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How pastors and administrators can manage their church with technology

The Top 6 Most Reviewed Church Accounting Software Solutions

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Update 7/12/17: It’s been almost four years since we updated this piece, and much has changed in the world of church accounting software. We used our latest data to pick the top 6 most reviewed resources on our church accounting software directory so you can learn about the tools that real people use, and provide feedback on, the most.

What do you do when you can’t run payroll on time, can’t keep track of your budget, and are losing donations because you can’t remember who donated what to where?

Other than tearing out your hair, there is another solution—software! You can find alternatives to using pen and paper—some accounting software packages are designed with the accounting needs of churches and nonprofit organizations in mind.

One benefit of having accounting software that is geared specifically towards churches is that the system is integrated with membership data. This means that contributions are rolled into the accounting side of things, it has church specific terminology, and more. As Jeff Campbell of PowerChurch Software says, “Churches struggle to keep track of donor restriction and track those balances—this is a big difference between for-profit and nonprofit [accounting] systems—for example, a college will have a huge donor restriction fund, while a church will have lots of little ones.”

Most Reviewed Church Accounting Software

These are the top six most reviewed accounting software solutions for churches in Capterra’s church accounting software directory.

1. FlockBase

Reviews: 80+

FlockBase, the most reviewed church accounting tool in our directory, has been operating out of Fort Worth, Texas since 2006. It is essentially two core modules: a membership and contributions module, and a True Fund accounting module. FlockBase is designed to be simple enough that even volunteers at smaller churches can use it without extensive training.

Pricing: Each module costs $99 (a one-time price) and they are meant to be used individually—for churches that need only one—or in conjunction. You can save $19 by bundling the packages ($179). The one-time fee includes two months of support and updates, but that can be extended by a year for $30 more ($50 more for the bundle). Existing members can renew the support and updates for $49.95/year per module.

FlockBase

Pros: Reviewers almost unanimously agree that FlockBase is very easy to use and is a great value. In fact, it made the top 10 on our Top 20 Most Affordable Church Management Software research findings. Customers also find FlockBase’s customer support (phone, email, or online user guides) to be very responsive and helpful.

Cons: FlockBase is meant for smaller churches, so don’t expect a bunch of fancy accounting features like advanced reporting or analytics. The trade-off for FlockBase’s simplicity is that the interface has an outdated appearance. For someone who just wants to get their accounting done quickly and painlessly, though, this might not matter. FlockBase cannot export to Excel, though reports can be printed off as PDFs.

Have you tried FlockBase? Please leave a review!

2. Aplos Church Accounting

Reviews: 70+
The Fresno-based Aplos is a web-based, low-cost accounting software for churches to help track donations and expenses. It is designed for small and startup nonprofit organizations and churches.

Pricing: The basic plan, which includes accounting and online donations, starts at $25 per month for one user. The standard plan, at $40 per month, adds contribution statements. The advanced plan, for $120 per month, adds features such as recurring transactions and multi-site church accounting along with advanced reports. All plans include unlimited phone and email support, 1 GB of file storage, free updates, and free access to an accountant. Donor management starts at $35 per month. Aplos also offers discounts for small or new churches.

Aplos Church Accounting

Pros: Aplos has the ability to add custom accounts, create reports, track contacts with custom fields, and set up funds for different ministries. Additional features include check printing, budgeting, reconciliation, and contributions management. According to many customer reviews, Aplos is user friendly and requires no accounting experience to use it, is affordable, requires little training to set up, includes free support in the purchase price, and has excellent customer service.

Cons: Some users had difficulty getting what they wanted from the reports, and the interface—though sleek and modern looking—is sometimes buggy. Longtime users also note that the prices have gone up in recent years, bank integration is limited, and Aplos lacks its own payroll features, instead relying on outside integrations.

Have you tried Aplos Church Accounting? Please leave a review!

3. FellowshipOne

Reviews: 50+

FellowshipOne is a Dallas-based church management solution with more than a decade of experience. As a complete church management system, accounting is just one piece of the FellowshipOne arsenal of tools. Their newest product, FellowshipOne GO Complete, features accounting, member management, online giving, and even advanced features like background checks and website management.

