Software Packages

  1. Membership & Financials
    1. There are two big companies are Shelby Systems and ACS. These are very robust financial/accounting systems and a very strong membership/people module. The contributions module in the Membership section posts gift info to individual members and then it posts it to the financial section for a seamless posting of Sunday receipts. Of the two, my preference is Shelby for several reasons which are too detailed to get into here. If you get both and their modules then annual support will cost about $1,500.
  2. Membership Only
    1. Both Shelby and ACS have a membership/people module that can be bought separately from the financials. There are some newer companies that only do membership such as ChurchTeams, Church Community Builder, Servant Keeper, and about a dozen others. The ones I’ve listed are the larger ones. Frankly, this is an area where you get what you pay for.
  3. Financials Only
    1. To my knowledge, only ACS and Shelby do a dedicated church financials software package. I have made Quickbooks (online and desktop versions) work in a church setting but there are some nuances the Quickbooks just can’t handle such as donor gift statements (I’ve had to find a very time-consuming work-around for that). For church financials, I encourage you to look at either Shelby or ACS.
  4. Payroll
    1. Both ACS and Shelby have payroll modules. However, I strongly recommend you outsource your payroll to a national company such as Paychex, CBIZ, or ADP. They file all taxes on time so that you never incur a penalty from the IRS. They cost about $65 per pay period (for up to about 12 employees). Outsourcing payroll is a LOT of peace of mind – knowing you’ll never have a visit from the IRS is a wonderful thing!


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