It’s common to think of a church management solution as a database for member information and events and communication tools. And we all can admit that giving comes top of mind as that’s what fuels your ministry to continue spreading the Gospel. But what happens to the money once it’s given to your ministry? What about the fees paid for event registrations? When considering what your ministry needs in a solution, be sure to remember these 4 reasons you need church management software with accounting integrated.
Automatically post contributions to the general ledger.
If your current solution doesn’t have integrated accounting, you’re either manually entering contributions or running exports and imports to track contributions in your stand-alone accounting software. This leaves room for duplicates and errors. Say for instance you need to make an edit on a contribution in your church management solution. Now, you have to remember to make that same edit in your accounting software or your numbers will be off. With an integrated solution like Realm Accounting, you can automatically post contribution batches as deposits to your general ledger. And link your giving funds in Realm Contributions to your general ledger accounts. Then, you’re prompted when making an edit or void to a contribution and asked if you would like to make that same change to the general ledger. This ensures accuracy and removes the tedious task of duplicating work between two systems.
Fund accounting designed specifically for churches.
Using accounting software not specifically designed for churches means trying to fit your church’s chart of accounts and funds where they simply don’t fit. However, a solution like Realm Accounting is a true fund accounting solution, allowing your financial staff to organize your chart of accounts to fit your ministry. After listing core accounts under account headings, you can use subheadings to better define how each core account is used. Realm Accounting also introduces account segments. These segments are created to track additional information, such as subdepartments and campuses. Building your chart of accounts in a true fund accounting solution like Realm Accounting gives you the flexibility to fit the accounting solution to your needs. Not the other way around.
Reporting built with your Finance Team in mind.
Other accounting software may have reporting. But is that reporting built with the terminology your Finance Team and church leadership can easily relate to your ministry? Would you rather show a Balance Sheet and a Profit & Loss report, or a Statement of Activities and a Statement of Financial Position? Realm Accounting reports speak the same language as your ministry. Start with predefined reports already built and customize them to show only what you need to see. Save them to run again in the future. You won’t have to rebuild them. And you can share them directly through Realm with other members of your church leadership or finance staff.
Budgeting to plan for future ministry.
Have you ever built out a complex budget for all of your funds just to have to rebuild the exact same budget the next year? Some accounting software offer imports for budgets. But they don’t give you the ability to simply create a new budget using the previously budgeted amounts. This means you have to use actual amounts and more than likely edit every single one. Or start with an empty slate each year.
Realm Accounting doesn’t want to complicate planning for your ministry. You can create a budget using actual amounts or budgeted amounts from any previous year. Or start with a blank budget if you prefer. You can increase or decrease revenue and expense accounts by percentages, edit your budget as needed, and even choose to include inactive accounts. If you prefer, you can download a budget worksheet CSV file containing your budget data and make changes then import it back into Realm Accounting.
Automatic posting of contributions. Building a chart of accounts that fits your ministry. Presenting reports that speak directly to your church. And budgeting for future ministry all contribute to a strong financial foundation for your church. Choosing church management software with integrated accounting like Realm gives your financial staff the tools they need to be better stewards of the gifts given to your ministry.
Leigh Ann Shelley joined the ACST team in 2019 as a Product Marketing Manager. Overseeing the launch and overall communication of key solutions to support the church’s needs. Prior to joining ACST, she spent several years in communications and graphic design roles, most notably as a Communications Director for a large church in Florence, SC, where she leveraged Realm to help solve key ministry challenges.