Their True Fund Accounting system is powered by Shelby Systems, and includes everything that a church accounting department would need, along with advanced features like fixed assets and purchasing management. FellowshipOne is one of the most popular and user-friendly church management solutions, according to our research.

Pricing: GO Complete starts at $179 per month, and customers can customize their pricing based on the number of members and level of support they need. They offer an online pricing calculator so you can get a better idea of what GO Complete could cost for your church.

FellowshipOne

Pros: FellowshipOne GO Complete comes bundled with extra features, such as website management, and is a robust system with many reports. Their scaled pricing allows churches to pay a fair amount based on their size and needs.

Cons: Reviewers say that FellowshipOne’s core interface still appears outdated and unintuitive, with one reviewer suggesting that it resembles Windows 98. Some users had trouble accessing the reports that they wanted. With the scaled pricing, growing churches or those without an experienced tech staff could find themselves paying more than they originally anticipated. Users who don’t want or need the extra features that come bundled with the system might see them as a distraction.

Have you tried FellowshipOne? Please leave a review!

4. ACS Church Accounting 

Reviews: 45+

Used by more than 50,000 churches, ACS Technologies is the most popular church management solution on the market, according to our research. The company, based out of South Carolina, has been around for almost 40 years. ACS Church Accounting software is a product of ACS Technologies that is a flexible double-entry accounting system that allows accounting on either a cash or accrual basis. It is geared towards larger churches with an average attendance of over 2,000.

Pricing: ACS does not list any pricing and requests that potential customers contact them for a quote. Customers say there are upfront fees ($2,000-$10,000) followed by monthly maintenance fees (on average apparently around $350/month) and SaaS rental fees (could be thousands annually).

ACS Technologies

Pros: ACS Church Accounting has the capability to track budgets and spending by fund, department, committee, project, and much more. ACS is a robust system that contains most of the tools you will need and has a complete help center for support.

Cons: ACS is expensive compared to some of the other tools on this list, and can also be complicated to use, according to reviews. It will require training for someone who is not very tech savvy—due to this complexity, it is more suited for larger churches with a capable IT staff.

Have you tried ACS Technologies? Please leave a review!

5. PowerChurch Plus

Reviews: 35+

Founded in 1984 in Asheville, NC, PowerChurch is one of the oldest and most popular church management system in operation. It holds the no. 4 spot on our Top 20 Most Popular Church Management Software research findings. PowerChurch Plus has both desktop and web-based versions. In addition to accounting, it also has membership, contributions, and events features which make it easier for churches to keep track of everything all in one place. Although they serve churches of all sizes, their typical customers are smaller churches, with under 300 members.

Pricing: PowerChurch Plus costs $395 to download from their website, or $410 to have the physical media delivered. Upgrades to new versions are extra, but users can also opt for PowerChurch Plus Online—a cloud-hosted version—starting at $39.95 per month including all upgrades.

PowerChurch Plus

Pros: PowerChurch Plus stands out from other solutions because it is an all-in-one system that includes accounting, donations, events, payroll, and membership management. It is inexpensive, provides different types of support, and has both web-based and installed options.

Cons: The average church staff, which may not have a lot of accounting knowledge, could find the software difficult to understand as it assumes a base level of accounting know-how (such as understanding assets, liabilities, equity, and other such accounting knowledge), according to some reviews. Also, if you use another system for overall church management (and you would like to continue to use that system), then you will lose the benefit of an integrated approach. PowerChurch Plus is only available for Windows-based PCs.

Have you tried PowerChurch Plus? Please leave a review!

6. CDM+

Reviews: 15+

CDM+, part of Kentucky-based Suran Systems, dates back to 1986 when former Rev. Randy Clay began working on software solutions for his own congregation. The current iteration of the CDM+ accounting tool serves more than 2 million users according to our research. Its focus is on generating useful reports and making them easy to share. CDM+ is available on desktop, mobile, and via the cloud. In addition to accounting, the core suite includes attendance, contributions, events, check-in, and facilities management. Premium options include online giving, mobile apps, and website integration.

