A growing church is a blessing, but can be a challenge too. When membership soars from a few hundred to a few thousand church operations take on an entirely new character. Accounting becomes far more complex as both donations and expenses multiply. Plus, administrators have to juggle that extra accounting on top of the day-to-day needs of an expanding ministry. Needless to say, growing pains are common.
The problem is not that churches are overwhelmed or under-prepared. Usually the issue is a financial management solution that can’t keep up with success and opportunity. Introductory solutions have limited capabilities, especially in terms of visibility. They make it difficult to collect all relevant information in one location, leaving important questions without answers. Accounting uncertainty is never advantageous, but it’s especially difficult for an ascending church.
Understanding the importance of complete, accurate, and up-to-date visibility is the first step. Afterwards you can properly evaluate the weaknesses in your current accounting solution and the strengths of an alternative. Here are a few examples:
Visibility Across Locations
Churches with multiple locations often have to manually compile their accounting data. This is extremely time and labor intensive, which means that accounting insights are hard to generate and slow to apply. Real-time visibility automatically integrates data from across locations, ensuring that accounting is conducted efficiently and comprehensively. Plus, multi-site visibility allows any future locations to integrate seamlessly into your accounting processes.
Visibility Across Priorities
Visibility means different things depending on who you ask. Head administrators may want to see the big picture while other might want to drill down into the data. Better visibility allows users to customize what data they see and how they see it. You have the flexibility to focus on your own priorities and projects while knowing any figure you reference is current and correct. Great solutions even include keyword searching so that even non-accountants can begin utilizing financial insights.
Visibility Across Stakeholders
Church finances affect everyone in the congregation, but the subject is often confusing to financial novices. Visibility isn’t just about how you look at the numbers, it’s also about how you present them. Adapting data, visual tools, and presentation styles based on the audience makes it easy for pastors and church leaders to understand key accounting insights and apply them to their own duties/decisions. Accounting into a tool that is accessible to all once visibility improves.
How has your own growth affected your accounting capabilities? Is it harder to keep up with the speed, volume, or complexity? Do you think accounting challenges could compromise your future growth?
If you answered yes to any of these questions your church is not alone. Growing churches across the country have upgraded to Sage Intacct to build capability, flexibility, and, most importantly, visibility into their financial management solution. If you’re ready to chart a path towards a bright future, contact the team at AcctTwo.