Faith-based donors are known for being passionate, committed, reliable givers. Unfortunately, Giving USA states the overall percentage of households affiliated with religion has been trending downward with each younger generation, which means faith-based nonprofits will have to work harder to engage a smaller set of donors in order to fulfill their missions. Religious donors understand stewardship and value it. Cloud church accounting software enables the transparency, accountability, and financial reporting that are prerequisites for maintaining trust with existing donors and have proof of your outcomes to engage with new donors.
Demonstrating Mission Impact
In today’s highly digital world, the committees, staff, and fiduciaries entrusted with management over church assets want to see detailed reports about mission impact and outcomes. Cloud-based, financial solutions afford religious organizations the tools to demonstrate good stewardship.
The Pastor of Administration of Seacoast Church, Glenn Wood, said, “My role is to provide direction for the future of our church and make sure leaders have what they need to minister to the people day in and day out. AcctTwo empowers me to do this by providing insights into the financial data so I can work with our ministry teams and board of trustees to help them understand the potential impact of key operational decisions.” Let’s take a closer look at how Seacoast achieves these benefits.
Seacoast Church Sees Immediate Benefits
As a growing multi-site church, Seacoast Church needed a more modern church accounting solution. Seacoast decided to upgrade to a modern, cloud-based solution that could better handle the needs of their expanding, multi-campus church.
Seacoast partnered with the church accounting experts at AcctTwo. Seacoast quickly saw huge improvements across all financial processes after AcctTwo migrated them from Shelby to Sage Intacct’s cloud-based church accounting software. They shortened their financial close by more than 40 hours per month while adding a new campus.
One of the biggest improvements was the transformation of Seacoast’s complex financial report preparation, which used to take days of aggregating and manipulating data in Excel that was error prone. “Because of the way it was designed, our old system couldn’t create a financial report that had all of the data we needed in one place, so we ended up having to build a number of reports manually,” said Wood.
It’s now easier to support the church’s finances and report them effectively, giving Seacoast’s donors and auditors confidence that the organization is managing its finances well. “Now we can generate a single report with a one-page recap of our financials, a second page for campus-level consolidations, and then additional pages for individual campus or ministry reports. Having this kind of flexible and robust reporting helps us be more productive, while making sure all our data ties together correctly.”
Increased Church Operations Visibility
Seacoast also enjoys greater operational visibility than ever before thanks to the dimension structure in their chart of accounts, which captures the context of each transaction, along with its ability to track non-financial church metrics and ratios. These powerful capabilities—from easily including graphs with financial statements, to integrating statistical data on church attendance and displaying all this key performance information together via intuitive dashboards, allows the organization’s leaders to manage church funds in a better way.
Less Bookkeeping, More Data-Driven Decisions
The role of the finance department at Seacoast Church has transformed to focus less on church bookkeeping and more on strategic partnership. By enabling Seacoast to slice and dice its data by individual campuses, ministries, vendors, employees, and more, they now have valuable decision-making insights into what the cost of building a new sanctuary would be, its projected attendance, potential finances, and how long it would take to pay off any debt related to that investment.
Wood shared, “When I first started in church accounting 25 years ago, our job was basically to cut checks. Despite the church growing larger and more complex over the years, our systems have helped finance get a seat at the table.” He added, “We have a phenomenal leadership team, but they’re people and ministry-oriented. Our job is to help them understand ‘What would happen if…?’ With AcctTwo, we’re able to look at various scenarios and know what the impact of certain decisions would be.”
Success Starts with Experts that Know Church Accounting
The key to success when considering new church accounting software is to choose the right partner. The team at AcctTwo has direct experience as church finance leaders and CFOs so we understand your challenges uniquely.
Download the eBook: 8 Tips for Using Technology to Manage Church Finances
By reading this eBook you will learn:
- How these solutions help organizations engage religious donors with reports about mission impact and outcomes that reinforce what they observe during their own volunteer experiences.
- How to apply the 8 tips outlined in the eBook to engage the ever-growing younger generation of church-goers and donors.