Let’s be honest. Accounting can often take the back seat in the average church. Most don’t have a big paid staff with a trained accountant who can devote their day to bookkeeping. This is unfortunate because the fact is your bookkeeping is one of the most important parts of running an organization. However, there are great church accounting services out there that can make your job easier.
Church accounting services and what outsourcing means for your organization
When was the last time you asked yourself how your church was doing with its financials? After all, your accounting system is your organization’s financial backbone. The answer to this question should tell you:
- How much money you currently have
- If you’re spending more than expected
- If you’re capable of paying your bills
- What your plan is for your current money
- If you’re in the red
To help, solid fund accounting software and a bookkeeper who knows what they’re doing are strongly suggested. Without it, you face risks like getting behind and missing important deadlines while having to guess about your organization’s financial health. You might also be unsure if it’s getting done right, especially if the financial reports are inaccurate in any way. Your reports can even start working against you with unhelpful or misleading information. Nobody wants that.
So, if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I give up! I just can’t keep up with my accounting!” then it may be a sign that you should outsource your church’s bookkeeping.
The idea of paying for someone to do your books may sound intimidating, but here are nine reasons to consider outsourcing your bookkeeping and investing in your financial health.
1. Outsourcing with church accounting services = more accurate bookkeeping
In the typical small church setting, the person doing the bookkeeping typically doesn’t have a lot of training in accounting. By outsourcing your books, you get a full team of trained people who have experience. This ensures:
- You won’t miss important deadlines
- Mistakes will be far less likely
- Your designated funds are separated correctly in the books
- Your financials are intact, accounted for, balanced, and up to date
- Various other types of income are accounted for correctly
2. Skill and experience
The beauty of hiring a professional to manage your accounting is just that! A professional will actually manage it. Hiring an accountant can be cost-prohibitive, but by outsourcing with church accounting services, you have access to a high level of expertise. They can answer complex questions and ensure you’re following best practices.
3. Church accounting services reduce the risk of fraud
According to a study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) published in 2016, over 30% of fraud cases occur in organizations with fewer than 100 employees and, on average, small organizations had 49.2% fewer controls in place to prevent fraud. An outsourced accountant has experience implementing strong internal controls, and because they’re impartial, they can help reduce these risks.
4. Save time
You have a million things you have to do each day to keep your organization running, and your expertise in those areas is a much more efficient use of your time. Having an outsourced bookkeeper can free up this administrative task, so you can spend your energy focusing on achieving your mission and managing the day-to-day operations. Another benefit is you can hire a bookkeeper for an amount of time you determine. As mentioned in this article by entrepeneur.com, many businesses might only see their bookkeeper once a year, during tax season.
5. More consistency
Most churches have a treasurer or volunteer who helps with the books, but these people tend to come and go. Outsourcing with church accounting services means you won’t worry about scrambling to find help at the last minute. You won’t fall behind while you wait for a new bookkeeper, train incoming volunteers, or fix costly mistakes made by people who are still learning the ropes.
6. Church accounting services improve processes
A hidden benefit of outsourcing is it actually improves your current financial process. Outsourced accountants have experience with best practices that improve the efficiency and timeliness of data, so it is a smooth process to make it simpler to import data and close the books.
7. Better insight into your financials
Having a professional manage your account means they’ll have up-to-date records and can provide insight into your financial position. Up-to-date financials let you anticipate cash flow, reduce costs, and better your organization’s financial position.
8. Better insight into giving
Your outsourced bookkeeper can also help monitor giving for your organization. Correctly tracking income for each designated purpose lets you generate reports to see giving trends. It also lets you monitor giver retention, create contribution statements, and welcome new givers.
9. You can be a better steward of your resources
Accurate tracking of your funds gives your people assurance that you’re using their contributions well and are serving their designated purpose. With great financial reporting, you can demonstrate how your church is following through on your mission with fiscal responsibility. You can also have the reports you need to meet grant requirements and plan for future endeavors.
The moral of the story is, don’t be afraid to outsource with church accounting services. Aplos has a Bookkeeping Services Department that can take care of the bookkeeping for you. We keep your books up to date and accurate in Aplos. We also give feedback for you to make sound financial decisions.
*Small caveat. We aren’t saying you CAN’T do your accounting on your own. Churches do it every day. And they do it using our fund accounting software. But if you aren’t confident and just don’t have the time to keep up with the books, outsourcing your bookkeeping is the best option.