Church finance management should be easy. While the Church has been preaching from the same book for the last 2,000 years, your finance team probably shouldn’t use technology from the same era.
That’s why it’s not only important to use world-class finance technologies. It’s critical to use them in a way that helps reduce inefficiencies, save time, and improve accuracy, even as your church grows and changes. Not all church tech is built equally nor with your admin processes in mind. But many offer features that can simplify your processes and make your Mondays better than your Fridays.
Here are the 5 tricks, features, and shortcuts in church finance tech you can use today to save your team hours each week and improve your workflows.
1. Streamlined Giving to One Platform
Most people who attend your church expect to be able to give quickly on mobile. But a small percentage of givers are faithful to their checkbooks and the cash envelope. It’s no wonder many churches still pass a collection bucket, even though a large portion of financial gifts are donated digitally. Givers differ. And it’s important to meet people where they choose to be generous. Whether the majority of your givers use your text-to-give feature, mobile app, or website to give, it’s important to develop a process that captures each gift easily and accurately. Without a process in place to streamline gifts, it’s easy to fall into the trap of spending hours manually entering gifts from each platform into your central system. You never really notice how many people attend the church until it’s Monday and you’re entering gifts in—one at a time.
Platforms like Pushpay streamline gift entry by allowing you to automatically capture donation information from multiple sources and add it into one system. Donations from the Pushpay giving app, website, and text-to-give automatically appear on the church’s admin dashboard once the donation is completed. Cash and checks can then be entered to the dashboard immediately once the donor’s profile is saved in the system. Additionally, with Pushpay, your community isn’t limited to giving only during worship services. Congregants can give any day of the week. In fact, Sunday mornings are often the lowest day for recorded giving for churches using Pushpay. For these churches, gifts come in all week long and are securely recorded in their admin dashboard. By Monday, digital gifts are ready to go and most of the financial reconciliation work is already done.
2. Batch Reconciliation
If your church has more than 50 members, entering gifts one at a time can be a true time suck and make reconciliation more vulnerable to errors. That’s why batch entry helps improve efficiency and save time. This process allows you to group gifts in your giving platform based on the fund they are associated with, service time it was collected at, or other specifications. Few giving tools offer this feature, but it’s worth finding out if your current platform enables batch entry. With platforms like Pushpay, batch entry allows quick and accurate reporting, easier reconciliation, and faster entry into the system. It also integrates with accounting tools and ChMS systems to ensure that you don’t have to save entries one by one in both Pushpay and your system of record.
3. Transaction Import
Transaction importing is helpful if multiple giving platforms are currently in use. This feature allows you to sync transactions into one place. This means each gift can be easily found and is securely recorded in a central system, making weekly, monthly, and quarterly reconciliation efforts quick and simple. It also saves time at the end of each year when annual giving statements are created.
Instead of spending hours, even days fishing for gifts lost among your separate giving platforms, transaction imports draw in gifts to one place so statements can be quickly generated and distributed. There are shortcuts in most giving platforms that allows you to export transactions onto spreadsheets or CSV files and import them to a central system. Explore the help pages of your software programs to see is this feature is available for you to start using today. Transaction importing is also a great time-saving resource when transitioning from prior giving solutions and want to keep historic records in one place.
It’s important for tech to sync with each other. Why? Technologies that should integrate but don’t, mean data stored in your multiple systems have to be manually transferred from one platform to another each time something happens—like Sunday giving. Hours of redundant data entry. Goodbye, Mondays.
Some church management systems, giving tools, and accounting software are already compatible. You’ve probably already gotten used to manually re-entering data into your between different platforms. However, the staff time and salary invested in redundant, time-wasting activities may cost you more than the cost of adopting a new financial tool that works with other finance tools you already have in place. For instance, tools like Pushpay work with popular church management systems like Church Community Builder and Planning Center, as well as systems of record like Quickbooks Online. This means church administrators can save time by syncing donor data among these systems instead of re-entering information between each platform.
5. Check Deposit
Stack those checks and run down to the bank…no more. This part of financial reconciliation is both time- and labor-intensive, requires a keen eye for detail, and sometimes multiple volunteers to remain after worship services. But some technologies don’t even require check runs in order for those funds to be deposited in the church’s account. Some banks allow remote check deposits using a regular smartphone to take a picture or scan of checks. Industrial check scanners can be expensive, but they are also an option.
Some giving tools also furnish their customers with check scanners and the capability to securely deposit checks without leaving the office. Churches like Perfecting Church in Detroit benefit from this feature when Pushpay giving is adopted. The first time a person gives a check to Perfecting Church, a staff member inputs the person’s name and other details about the check into their admin portal. But after that, all of the information automatically populates the form, saving time and reducing the opportunities for human error.
Finally, there’s nothing like coffee and good ole’ fashioned high-speed internet to help you power through your Mondays and leave your office in record time!
While it’s impossible to McGyver your way out of clunky and inefficient processes, it’s time to look for tech that can do it for you. See why over 7,000 churches use Pushpay to drive generosity while simplifying admin processes. Talk to an expert today to learn more.