All Leaders

  • 1.  Church Finances

    Posted 07-25-2023 10:31 AM

    I am the Treasurer at our church.  We have a weekly attendance at two services of about 140 members and we have a preschool with 100+ kids.  Currently I work with a local outside CPA firm to provide financial reports and services on a monthly basis for our church.   1st question:  How do other churches handle their financial reporting?  Who does it?  2nd question:  Is a CPA necessary?  3rd question:  Has anyone tried using a service where the accounting is being done remotely rather than locally?  Does it work?   

    I am aware of Concordia Technology Solutions Church 360 Ledger and have looked at it as an alternative, but we don't have the personnel available in our church to implement it and keep it going.  

    Thank you in advance for any and all comments.  

    Tony Cantor
    King of Kings Lutheran Church

  • 2.  RE: Church Finances

    Posted 07-26-2023 08:40 AM

    I am the president and treasurer of our small congregation (we have 20-40 worshipers on a Sunday).  I create a monthly report in excel that shows all expenditures by budget line item and a monthly check ledger report that shows all checks written and drafts from our checking account.  We don't have the finances to hire any outside help.

    Kelly Miller
    Trinity Lutheran Church, Meridian, MS

  • 3.  RE: Church Finances

    Posted 07-27-2023 08:04 AM

    I am the treasurer at our church with weekly attendance of 110. I use Shepherds Staff from Concordia Technologies for accounting functions. We also use that for most other church needs. For payroll I found a product named PayRoll Mate from Real Business Solutions and have used it for about 10 years. It's cheap (roughly $125/yr) and is easy to use.  Each pay period I enter the hours worked and it produces a pay stub that I write a manual check from. It produces 941's for quarterly reporting and W-2's and a W-3 at year end. It's really a nice program.


    John Emerson

    Trinity Lutheran Troy Mo

  • 4.  RE: Church Finances

    Posted 07-26-2023 09:32 AM

    Good morning,

    We have 1 service and a weekly attendance of approximately 110.

    I am the bookkeeper/business director.  I have been using Aplos since November 2017 when we went from a mission church to being on our own.

    Being a small church I wear a lot of hats.  Aplos makes the accounting side easy.  I pay all the bills in Aplos.  The counters record the donation on paper, and then I record the contributions in Aplos.  It is a great CRM.  I have always been able to run any report requested.  The key is to set up the Aplos accounting the right way the first time.  Aplos has a GREAT customer service.  They listen to their users and have made improvements.  Contribution statements can be printed or emailed from the Aplos software.

    For calculation of payroll, I email an accountant the hours worked, who then gives me the numbers, I enter them into Aplos and set up the direct deposits.  Our accountant is a member of the church and does not charge the church.  He also prepares the 1099's, W-2's, etc. Aplos does have a payroll department, Gusto, who can do the same thing.

    Our online donations are thru Stripe that works with Aplos and is automatically entered into the software.

    One feature that I really like is that the reports can be downloaded into an excel spreadsheet so I can make sure they fit on 1 page ��, add important information or take out un-needed info.  With only a couple of clicks, I can run a year-to-date report for each team when it comes time to work on the budget.

    Aplos also has MANY training videos from Best Practices, How to Run a Report, Creating a Budget, etc.  Someone with little accounting knowledge will benefit from these videos...even someone with a bookkeeping background because they are relevant to today.

    Another nice thing about Aplos is that it is an on-line program.  I can be on vacation and as long as I have wi-fi or cell coverage, I can work from my phone instead of traveling with a laptop.  I have run payroll from campgrounds, Montana and Hawaii.  Working remotely is not a problem.

    God is good.


    Patti Meyers

    Business Director

    Lakes Area Christian Fellowship


  • 5.  RE: Church Finances

    Posted 07-26-2023 10:01 AM

    Hi Tony:

    I'm the elected (volunteer) Treasurer at our church which is only slightly larger than yours based on the numbers you noted. I do all of the accounting for our congregation including paying bills, managing various financial accounts, and all financial reports for boards, voter assemblies, etc. The only function I don't perform is processing our payroll. We have a local CPA firm that takes a payroll file that our church secretary submits and they draw from a designated payroll account at our bank the amount needed to fund payroll twice each month. I then do the accounting of those transactions and ensure the payroll account is sufficiently funded for the next payroll period. They handle all of the payroll tax submissions and end-of-year state and federal tax reports. We use 360Ledger for managing our finances.

    Don Carpenter, Treasurer
    Immanuel Ev. Lutheran Church
    Lincoln, Nebraska

  • 6.  RE: Church Finances

    Posted 07-27-2023 07:18 AM
    I am the volunteer Treasurer of our church which has about 300 members.   I"m not an accountant.  We don't use a CPA although past treasurer's have been CPAs.   I do have a financial background.    
    We also use Church 360, which is a little confusing when it comes to some things.   CPAs don't usually like it.   
    One thing that I think is important is a separation of duties.   We have a financial secretary pay all the bills and make all entries into the Church 360.   Then the treasurer reviews these and reports them.  We try to make sure that no one person has control of any financial process, so there can be no suspicion of any inappropriate activity.   This is really for the protection of the volunteers.  
    We have considered looking into a local bookkeeper, but have not done so.

    Steve Wilson
    Epiphany Lutheran Church