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ACS

Give your accounting staff the ability to:

  • Select a Cash or Accrual method in setup to determine how invoice amounts are reflected in General Ledger module.
  • Reduce payment processing time by interfacing with the ACS General Ledger module with automated entries.
  • Ensure prompt bill payments. Memorized invoices can be scheduled to become due on specific dates.
  • Process regular, recurring, or one-time invoices.
  • Raise the level of accounting accuracy.
  • Print multiple reports at any time, showing the status of payables and payable cash requirements.
  • Print checks at any time, and handle the issuing or voiding of system-issued or manually-written checks.
  • Print 1099 forms.
  • Print checks automatically by due date.
  • Provides a method for suspending or forcing the payment of any invoice, regardless of due date.
  • Each vendor can be configured to receive payment by check, online, or ACH (direct deposit).
  • Quickly file state and federal tax forms online with ACS Tax E-File, an optional service available within your ACS software.

ACS Financials or Quickbooks?

Churches often wonder, “Should we use church software that has accounting built in, or should we use a separate program like QuickBooks?”

James B. Jordan is a CPA that has audited over 200 churches of various denominations. He is considered to be an expert in the field of Financial Management for Churches. Here are some of his thoughts about what to consider when making this decision.

"When QuickBooks is used, the difficulty in discovering fraud goes up exponentially. . . My advice is to not use QuickBooks for the church or any organization related to the church. . . There are many different commercial applications where QuickBooks is appropriate, but a church is not one of them."
James B. Jordan
Was the software designed for Churches?

ACS Financials was built specifically for churches’, with the churches needs in mind. Although QuickBooks is a good accounting system, it was not designed for churches.

Does your software integrate?

Having an accounting module that integrates with your church management software is essential for many churches. ACS Financials integrates with the Contributions module and with HeadMaster billing. QuickBooks does not integrate with any membership database that we are aware of.

What kind of support is available?

ACS offers a live support person to speak with during our Support hours.

What should I know about reporting options?

The reporting in ACS is more detailed than in QuickBooks. There are many standard reports in ACS, and lots of flexibility to customize the reports to meet your needs. QuickBooks has limitations with its reporting capabilities.

There are also guidelines for reporting that are required for non-profits. The standard advises that all non-profits must be able to produce a balance sheet by fund and other financial statements. Although QuickBooks provides you with a procedure for determining your fund balances, it cannot give you a Statement of Financial Position (balance sheet) by fund/class report.

Does the software provide an audit trail?

ACS has controls in place that cannot be altered. If you post an expense to the wrong account, a journal entry is required to fix it, thereby creating an audit trail. In QuickBooks you have the ability to turn this feature off, opening up your institution to fraud.

 

“I have not discovered a way to commit fraud with ACS software. . . I have known this company all these years and have nothing but high regard for their software, their training, their support and their people.”
James B. Jordan
Book cover

For more valuable financial advice from James B. Jordan check out his book, Financial Management for Episcopal Churches, a great resource for any church explaining leadership and roles, as well as internal controls and processes.

Manage all your ministry's contribution information accurately and privately.

When people give, they want to know their financial gifts are in safe hands. They want to know their contribution was properly received and recorded. But people give in many different ways and tax laws and nonprofit regulations can be complex and tricky to navigate without help. That’s why thousands of churches, denominations, and other nonprofit organizations count on ACS Contributions to track their giving.

ACS Contributions provides the flexibility and confidentiality nonprofits need. Whether you use envelope numbers, have pledges (even to multiple funds or multiple years), or want to interface your contributions with ACS General Ledger, you will find this system easy to use from setup through customized reporting. The real-time interface with ACS People eliminates the need to enter contributors in two different places.

  • Track giving of individuals in your church(es).
  • Produce graphs comparing pledges to gifts for multiple funds.
  • Create accurate, IRS compliant statements and tax receipts.
  • Give and review contributions online with Access ACS.

And, we have a team standing by to help you each step of the way. This means support for you, not a sales person. They’re here to help you navigate the ever changing world of eGiving, always keeping you aware of the most effective solutions to meet the unique needs of your ministry. To learn more, connect with your eGiving Consultant, download free resources, and check out our video gallery.

