Although churches need to track income and expenses like any other organization, they also have specific needs that most accounting software can’t easily handle. Managing donations and tithes and keeping detailed reports of which ministries and projects are funded are crucial to the success and transparency of any church
Because churches aren’t always clear on the employment status of their staff, they can also face penalties by not complying with labor laws. For example, a church can be penalized for failing to withhold payroll taxes from a self-employed worker the IRS later reclassifies as an employee. Penalties can be as much as 3% of the worker’s wages, plus 40% of the employee’s share of FICA taxes.
Finding the right tools to maintain compliance and balance the books can be a challenge with so many hoops to jump through. We reviewed over a dozen church accounting software platforms based on reputation, ease-of-use, features, price, and more. Here are our top picks.
The 6 Best Church Accounting Software of 2021
- Best Overall: Aplos
- Runner-Up, Best Overall: PowerChurch Software
- Best Features: ShelbyNext Financials
- Best Price: FlockBase
- Best for Simple Giving Tracking: Breeze
- Best for Large Ministries: ACS Church Accounting
1. Best Overall Aplos
When former CPA and executive pastor Tim Goetz was having trouble finding simple accounting software for nonprofits and churches, he started Aplos Software to build it. Since then, the company has helped more than 40,000 organizations in over 50 countries. We chose it as the best overall because of its reputation, range of features, and excellent customer service.
As a cloud-based platform, Aplos can be used on any computer connected to the internet without needing to download any software. The platform offers a complete solution for church bookkeeping, including importing bank transactions, tracking and paying bills, creating invoices and receiving payments, printing checks, and tracking 1099s.
Aplos also has robust financial reporting, including church financials; donation tracking with giving statements; budgeting reports; and the ability to track funds by project, campaign, or department. The software also makes it easy to create mobile-friendly donation forms for mission trips, special events, or capital campaigns.
Although Aplos can’t process payroll, it integrates with Gusto, one of the top payroll processing and HR platforms. The integration makes it easy to process and track pastoral payroll, housing allowances, and make tax payments.
Aplos offers a subscription for $59 per month which includes two users. Additional users can be added for $10 per month. A $159 per month subscription is also available with advanced accounting features, including fixed-asset tracking, budgets by fund, and managing multiple entities.
Aplos also offers additional discounts to organizations formed in the past year or with less than $50,000 in annual revenue. Each plan comes with a 15-day free trial.