We're big fans of doing what we do well and letting others focus on what they do well.
We love software development and serving churches but when it comes to accounting, there's already a lot of great companies out there. We'd rather integrate with great accounting systems than spend time creating a second-rate accounting product.
While we've built out a specific integration for Quickbooks, we actually recommend an alternative approach; one that can work with any accounting system you're using.
While our Quickbooks integration pulls in each and every contribution into a desktop version of Quickbooks, typically churches don't need to store every individual contribution in both their church management system and their accounting system.
Instead churches typically need their church management system to keep track of who gave what, when they gave it, what fund they gave it to, along with the ability to generate reports and end of year tax statements.
In contrast, the accounting system typically just needs to know the totals given to an individual fund (e.g. $9,000 given to the "General Fund" and $3,500 given to the "Missions Fund").
Our recommended approach then is to simply type the total amount given to each fund into Quickbooks (or whatever accounting system you're using). Breeze makes it easy to locate the total given to each fund so that this process can be quick and easy.
This allows churches to have a simpler system with a lot fewer moving parts by only bringing over the needed information.
We hope this process allows you to have a simpler and more efficient system while still keeping track of all the important details.
If you're looking for an accounting system to use, we have a few recommendations as well (we're not receiving anything for these listings):
Quickbooks is the industry leader in accounting software. While powerful, it also can be quite complex. If you want all the bells and whistles, this would be a great solution to look into. For more information on Quickbooks Online, click here. For even more power, you can look at Quickbooks Desktop edition. Intuit (Quickbook's parent company) is putting less focus on their desktop version however it is still available and there have been no announcements that it's being discontinued.
Update 1/21/2016: One of the churches using Breeze let us know about non-profit discount rates for Quickbooks available through TechSoup. If you're interested, you can find more information here (we are not receiving anything in exchange for promoting this).
Aplos is an accounting software built to serve churches and non-profits. Often times non-profits can have much simpler bookkeeping processes and Aplos is built with this simplicity in mind. If you're feeling overwhelmed by Quickbooks, Aplos would be a great solution to check out. For more information on Aplos, click here.
FreshBooks is a bit of a hybrid between Quickbooks and Aplos in that it's built for general use (like Quickbooks) but also strives to be user friendly (like Aplos). If Quickbooks looks too complex and Aplos looks too limited, FreshBooks may be a great product to look into. More information on FreshBooks can be found here.
Has your church found an alternative process for keeping track of donations that's working well? Has a different accounting software served your church well? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.