"If I had to manually do our weekly contributions, it would take me about two days. With ACS, I can count and post my data in two hours. It's so easy to do. Even with phone interruptions, I'm able to complete this project in no time."
Kathy S.
Covenant Life Ministries

Complete control over all of your contribution information.

ACS Contributions handles all of the complexities around proper tracking of giving information and keeps authorized staff members informed of all their giving records. View progress toward reaching a ministry goal or fund. Create custom reports by interfacing with ACS General Ledger, and eliminate the need to enter contributions in different places by interfacing with ACS People. With ACS Contributions, you have the tools in place to precisely manage your entire ministry giving records.

  • Set up for a calendar or fiscal year to match your financial reporting needs
  • Select a donor by name, envelope number, donor number, or with ACS SpeedCheck and a MICR Check Reader
  • Enter scheduled bank drafts from a contributor’s account
  • Combine giving records for married couples
  • Distribute the contribution from a single check into multiple funds (i.e. general fund, missions, building projects, etc.)
  • Post gifts received from online donations and apply them to an individual’s giving record
  • Easily correct errors by reversing entries and adding correct amounts, all while maintaining the audit trail
  • Retain past years’ details or the last two years’ detail and summarize the third year and beyond
  • Option to mass delete contributors or mass change inactive contributor listings
  • Assign new envelope numbers, print new envelope labels, and distribute next year’s envelopes prior to year-end
  • Print detailed information about personal giving history from the inquiry window
 
Comply with IRS regulations.

Proper use of transaction types ensures compliance with IRS requirements for church and nonprofit reporting. While corrections may be made after posting, a full audit trail of corrections is also maintained. Mark donations in conformity with IRS regulations for:

  • Quid pro quo gifts (e.g. donating $50 for a $5 spaghetti dinner)
  • Non-cash gifts
  • Non-deductible gifts
 
Keep your contribution information private and secure.

Only staff with the proper clearance will have access to ACS Contributions. You can also give some staff members view-only access, allowing them to look up information without entering or editing the data.

 
Handle pledges and custom giving plans.

Giving plans are fully supported. This enables donors to earmark a percentage of their donation for a particular fund or project on an ongoing basis. For example, the donor may write one check, but opt to have 10% of each weekly donation going to support a missionary, with 90% going to the General Budget Fund.

  • Create single or multi-year pledges
  • Contributors can have pledges for multiple funds and variable pledge periods
  • Set up giving plans to donate a percentage of the contribution to go toward multiple efforts
  • Enter pledge amounts that apply to past or future pledges
  • Store unlimited multi-year pledge and multi-year giving history
 
Look up specific giving information quickly.

Once gifts are entered, lookup based on a particular fund or contributor is easy. You can access month-todate or year-to-date information for any fund and year. Answers to contributors’ questions about their detailed giving and pledge fulfillment are easily accessible and can be printed from the inquiry window.

 
Speed up the tasks you do at the end of the year.
  • Assign new envelope numbers, print new envelope labels, and distribute next year’s envelopes prior to the year-end while still working in the current year
  • Mass delete contributors who have not given or pledged in the current year and previous two years
  • Deactivate multiple inactive contributors in a single action

Contribution Reports and Graphs.

ACS Contributions offers a wide variety of standard reports and graphs – all of which may be customized easily and saved with brief notes for future use. Plus, our easy-to-understand contributor tax statements are guaranteed to work with forms that are offered in ACS Technologies Forms & Supplies Catalog.

 
Standard Reports

Statements – Contribution statements, year end tax report forms, and pledge cards can be printed using Contributions Reports or Statements with ACS Forms. It is easy to produce accurate statements on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, tri-annual, semi-annual, or annual basis. Charitable tax reports are easily printed for sending to donors at year-end to fulfill church reporting requirements.

Statistical Reporting – Analysis of average weekly pledges or gifts, pledge-gift comparisons, projected pledge income, and summary gift totals by fund, individual, or month are included as
standard statistical reports.

Lists – You can generate lists of gifts and/or pledges by individual or fund, unfinished postings, and monthly posting registers. Additionally you can list unassigned envelope numbers, pledge/gift data for single or multiple years, and prior year history data.

