All of us are creatures of habit. We become comfortable with the ways that we do things, and often forget to ask if learning to do tasks in a different way could help us make more of an impact. Today those changes often involve using new technology.
Thankfully, for churches looking to improve, there are many free and low cost financial tools that improve our systems and efficiencies.
Consider the following:
1. The Offering Count Sheet
The most common control found in churches is the Sunday morning offering count sheet. It is best practice to have two counters, not related by blood or marriage, count and sign that they have agreed on the total.
But then what happens?
Does anyone ever check that the amount shown on the count sheet was actually deposited in the bank? This step in the verification process is important or there is no point in having two counters in the first place.
The technologically savvy solution? Use the phone and email capability on smartphones to send a photo/pdf to selected leaders to show the signature and totals on the count sheet before money ever leaves the office. The pastor, the Treasurer, and those selected leaders will then immediately have:
Knowledge of the amount of the offering, and;
A reference to easily check against the sum recognized by the bank.
Check out https://www.camscanner.com/ . Camscanner is one free app to help; it turns any smartphone into a mobile scanner to capture this information
2. Online Donation Software
In a world dominated by mobile technology is it any wonder that much of our banking and purchasing has moved to digital and online capabilities. For those church who have embraced this change in culture, they consistently report that offerings increase by as much as 30% when they begin to accept donations over the internet. Most of the online donation systems also contain easy to use donor accounting software which can be utilized to keep track of cash and online donations all in one place. While many of these donor accounting programs are free, those that are not free are relatively inexpensive.
Checkout Breeze, Tithe.ly, and Servant Keeper for just a few of the largest vendors who offer online giving and donations software.
3. Online Bank Notices
With all of the innovation with online systems even your bank has useful free technology that can help improve your church financial systems. Most banks offer “Alerts” when events that you select take place. At your choosing, a church official will be promptly notified by email, text, or phone of specific events. These events can include such things as:
Debit card usage outside the USA
Debit card usage in excess of an amount you pre-selected
Upcoming automatic bill-pay transactions
Change in user’s status or credentials.
Treasurer’s ignore these free controls and notices that allow for increased safety and efficiencies at their own risk. Why not utilize the companies and systems we already have to the fullness of their capabilities.
These are just a few free and low cost ways that churches can begin to use technology to improves their systems and efficiencies. Stay tuned for the second part of this two part “Using Technolog” series or Contact Wisdom Over Wealth to see how you can utilize financial technology solutions at your church.