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Is your church getting the most out of its accounting technology?

As churches and faith-based organizations grow, managing financial processes, like expense reconciliations and allocations, becomes too complex to be handled through spreadsheets. Leaders need clear, accurate and current information. Getting visibility across multiple campuses and ministries, as well as tracking different sources of revenue as organizations diversify, can no longer be a manual process.

Most churches start out using systems like QuickBooks and Xero to record their basic accounting processes. These systems are affordable, well known and easy to use for entry level accounting functionality. But as a church grows, it may find these systems are not adaptable and customizable enough for their expanding business and ministry needs.

Growing churches have complex demands such as automating core processes, supporting distributed work teams, consolidating multiple entities, enforcing internal controls or delivering insight with faster report times, which some of these systems are not designed to do, especially for faith-based organizations.

It’s quite common to be bogged down with manual data entry, unruly spreadsheets, time-consuming workarounds and patched-together analyses as your organization grows and becomes more complex. Some common symptoms of outgrowing the capabilities of your current accounting system are:

  • Insufficient information in reports to make decisions with confidence: Churches often struggle to generate the reports they need to make better business decisions in real time
  • Manual processes and spreadsheets become unwieldy and prone to error: Organizations are forced to do cumbersome workarounds to manage multiple locations and perform operational analysis
  • Lengthy close of financial periods: Some systems do not offer dashboards or built-in capabilities for complex processes. Manual processes and spreadsheets are time-consuming to consolidate, prone to errors and offer limited visibility.

It’s time for automation

Many faith-based organizations gradually develop sophisticated accounting requirements such as revenue recognition and multi-entity consolidation. Once your church starts to outgrow your accounting software, it leaves users over-reliant on spreadsheets and manual entry. This often means your team is forced to build cumbersome workarounds to complete complex processes.

The use of Excel spreadsheets can make it increasingly difficult to track and manage financials as they can grow to massive and unwieldy sizes with handfuls of tabs, and hundreds of rows and columns. By using software that automates routine accounting tasks, churches can eliminates the risk of error and free up time and resources to focus on more strategic decisions.

Real-time data allows for faster financial decisions

As your organization grows, you need the right information in real-time – and in the right format. Canned reports and no dashboards limit your visibility.

Customizable dashboards give pastors and ministry leaders access to meaningful, big picture financials and the ability to drill down into details. Plus, you can easily customize reports to see the data you want all in one place.

Adapt to new requirements easily and drive growth with confidence

Your organization needs an accounting system that can grow with you. Some entry level accounting systems are designed with the needs of small organizations in mind and not built to manage the sophisticated process of a growing church. They do not offer advanced functionality or robust financial controls.

A more comprehensive accounting system, like Sage Intacct, has a wide variety of solutions designed to help your business get what it needs without paying for extra services you don’t. As your ministry grows, Sage Intacct can be customized to fit your changing needs and grow with you.

Get started today with Baker Tilly Digital’s QuickStart implementation

Working alongside Sage Intacct, Baker Tilly Digital provides organizations with the financial solutions they need to grow their business.

For churches and faith-based organizations, Baker Tilly Digital’s QuickStart implementation has an established chart of accounts needed to record financial transactions based on years of experience working to implement Sage Intacct. QuickStart limits the tough decisions you must make and can help you go live on Sage Intacct in six to eight weeks.

Contact us today to learn about upgrading to a modern cloud financial accounting system and how Baker Tilly Digital can support your growth.

Sandy McClure
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