Extracts – If you use an outside envelope service, you can generate electronic extracts that can be emailed for the most up-to-date information. Other contribution data can be exported or extracted for customized statements, charitable tax reports, or use in other software programs.

Graphs – Pie charts, bar graphs, and line graphs are easy to create based on a variety of options. You may choose gift count, gifts vs. pledges, pledge count, total gifts, or total pledges by fund.

 
Use graphs and reports to review contribution information in helpful ways.
  • Produce graphs comparing pledges to gifts for multiple funds
  • Pie charts, bar graphs, and line graphs are easily created showing comparison to a variety of contributions
  • Save graphs and reports with future notes
  • Tax statements are guaranteed to work with forms that are offered in ACS Technologies Forms & Supplies Catalog
  • Create accurate statements on a monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, tri-annual, semi-annual, or annual basis
  • Print charitable tax reports easily to send to donors at year-end to fulfill church reporting requirements
  • Average weekly pledges or gifts are included as standard statistical reports
  • Generate lists by individual, fund, unfinished postings, or monthly posting registers
  • Retain all past years’ details or only the last two years’ details and summarize the third year and beyond

Designed to work effortlessly with other ACS modules and hardware products.

  • Enter personal information into ACS People to add contributions for that person or couple
  • Integrates with ACS General Ledger to assure accurate accounting to regular, designated, or restricted accounts, eliminating the need to manually enter deposits
  • Use ACS SpeedCheck to scan in contributions and open the corresponding giver’s account
  • Save a scanned image of each check for future reference with MICR Check Reader

Flexibility in record keeping with adherence to nonprofit accounting standards.

ACS General Ledger is the ultimate tool for creating budget reports, income and expense statements, and balance sheets.

  • Balance Sheets
  • Income & Expense Statements
  • Budget Reports
  • Visual Chart of Accounts
"Being able to post information to our general ledger within the Contributions module has been very useful. Now, our reports are helpful and allow us to get a clearer picture of where we stand. This feature has been a tremendous time saver.”
Alyce
ELCA Region 1

What You Can Do

  • Design and manage one Chart of Accounts with multiple “sets of books” to accommodate multiple funds such as Church Fund, Building Fund, and School Fund.
  • Auto Fund Balancing feature can be used to always keep multiple sets of books in balance when making transfers between funds.
  • Set up and maintain separate datasets for organizations with different tax numbers or fiscal years such as Preschool and Church datasets.
  • Create custom reports with different views of the Chart of Accounts for your auditor, finance committee, or a particular staff member.
  • Create subtotals within your Chart of Accounts to print detail or subtotals on reports giving you ultimate flexibility in reporting.
  • During the budgeting process export selected accounts to Microsoft Excel for each staff member to adjust.
  • Use the copy budget function to create next year’s budget based on last year’s actuals. Balance or reconcile each bank checking account within General Ledger and print a list of outstanding checks and uncleared deposits.

Initial Setup and Use is as Easy as 1-2-3

  • Choose system defaults in Setup:
    • Setup unlimited bank accounts and multiple “checking accounts” within any single bank account.
    • Create as many datasets, funds, departments, committees, areas, and projects as needed.
  • Create your unique Chart of Accounts under the nine major headings and up to four sub-headings, and enter budgets or beginning balances.
  • Begin entering transactions.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES
  • Ability to reconcile each bank account within the software and print reconciliation reports.
  • Maintain standard bookkeeping practices.
  • All regularly used accounting reports are supplied along with a variety of other informational reports.
  • Post and print any transactions in the current year or previous year.
  • Chart of Accounts is presented visually, to help you see the structure and optimize for your needs. Five sub-levels permit easier reporting.
  • Enter beginning balances for accounts at start-up.
  • Utilize extensive budgeting capabilities, including built-in ‘what if’ analysis link to Microsoft Excel.
  • Cross-reference accounts for departments or projects, making customized reports easy to provide.
  • Monitor each transaction to insure it is completed in balance for easier end-of-month reconciliation.
  • Display account numbers and codes in drop down lists for all entries. No more account numbers to memorize.
  • Use an unlimited number of checking accounts.
  • Create multiple “checking accounts” within General Ledger while maintaining only one bank account.
  • Display transactions in ledger format if preferred. Keyboard navigation and entry fully supported.
  • Check writer program included with General Ledger.
  • Reports and results can be viewed before posting, so you can see the effect of transactions before they are finalized.
  • Customize reports and save to meet your reporting needs.
  • Support FASB 116 and 117 reporting requirements for nonprofit organizations.
  • Enter and/or edit your budget for the next year at any time.

