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4 Reasons QuickBooks Isn’t Enough for Churches


QuickBooks is a marketing leader for small business finances. Churches often gravitate to this option because it’s recommended by other nonprofits. But because of most church’s unique financial management needs, QuickBooks is rarely the optimal choice.

Researchers predict worldwide church financial fraud to reach $80 billion by 2025. That is an increase at an annual rate of more than six percent. How a ministry handles its accounting and financials are more critical today than ever. QuickBooks various iterations control nearly 80% of the market share of US businesses, with over 2.5 million subscribers. But just because this financial software works for a local cupcake shop doesn’t mean it’s the best option for churches with unique needs.

Here are four reasons why QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online aren’t the best solutions for churches:

#1 – QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online Don’t Specialize in Non-Profits

Accounting for non-profits, churches, in particular, is different than for regular, for-profit businesses. Churches have different needs, different issues, and different tax considerations. Consider this example: A contractor could use a Prius in his construction business, but would he want to? Wouldn’t a vehicle built for carrying lumber and driving on dirt roads better serve his needs? In the same way, a good Church Management Software package like FellowshipOne is built for churches. It’s the right tool for the job.

#2 – QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online Aren’t Made for Churches Out-of-the-Box

QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online are for small businesses. It’s solid software, built over time to accomplish its main goal: To become a user-friendly solution for entrepreneurs and small corporations. However, the first thing a church must do when they use Quickbooks is to change the way it works. Thick books have been written and hours of online video courses have been recorded touting work-around systems. It takes effort to get QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online “set up properly” for ministries—even when using the “Not-for-Profit” edition. Instead of wasting time rewriting software functions, churches should find an accounting system created for their needs.

#3 – QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online Don’t Track Donors and Donations Easily

Tracking online and offline giving by individual donors becomes a huge headache with QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online. Imagine tracking donations as “sales,” and having to issue “sales receipts”—or “refund sales” if a check bounces. We’ve seen churches create workarounds like this…and regret it. The more time a church is anchored in one software solution, the more complicated it gets to dig out of the hole. Instead, we recommend churches don’t start digging that hole in the first place!

#4 – QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online Doesn’t Integrate Well (If at All) with Other Church Software

Do you want to build your member database and track check-ins to children’s church, Sunday School and small groups? QuickBooks and QuickBooks Online aren’t made for that…so you’ll be using a secondary system to complete your church’s needs. Most likely, that secondary system doesn’t directly integrate with QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online because Intuit’s software is made for completely different purposes. FellowshipOne is built by pastors and leaders with real-life experience in the ministry. We know the kinds of connections you want to make between your software programs…and all of them are set up properly by default, right out-of-the-box.

Partnering with a financial software solution specifically designed for churches makes accounting fast, easy and GAAP compliant. In addition to being integrated with great accounting software for churches, FellowshipOne also handles member management, integrated online and offline giving, background checks, mass messaging and more. It works on any computer with a modern browser.

At FellowshipOne, we leverage the power of true integration between the leading church management software and ShelbyFinancials, the standard in church accounting for over four decades. General ledger, payrollaccounts receivable, and accounts payable are just some of the features and functions available.

Click here to schedule a free demo of everything FellowshipOne and Shelby Financials can do for you. We’re convinced once you see how much time our software solution will save you, you’ll be ready to ditch QuickBooks for good.

Scott Goodger
Scott Goodgerhttps://ministrybrands.com
Scott is a former FellowshipOne customer, Worship Leader, and IT Director. He joined FellowshipOne in 2011 and has worked with hundreds of churches around the country, implementing FellowshipOne and consulting with them on business processes and best practices. He is now the General Manager for FellowshipOne, serves weekly in his home church, and loves spending time with his family in the Dallas, TX area.


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