Last editedJan 20222 min read
Church operators and religious organization leaders are under pressure to ensure their resources are used wisely to help the congregation and the wider community, as well as maintain the building for regular worship. In addition, there are many church-sponsored activities which benefit the community, but are also a significant financial drain on limited resources.
There are plenty of accounting software apps that can help, but a religious organization has other requirements that do not concern a business or non-religious organization. This is because there are particular rules and laws covering non-profit spending.
Keeping on top of any legislative changes is important as is ensuring the expenses are accounted for fairly. To help, there are a couple of expense streamlining ideas that can be applied by church leaders and those responsible for spending donations.
How to streamline church expenses
Using church accounting software is useful and we will cover that in the next section, but there are a couple of expense streamlining methods we should cover first. Streamlining means ensuring the spending protocols are administered accurately and easily understood by all involved. These streamlining methods are:
Budgeting for each expense
Working with trusted merchants.
Budgeting for each expense
Sponsoring events or paying for a particular service will be a necessary part of church expenditure, but each expense must be budgeted in accordance with the available funds. The budget must also factor in other planned events and how much should be left in the pot for emergencies.
By budgeting meticulously for each expense, church leaders can ensure that they only spend what they can afford without leaving them short for other expenses.
A meticulous budgeting regime will usually mean no longer approving large expenses in advance, but rather working out a threshold for spending for each event instead. Establish the spending threshold for each activity and then church leaders can delegate the spending to a trusted member of the organization.
Working with trusted merchants
Delegating spending – once the spending threshold has been established for each activity or event – will also require compiling a list of trusted merchants that the church has either worked with before or knows well through either the church leader or its members. There may also be vendors and merchants who offer good rates or discounts to the church.
Having such a list of vendors compiled in advance helps delegated tasks to be completed according to the established budget for that task.
Church accounting software
There are quite a few examples of accounting software that is suitable for church expenses. One of the key features must be functionality, demonstrated by the software’s integration with popular accounting tools. Some other considerations to keep in mind include:
Mobile-friendly accounting software
It is crucial that your church accounting software is mobile-friendly as this will allow delegated church members to keep their expenses up to date. By using a mobile-friendly app for your church expenses, church leaders will be able to properly track spending and account for every dime spent.
Automated accounting software
Automated accounting tools such as those for recurring payments also make the whole process much easier by negating the need for manual reporting. Church leaders can benefit from the real-time visibility into every part of their organization’s finances that automated software provides. Even if the religious organization’s leader is not the most computer literate person in the world, many of today’s accounting software packages come with in-depth tutorials and even in-person training.
We can help
If you’re interested in finding out more about church accounting software, or any other aspect of your business finances, then get in touch with our financial experts at GoCardless. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.