Counting collections: 3 “good steward” reasons to automate

Collections are an important part of any church. And, as a church leader, you want to manage your inflow the best way you can.

While you know your organization has a mission that’s different from for-profit companies, that doesn’t mean you can’t (and shouldn’t) handle your church’s money in a more proficient, proactive way.

Here are 3 reasons why it’s so important to update how you count collections.

#1: It lets you use volunteers’ time elsewhere 

Typically, volunteers are the ones spending their time counting collections every week. They show up regularly, and they generously give their time to perform a typically time-consuming and arduous chore. Often, this task pulls them out of the worship experience itself — something no church leader wants to do if it can be avoided.

Tom Holzheimer
For Tom Holzheimer, Business Manager at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Parma, OH, automating the counting of collections means he can process more than $13,000 of weekly check donations in less than 10 minutes. Previously, it took him hours. A detailed case study is available here.

Instead of having these volunteers count collections, churches could benefit so much more if these volunteers spent that time doing other ministry tasks — ones that might not otherwise get done.

Relieving volunteers of the burden of counting collections frees them up to contribute in other ways. They can use that time to make a significant ministry impact in other areas of the congregation and leave the “business side” of counting collections to others.

Some might argue that handling church money falls more appropriately on a church business manager or other church leader. The problem is, there are a lot of bills and checks to count. It would take someone hours to count it all by hand if volunteers didn’t tackle it by group.

This is why updating how you count money is so important. There are reliable money counters available that help count money quickly and accurately. Some count cash and scan checks so fast that a medium-sized church could count all its collections for the weekend in less than 10 minutes.

With that kind of speed, volunteers could focus their valuable time on other activities — those that actually require a ‘personal touch.’

The JetScan iFX counter and check scanner processes 1,600 bills per minute. Designed for simple software upgrades, you can add serial number capture, check scanning and other document processing features as your needs change.

#2: Save time in the business office 

Even if the church’s business office takes over counting collections, those staff members still must automate the process. As with any organization, automating the counting of money not only makes sense, it saves staff time.

Hand-counting cash or using an adding machine to add up check amounts can is error-prone. Though not intentional, mistakes definitely happen. When they do, the amount declared to a bank is different than what the bank counts. This creates rework and wasted time; moreover, someone might not be able to identify where the discrepancy occurred.

Automating the counting of collections, donations, festival proceeds and more can save the business office time and headache. The right system can accurately count cash and checks fast and create reports for weekly totals, parishioner statements and sound accounting practices.

#3: Reduce deposit fees 

Most banks charge fees for deposits with a large amount of paper checks, made at the branch. This is a significant and unnecessary expense, so churches need to automate and make deposits differently.

The most significant change would be to scan checks in the business office and deposit them to the bank digitally. This reduces deposit fees and saves time. Instead of paying higher fees and taking the deposit to the bank, you can simply transmit the check deposit to the bank and get access to your funds sooner.

Not every system does this the same way, however. Check scanners are special pieces of equipment, and they can vary. You need a machine that’s fast, easy to use, and can handle both cash and checks on the same device.

True, the “business” of churches is different than most other organizations — but that doesn’t mean that handling funds can’t be organized and modernized. These three reasons for automating counting collections are a way for churches like yours to start seeing how you can do more with what you have.

You just need to know which solutions will fit your needs.

Steve Will is Senior Marketing Communications Specialist at Cummins Allison, a leading innovator of technologies and equipment for counting coins, counting money, sorting money, sorting coins, imaging checks, scanning. 


One Response to “Counting collections: 3 “good steward” reasons to automate”

  1. Thanks for explaining that money counters can help you to quickly and accurately count money for your small business. My dad is struggling to keep track of the money for his small marketing agency. I’ll tell my dad to consider investing in a money counting machine this year.

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