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Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor
RE: QuickBooks (QB) and Church Management Systems - CMS UPTD: March 09, 2012
Below is a hypothetical Online Email thread (THRD) between Jim@bcidot.org and one of the these hypothetical Ministry MFTeam members: PAT (Ministry Executive), LEE (Ministry Volunteer Treasurer), and FRAN (Ministry Computer Bookkeeper).
From: Lee -
Jim, Our Church receives Christian Computing Magazine (2) by Email -- which we all enjoy very much. Included in a recent issue is a review by Nick of what is called CMS (Church Management Systems). Please click here (3) so you can read this review which provides a great deal of details by named CMS Provider. It is very, very helpful, and I notice that a good part of it covers various computer accounting features that you have helped us with via QuickBooks (QBs).
This CMS information is extremely helpful and needs to be made known to Churches. I think Nick annually does this, and I personally learn a lot from this significant effort. As he points out, there are a number of CMS features listed in the review that QBs cares for at your church. Some people have two QBs concerns that have come to my attention. The 1st one has to do with Church Fund Accounting via QBs and the 2nd one has to do with QBs being "Too User friendly" whereby people with responsibilities like Fran find it easy to steal or embezzle funds, etc.
From: Lee --
Well, I know that QuickBooks helps us know immediately, after posting our receipts and checks, how much money we have in each special fund .... plus it provides info so we know if our folk have stayed within their authorized budget. So I don't see how that is a problem for me, but do the other concerns out-weigh all of the other QuickBooks pluses? Please expand on all of this, Jim.
You are correct - Ministry Fund Accounting via your use of QBs is not an issue with you. Your Church uses features of QBs that meets its accounting and reporting needs. But when you read our 0601 publication, you will notice that some Ministries use methods set forth by Intuit (QBs owner), or by others. Most of these methods do NOT let you know immediately how much of the common bank account is in a specific fund or are they conducive to good structure or even good accounting processes. You can get this info, but not always efficiently. Be especially aware of the info found when you go to FinFax
Nor is the "Too User Friendly" issue a concern at your Church because Fran must take certain required steps. Your Church has established certain required policies and internal control procedures. For example, Fran must 'set things in concrete' so Fran can not go back and change earlier transactions without approval ..... plus Fran regularly goes through other required QB protocol as spelled out within 0647.
From: Lee --
Thank you, Jim, for those reminders. Do you have any other comments about QuickBooks showing up within a review of various CMS, or Church Management Systems?
Yes, I have tried to show more info below about QBs features, plus I have also added some Comments along with our four digit xxxx links that pertain to the topic involved. I trust you find it helpful.
CMS "Ministry Accounting" Features (1) Not Mentioned Comments: A> Contribution Accounting Generally not recommended via QB -- See 0621 1> General Ledger Tranx detail to account - no posting of monthly totals xxx From G/L drill back to the transaction itself xxx 2> Chart of Accounts Numbered or not xxx Sub-totals by Chart of Acct groups xxx Capability of coding for detailed reporting purposes xxx 3> Automatically tracks Multiple See Methods One, Two and Three Fund Balances in 0601 4> Secure Audit Trail You need to use the "Set in Concrete features" - see 0647 5> Reports via Excel - see 0060 Export to Excel for report personalization etc xxx Details or Summary Memorize report structure 6> Bank Reconciliation xxx Use of Online Banking 7> Budget Either 1/12 of annual or different amount per month Graphic Analysis Does not emphasize 8> Accounts Payable Including Credit Cards xxx Online Checks to Vendors xxx 9> Accrual Basis Capable Click Here for Here issues See GAAP comments in 0004 10> Annual 1099s 11> Payroll Handle Clergy Payroll issues Direct Deposit Time clock Accounts for vacation & sick time Plus many other staffer info 941 and W-2s - including Clergy See 0016 All State Payroll tax returns 12> Checks - vendor or payroll Laser checks Dot Matrix checks 13> Complete GAAP emphasis xxx See 0919 for more info at Year End 14> Readily have multiple G/Ledgers when applic - see 0611
From: Lee -
Thank you, Jim. Keep up the good work!!!
Please click here for more QuickBooks info on this web site. The bulk of this Publication originated in November 2002. and was UPTD: March 09, 2012 Click here and go to List of threads (THRDs) at www.bcidot.org
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