The core component of your church management software solution. It’s your member database's foundation and required for all other ChMS modules.

ACS People is the cornerstone of ACS and the standard by which all ChMS systems are measured. It’s one of those modules churches pick first. Everything you do to manage information about your people (members, regular attendees, visitors, and contacts) starts here. As the foundation of ACS, each individual record entered into ACS People is available to other ACS modules. It natively integrates your data with other ACS modules, saving you a vast amount of data-entry time.

As the industry’s leading membership database tool, ACS People turns your address and phone list into a powerful ministry management tool. It quickly stores contact information that’s vital to your ministry. It makes it a breeze to keep personal and family information up-to-date, secure, and consistent.  It reports on and communicates with individuals, families, and activity groups.

  • Easily administer a centralized church membership database
  • Create pictorial directories and various other membership lists
  • Send personalized communications
  • Create census reports and many other kinds of reports right out of the box
  • Update multiple records at once instead of editing individual records one at a time
  • Maintain an unlimited number of records
"ACS helps growth in that you can manage the data more effectively; it helps us make people feel more connected and communicate more easily.”
Glenn M
Christ Church Georgetown

Data Input and Look Up

  • With both standard and customizable fields, you can enter virtually endless information about each individual.
  • Quickly access records by first name, last name, both names, envelope number, phone number, or primary address
  • Store unlimited phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses for each listing
  • Create and record unlimited emergency contacts, medical alerts, and pastoral comments
  • Import individual and family pictures from digital, scanned, or third party image directory firms
  • Group personal records together by family unit and easily update information (e.g. address) for an entire family
  • Different last names can be easily changed for an individual, while maintaining family relationships. Labels print properly for households with different last names.

Customizable Fields

  • Create unique, customizable list, data, and category fields such as activities, committees, skills & interests, spiritual gifts, and small groups.
  • Set up a multi-level structure that matches your church to makes it easier for you to retrieve reliable information necessary for mailings, lists, and reports.
  • Easily create or modify groups all at once.
  • Edit terminology within ACS to match your denominational preferences
  • Field setup is flexible, so denominational reporting needs can be met, without limiting the additional information that the church can maintain.

Data Maintenance Tools

  • Record Deactivation: deactivating an account automatically removes it from any search, filter, or label
  • Mass Change: Quickly make uniform changes to all records
  • Define Lists: Easily create new groupings and add new options to existing lists
  • Family Lists: Merge households, edit  family positions, and move children into their own family
  • Edit Accounts: Delete or edit individual or family accounts after major life changes
  • Geocoding: Add longitude and latitude for Geocoding and interface with mapping software

Built-in Communication Options

  • Save money with mailings that support CASS address verification and record ZIP + 4, delivery point bar codes, carrier route, and line of travel bar codes. Plus ZIP code sorting and barcoding
  • Set address activation periods for people with seasonal homes or locations
  • Easily interface with email programs, such as Microsoft® Outlook or Constant Contact®

Graphs and Reports

  • Adjust standard reports to meet your needs and rename and save them with notes for future use
  • Produce customizable pie charts, line graphs, or bar graphs on many system-defined and user-defined fields
  • Export reports to programs like Microsoft® Excel or Word with the “print to file” feature
  • Choose from five categories of standard reports:
    • Cards: Name Badges and 16 options for rotary and file cards
    • Directories: Fully customizable People Directory and 4 Pictorial Directory options
    • Lists: Create optional setup features using 18 different report options
    • Extracts: In addition to Standard and Customized People Extract, you may extract data to use with Sign Us Up, Olan Mills, Membermine, Lifetouch, PCA Directory, and your PDA
    • Statistics: Create 3 statistical reports with custom setup options

Security You Control

An important aspect of any database is the security of the data that has been entrusted to you. ACS People makes it easier for you to have peace of mind. You choose who has access to each specific part of your data.

  • Choose who has access to each part of your data
  • Set security for each user and comment type