I sign up for Access ACS?
You can sign up for Access ACS through the Help Center. Simply follow the on-screen instructions.
- How long does it take to do an upload to Access ACS? How often should I do it? Can I upload over a modem line?
Generally, upload time takes only minutes. A typical DSL line, takes 3-4 minutes to upload 1000 records with all the data in the records. We recommend you upload at least once per day if you are making changes in your ACS database at the church office. Uploads are possible using a modem line, but this process is slower and is not recommended for large churches.
- I have thousands of church members. Do I have to set up each user myself?
No. There is a link on your website that lets your members sign up for an account without your help. The system is set up so that any member signing up is automatically assigned a Member Login user profile.
- How do I put a link on my church website to Access ACS?
The system generates a link for your Web site on the Web Links screen under Admin -- Options. Just copy and paste the link to your Web site.
- If I upload records to the Access ACS server and then change my mind, can I remove the records?
Yes. Perform a search in ACS to find the records you want to upload. Then, upload again using the search results. All old records are removed and replaced by the new upload.
- Can I only upload select records from ACS , or do I have to upload all of them?
You can choose the records you wish to upload by performing a search in ACS. Before you upload, select the check box indicating you want to use the latest search results when you upload.
- Can I only upload some of my calendars from The Ministry Scheduler, or do I have to load all of them?
You can select the calendars you want to load when you perform an upload.
- If I upload contributions, can other people view them? For example, can the Access ACS administrator view them?
Members can only view their own contributions. You determine who can view the data by assigning permissions inside the user profiles.
- If I know another member's name and e-mail address, can I sign in as that member and see their record?
No, when you first sign up, you enter the name and e-mail address. However, an e-mail with the password is sent to the e-mail address of the member who signed up. So, even if you enter another member's name and address, that other member receives the e-mail with his password! For more information about Access ACS security features, see our security document.
Rights and Permissions
- I don't want any changes made to my ACS data without my approval! How does Access ACS give me total control?
When you upload your data to the Access ACS server, you are essentially copying your data to another database. This database is the one members and leaders work with, not your ACS database. When you are ready to approve changes that your members and leaders have made, you simply click a button to accept those changes into your ACS database.
- What if I have one leader whom I want to give more permissions than the others. Can I do this?
Yes, you can create as many user profiles as you need, and each profile is fully customizable to fit your organization’s needs.
- Do you have to be an ACS administrator to be an Access ACS administrator?
No, you can assign administrators in Access ACS separately from the ACS administrator.
Event Registration and Online Giving
- Does my church have to have Access ACS to use Event Registration or Online Giving?
Yes, currently you must purchase Access ACS to use Event Registration. Online event registration with no money transactions involved is free with basic Access ACS. You must also have Access ACS for Online Giving, but the ability to accept money transactions in any form incurs an additional fee.
- How do I sign up for Online Giving if I already have Access ACS?
You will need to setup a compatible merchant account for our Online Giving Products. We work with Vanco Payment Solutions for ACS Pay Plus.
- If my church already has a merchant account, can we use them?
If they are one of our supported solutions. You will still need to contact that provider for specialized setup for Access ACS. We work with Vanco Payment Solutions for ACS Pay Plus.
- Is Canadian Currency compatible with Access ACS?
IATS Payments is the only Access ACS compatible merchant provider that deals with Canadian currency. You must specifically inquire with them about Canadian currency. Their website is iatspayments.com.
- Can we accept payments from people using electronic checks (ACH) and not credit cards? Our church does not want to accept credit card payments.
Yes, both of our solutions allow the acceptance of electronic checks. With ACS Pay Plus, you can filter to accept only debit credit cards as well.
- What are the fees associated with Event Registration and Online Giving and how do we pay them?
ACS Technologies does have fees for payments associated with Access ACS in addition to the merchant account. Please contact your sales representative to find out more.
- My church wants to use the Event Registration functionality to let people sign up for events, but not pay for them. Can we do that and what does it cost?
Yes, you can just use the Event Registration without accepting payments if you wish. There is no additional cost for this functionality.
- Can my church use the Event Registration part and accept payments, but not use the Online Giving functionality? What does it cost?
Yes, you can do this. This is included as part of your overall payments solution at the same price.
Online Access from Anywhere
- What is the difference between Access ACS and ACS OnDemand?
While Access ACS connects your members and leaders to online groups, events, giving and volunteering; ACS OnDemand empowers your staff with anytime, anywhere full access to all your ACS desktop software via the Internet. Empower your office with the ability to work anywhere, anytime with ACS OnDemand or empower your members and leaders to connect and interact by using Access ACS.