Tag Archives: membership

Church Software for Districts and its Churches.

The evaluation of district software for churches should take into account the various tasks performed at each level of the organization (e.g. Church, District, Regional, National, World Offices).

Capabilities of District Software:

  1. The ability to move a church from one regional office to another.
  2. Communication capabilities both within a single entity as well as between each entity throughout the organization.
  3. Communication is based on roles within the organization – e.g. regional secretaries versus church secretaries.
  4. Adding church plants or multisite campuses.

Using one software system throughout the organization helps simplify day-to-day operations

If the software is capable of handling data for individual churches as well as multi-site organizations, users do not have to learn more than one system and data entry is more consistent. The use of a single system throughout the district also allows each church to uniquely structure its own chart of accounts, contribution funds, etc. while allowing the district office to combine the data from each church into one consolidated report.

For example, a district office could collect the membership data from each individual church and consolidate it into one report to analyze the organization as a whole. An individual church would also be able to track several youth or memorial funds that would show as one youth or memorial fund total on the district office reports. The ability to customize separate structures for both levels is crucial.

Why is all this important?

First, the software needs to tackle head-on the various issues each entity is facing at their respective levels. Having one system reduces errors in reporting, ensures a high level of data integrity, increases speed in data gathering, and prevents the users from having to learn and manage five different systems.

We will use an orchestra to illustrate this concept: if each musician was playing a different musical composition would you expect a well-tuned concert? Certainly not – all the musicians have to be on the same page of the same song. The same is true when it comes to the technology used in churches and throughout the entire organization – shouldn’t the same software be used so your ministry can operate in-sync like an orchestra?

Second, providing data to the district office gives an early indication if certain churches will need help financially or within their ministry staff. It can help to determine which entities are flourishing with donations or declining. Is attendance increasing at one location but not the other? All of these and many more questions are answered objectively with the right software in place.

Third, with a one-system approach, confidentiality across the platform is essential so one church cannot view another church’s records. The system must also allow churches to opt out of sending data to the district office. Most district software packages fail in one or more of these areas: membership, financials, data gathering and confidentiality. But you can rest assured because there is an answer for district offices → IconCMO+ software!


Church Office Software – What Makes it Different?

Church office software has various shapes and sizes. It is appropriate to distinguish between “church software” and “church office software”.

Church Software” – is any type of computer software specifically designed for use by a church”. Church software can encompass different types of software such as: bible verse, media production, donation, accounting, mass emailing, sermon, worship, and music software.

Church Office Software is one of the sub types of church software. Typically, the secretaries and financial staff use it in the office. Examples of this type of software are membership, contribution, accounting, newsletter generation, office communication tools, word processing, and spreadsheet software. The software is the heartbeat of the organization. For example, churches can still do their mission if they did not have music or media production software. Conversely, if they do not pay their bills or record donations the church doors will not be open too long.

Church office software is so vital to the mission of the church in keeping it running and the doors open, would it not be beneficial to ensure you choose one that fits your organization and still obeys government guidelines (e.g. IRS, FASB, etc). If the church could choose one thing to be correct within their organization what would it be? Most churches would choose to have the financial books correct. After all, if the church sings the wrong song on a Sunday the IRS won’t be there on a Monday issuing a violation.

Most churches realize the importance of correct financial books; however this area of ministry comes second to all the other activities in the church. When reviewing software, churches focus on the integration of membership or building a community. While these are important, they will not keep the organization out of trouble like having correct financial records. Choosing software that keeps you in check with government agencies first while building a community is the best way to start looking at software packages. It is safe to say that if the software does not have accounting included it is not worth looking at as a complete Church Office Software.

Churches some times fall into the trap of software longevity. Icon Systems can honestly say a company’s longevity in the market is not a good indicator of following the guidelines for financial reporting. If the church is unsure we recommend they do their due diligence and investigate the financial reporting requirements. A good start is to review the blog about “Fund Accounting Methods Compared“. The post discusses scenarios of incorrect guidelines according to FASB that are used in the church software industry.

While all church software is important, if certain software is not used the organization can suffer dire consequences. An organization can lose their tax-exempt status when audited with incorrect financial statements according to the FASB guidelines. Whenever there is uncertainty about proper financial reporting of money within a church, distrust spreads within the organization’s members. An organization using a FASB compliant system like IconCMO cloud base solution can be assured they are within guidelines.


iPad Interview with Icon Systems

A few months ago ChurchAccountingSoftwareGuide.com posted an interview with Icon Systems addressing some common questions about church software compliance with fund accounting standards and regulations.

