By Tim Grabacki
It’s not something church business managers think about a lot, but:
How you count the money might be affecting the church more than you’d think.
Here are three tips on how to better handle cash and checks in your collections.
#1: Treat the business office like a business office
The mission of a church is different from other organizations, but that doesn’t mean the functions are different. A church still needs to manage itself like any other organization: maintain the property, pay utilities, and run the numbers for festivals, to name just a few.
Along this line, it’s important to remember that handling cash should be done with discretion and prudence, as any responsible organization would.
Some churches have people other than the business manager count collections. It’s wonderful that volunteers donate their time, and you appreciate their generosity; however, it’s not the best business practice. It’s highly prone to errors. And while all congregation members can be upstanding, temptation can get to anyone. Counting the money and preparing the deposits should be done by business office personnel and handled appropriately.
So, who is going to tackle the problem of counting all the collections and donations? If it seems like an alarming problem, don’t worry. There are ways to quickly, easily and affordably solve this problem.
#2: Make money-processing efficient
Organizational efficiency does not belong to for-profit companies alone. On the contrary, not-for-profit organizations need to streamline the most. There are no thick margins; there are no slush funds. You need to make every dollar count and every minute of staff’s time count.
Once you make responsible cash-handling a priority, it’s time to get it done within budget. Getting the right tools will help you develop practices that let you count collections faster and more easily.
Furthermore, your collections will be more accurate and more organized than ever, and you’ll prepare deposits faster.
Many sizeable organizations today use machines to count money in their cash office. Cash-counting, coin-sorting and check-scanning machines are small, affordable and easy to use. Moreover, they are fast. Blazing fast and remarkably accurate. If you’ve never experienced using them before, you should. Get a product trial from a reputable company and simply try it.
Some money counters can even process 1,600 bills per minute and 400 checks per minute on one machine. Special software can also deposit checks remotely and electronically, so you get credit sooner.
In an organization where cash and check volumes are very high, such a device is a perfect companion to a church business manager.
#3: Use your newfound time in other places
When you streamline processing collections, you get time back. The business manager spends time focusing on other projects rather than preparing deposits or reconciling errors with the bank’s count.
The real win, though, is that the volunteers can now focus on tasks that couldn’t get done because of bandwidth. Instead of counting collections, these volunteers can now spend time on so many other ways to help the church.
Handling collections better is easy and affordable
Churches handle large amounts of cash and checks at least once a week. In order for your business office to streamline, you need a solution that fits your volume.
Cummins Allison has partnered with churches across the country to pair them with the right machines that save time. It’s never too soon to improve.
Tim Grabacki is the director of product management at Cummins Allison, a U.S.-based company that provides customers of countless industries, including churches, with money-handling solutions, streamlining their businesses and creating efficiency.