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QuickBooks for Churches
Accounting Software for Churches and Nonprofits
QuickBooks Online (QBO) is a very popular software with churches and nonprofits. I use QBO for my personal business and I love it because it does everything I need and much more and I'm not an accountant, just a Church Secretary. :)
I personally know bookkeepers/accountants that work with churches that use QBO and they say it works well for them with just a few adjustments.
A must have for everyone that has before or has been thinking of running QuickBooks for their church or nonprofit. It walks your through QuickBooks Desktop (QBDT) or QuickBooks Online (QBO) from the very start to the finish, complete with examples, terminology and everything a busy church administrator or bookkeeper needs to know.
For Desktop QBs: Click here for more details!
For QuickBooks Online: Click here for more details!
Using QuickBooks for Churches and Nonprofits
Here are a few things you should consider...
If you are a start up church or a small church without many assets and liabilities a single entry bookkeeping such as the accounting spreadsheets from FreeChurchAccounting.com may work fine for you.
However, double entry bookkeeping is always the best option if possible. There are basically two bookkeeping practices (single and double entry bookkeeping) and here is the difference between them:
- Single entry bookkeeping can be employed by small churches or nonprofits where a balance sheet is not required for financial control or tax purposes.
- Double entry bookkeeping is required for all organizations that must produce both a Statement of Activity and a Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet).
For those who do have it in their budget for accounting software, I recommend doing some extensive research before choosing your software.
One of the best incentives for using QBO or QB Desktop is TechSoup and Intuit's "almost" free offer! Click link in box below!
Free QuickBooks® Software
Intuit has teamed up with TechSoup and offering QuickBooks for eligible charities. (A small admin fee will be charged for each download). For the online version, there is an annual admin fee.
Qualifying organizations should register (for free) with TechSoup at http://www.techsoup.org/intuit and begin the process of obtaining the software.
The accountants and/or bookkeepers that I have spoken to have set up many churches in the online version of QuickBooks and extensive reporting capabilities among other things with QuickBooks Desktop and online software.
Accounting Courses Created Specifically for Churches Using QuickBooks!
There are TONS of videos available on the web for using QuickBooks BUT there is not very many "accurate" videos on using QBs for churches especially with QuickBooks Online!
I'm very excited to tell you about these accounting online classes that were created exclusively for all of us in the church that use QBs Desktop and/or QuickBooks Online!
Lisa London (personal friend of mine) of "The Accountant Beside You" has created a series of online courses using step-by-step videos to show you how to use QuickBooks "effectively" for your church or nonprofit organization.
These accounting courses include:
- The Nuts and Bolts - learn how to take QuickBooks for a test drive, set it up and how to use it effectively! It's available for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.
- Advanced Topics - learn budgeting, report and correspondence customizations, handling special events and capital campaigns and so much more! It's available for QuickBooks Desktop and QuickBooks Online.
- Common Mistakes and How to Correct Them - correct set up errors, bank and credit card reconciliation issues, donations errors, reclassifications and more.
Here are some good features of QBs according to the accountant, Vickey at FreeChurchAccounting.com, that I know personally...excellent accountant by the way and she has her own bookkeeping business!
Features I like with QuickBooks Desktop:
- One time purchase and it's yours! (Update: you can now get the Nonprofit desktop version or the online QB almost free of charge through Techsoup!
- QB Centers along with icons make it easy to access frequently used functions
- Can password protect it
- Handles bills, payments, and bank reconciliation easily
- Great budgeting tools
- Computes and processes payroll and its taxes...for an additional cost (Note: I can not recommend using Intuit's Payroll as I personally have had too many bad experiences with them)
- Prints Checks
- Compatible with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc)
- There are more reports you can create in the desktop than the online version.
Features available in the Nonprofit Edition:
- Creating personalized letters and envelopes for donors
- Tracking budgets and finances by program
- Preparing IRS Form 990 or Form 990-EZ
- Creating other reports specifically for non-profits
- Can create a Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) by class (funds)
Features I like with QuickBooks Online:
- Web based so more than one person can use it at the same time
- In the "cloud" you don't have to worry about "backing it up"
- Tons of "How To" videos available for the basics but not many specified for churches such as how to track a grant?
- Great reporting capability even though there are not as many reports as the desktop version, the reports in QBO are easy to create and modify
- Ability to create a "report package" with the click of a button which includes a cover sheet
- Connects with a LOT of apps!
- Can connect to almost any bank and credit card and roll in transactions for easy importing. (Let me state here that even though I love the bank integration...I always manually add paper checks and then "match" them in the bank feed so I can properly track outstanding checks)
To sum it all up... I believe QBDT and QBO can be affordable options for many churches and nonprofits. Once it is set up PROPERLY -- volunteers with little or no accounting knowledge can easily use it.
The difficult part is setting it up correctly. If your church can afford it, I highly recommend using someone that is very familiar in church or nonprofit accounting to set it up for you AND train you how to use it effectively. That way it will be done correctly and saves possible headaches down the road.
However, if hiring someone to set up your QB or QBO is not an option due to a limited budget. There is still a way for you to set it up and enjoy all the benefits of this very effective accounting software.
Purchase Lisa London's QuickBooks for Churches. Lisa is a CPA and has written this book that is a must for anyone setting up or even maintaining a QB file for churches.
Lisa will walk you through DESKTOP QuickBooks from start to finish, complete with examples, terminology, and everything a busy church administrator or bookkeeper needs to know.
The book is written for beginner and advanced church bookkeepers alike, in a friendly and easy-to-understand style. It includes:
- Step-by-step instructions on how to set up QuickBooks and utilize it more efficiently for your church
- Valuable tips on how to make QuickBooks work better for churches, both large and small
- Numerous illustrative screenshots and time-saving shortcuts
QuickBooks Online® for Churches and Not-for-Profit Organizations
This book contains hundreds of screenshots that helps you set up and use QuickBooks Online (QBO) effectively.
- Procedures to guard against theft and errors
- Designing a chart of accounts (with examples for different types of nonprofits in the appendix)
- Converting a desktop QB organization into QBO
- Tracking donor gifts and grants
- Importing donor and vendor contact information
- Receiving money, paying bills, and tracking credit card charges
- Reconciling accounts
- Designing management reports
- Month-end and Year-end procedures
- Tracking fundraisers, in-kind donations, volunteer hours
- And so much more!
Click to read more on this great resource book!
Are you asking now which QuickBooks (QuickBooks Desktop or QuickBooks Online) does my church or nonprofit need?
If yes, then click the link below and get the details and information you need to make your decision!
"The How-To Guide for Finances in Small & Growing Churches"
No matter what type of accounting your church might have this book is a must have and will be an absolutely awesome asset to your church as you are guided through all the nuts and bolts of church accounting and additionally:
- Calculate and File Your Employee Payroll Reports
- Design and Create a Compensation Package for your Pastor, including a Housing Allowance
- Set Up and Administer a Benevolence Fund in Your Church
- Acknowledge Donations with IRS Guidelines
- Prepare for an Annual Church Audit
- Church Budget and Forecast
- Reimburse Church Employees' Expenses with IRS Guidelines
- Set Up Proper Internal Controls to Implement the Basics of Starting a New Church
- Design Your Church Bylaws
- Set Up Your Church Filing Systems and Organize the Church Office
- And so much, much more!
Click Here for more information or to purchase "The How-To Guide for Finances in Small & Growing Churches" book.
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