The Church Accounting Software Guide recently posted another interview with Icon Systems discussing benefits of mobile technology as well as how the use of tablets (such as the iPad) can improve church management and accounting. The interview also offers some great insight to some of the exciting new features of the IconCMO web app for the iPad – you can read the full article here.

How is your church currently using mobile technology? We would love to hear from you – please share your comments and stories below!


iPad Church Software Released for IconCMO!

Icon Systems is pleased to announce the full IconCMO web application for the iPad. A full version of the IconCMO church software can be used on the iPad and the staff aren’t tied to a desktop or laptop computer. The users can take the iPad into meetings and answer those tough financial questions on the spot. The small group leaders for Religious Education, Sunday or VBS, and other ministries can take attendance before class starts and all the data is in real time for the staff to create reports on the spot. Allow the church leaders to know who is absent before the class is over. Adding in households and members when they visit the visitor center immediately and remove the need for visitor cards. Send an email to the new visitor as soon as they are added into the system.

These are just some of the advantages to using the iPad within the church. Having all this data available at your fingertips where ever you are gives IconCMO the edge over any other package that is available. Below are just some ways the church can use the new iPad interface to accomplish their everyday task more easily.

Church Membership Made Easy (on iPad)!

Adding in household/members is simple with an iPad interface.

Church membership on the iPad

Adding in a Household and its Members

Email history for the household.

Church membership follow up

Review the history of the email communication to a household

Set a reminder to follow up with a new visitor.

Set a quick reminder to follow up with new visitors

Visitation Reminder

Church Attendance taken on the go.

Church software for taking attendance

Take church attendance easily with the iPad

Church Accounting Made Easy (on iPad)!

Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet):

Church Accounting Balance Sheet

Balance Sheet

Change in Net Assets:

Church accounting net asset report

Net Asset Report

Statement of Activities (P/L Report):

Porfit and Loss report for church software

P/L Report

Reclassify an expense account when needed by the church council.

Reclassify expense accounts

Reclassification of expense accounts

Thanks,

The Development Team!


How to Choose a Church Management Software (ChMS) Solution!

How to choose a church management software solution:

  1. Know your requirements and search for a package that meets these expectations.  A bloated system can hinder rather than help. No software can provide everything so find one that meets your needs.
  2. Try before you buy if possible. While this may delay the decision process it will certainly ensure you get what you need. 
  3. Call the support department and have high expectations.  There are many church software companies on the market today that have fantastic support for their products.  Getting a resolution within minutes rather than days should be a requirement.

Each church is unique, but there are four fundamental benefits software should provide:

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Excel meets IconCMO church software

An update for IconCMO and its Reports!

The largest report related release to date for the IconCMO church software solution. The developers have given churches the ability to download reports in an Excel format from the IconCMO church management software (ChMS) solution. The enhancement greatly increases the flexibility of the IconCMO church software. Users can modify the standard reports and add various headings, data, etc. to the downloaded excel file to create their own customized reports. The majority of the reports in IconCMO were modified to offer this feature to our clients.  Additionally, we also changed the screens for reporting. The developers are laying the groundwork for future reporting styles to be added to our flagship church software product.

In addition to this great enhancement we have also included the normal export screens to go directly into Excel.  Now the system will directly send the data into Excel for the user – saving time in retrieving data for the end user!

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Streamline Church Software and Reduce Cost with Cloud Computing!

PR Contact:
Lauren Hunter Public Relations
916.838.2184
lauren@laurenhunter.net

Streamline Church Membership Management, Church Fund Accounting,
and Reduce Church Software Costs with Cloud-Based ChMS, IconCMO

IconCMO Offers Cloud-Based Financial and Administrative Technology Advantages to Churches

Moorhead, MN, April 25, 2011—As churches seek to increase efficiency on smaller budgets, looking to cloud-based church management software (ChMS) has incredible advantages. While there are many church technology providers on the market offering robust church management solutions, few have complete fund accounting, contribution, and payroll modules in addition to membership management—all in one integrated web-based church management system.  Read the full Press Release!


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