Pricing: CDM+ cloud-based pricing begins at $45 per month.

CDM+

Pros: CDM+’s cloud-based option makes updates a breeze. The extra features are a worthwhile bonus, and reviewers are impressed by CDM+’s customer support and said that the pricing is very competitive.

Cons: There does seem to be a learning curve to the product, even after new feature roll-outs, though the excellent customer support makes that less of an issue. Without detailed pricing information or an online calculator, it’s difficult to tell what kind of value you can get for your money, so it is recommended that potential customers contact the CDM+ sales team.

Have you tried CDM+? Please leave a review!

Other church accounting software options?

What church accounting software do you use? Let us know what you like about it and what problems you’ve had in the comments below.

If you’re still looking for help in your search for the right church accounting software, check out these other articles:

Looking for Accounting software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Accounting software solutions.

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About the Author

Andrew Conrad

Andrew is a content writer for Capterra, specializing in church management and project management software. When he’s not striving for the perfect balance of information and entertainment, Andrew enjoys the great outdoors and the wide world of sports. Follow him on Twitter @CapterraAC.

Comments

Do any of your contacts have experience with the ChurchPro system? Has a good looking write up. Thanks

What are your thoughts on the ICON Church Management System? Pros and Cons?

Hi Frank, ChurchPro is a great tool, though some have mentioned the initial learning curve is steep. I’d recommend checking out their free demo if you’re interested.

Cheryl, ICON is a full featured ChMS, meaning it does a lot more than just accounting. If that’s what you’re looking for it’s a solid option, and they also have a free 10 day trial if you want to test it out.

Didn’t see Church Contribution Accounting software. It is a very easy to use software, designed specifically for churches. cca.itclosure.com

Unfortunately, your price quotes for Aplos are horribly out of date and inaccurate. The lowest price they offer now is $25 per month. The top tier is now $120 a month and if you want to have more than 2 users, that’s another $80 a month.

ACS’s REALM is a much less expensive option than the older ACS packages reviewed here.

Any recent findings? most of these are older, looking for a simple inexpensive accounting program for a very small church

Aplos raised their prices late 2015. No longer inexpensive. We are paying $900 per year for church with 40 people.

What about Shelby Next church software. It was highly recommended to me, but I don’t see it listed on your site? Thanks, Carter

We currently use Cahaba software – any recommendations that would have better donor / database management capabilities?

We just upgraded to Shelby Next and it was a mistake. It spins a lot wasting many hours of time for us. Many times it crashes and we have to re-enter all info.

We use IconCMO for Church Data Base, and Contributions Management, but not the accounting portion. For that we use QuickBooks 2014. QB 2014 is not web based as Icon is, and is not supposed to play well with Windows 10 (we use both anyway). We would like to talk to someone who is using the accounting portion of IconCMO, and could compare it to QB. We are well pleased with IconCMO for what we use it for now.

What about Church Keeper? Used this several years ago and it did a great job for attendance of about 125-150. Church we are at now has used “homemade” spreadsheets on Excel, but not doing the job needed. Is Church Keeper being used by anyone else, or reviewed to see how well it is doing with the changes in computing and cloud use over the past 6-7 years? They have been around at at least 15 years or so, and given their sole emphasis seemed to be Church Management Software, I would be interested in a review.

We have been using PowerChurch for about nine months. We are a start-up with only about a dozen in attendance each Sunday. We use the online version which is about $40 a month I think. We have no technical problems, but when I do the financials each month, it is like starting over, since I find the software very complicated and not very intuitive. I feel like we bought a team of horses when we really only needed a pony. Does anyone have any simple solutions that would be easy and cheap for a start-up? I am even thinking of going back to ledger sheets or Excel spreadsheets, so I don’t have to keep paying a professional to help me complete basic functions. Thank you 🙂

What about Church 360 from Concordia Publishing House?

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