By Tim Grabacki
Churches are businesses. Certainly, they are a special kind of business, with a special mission — but, the business office needs to operate like any qualified department, whether for-profit or not-for-profit.
In order to streamline, you need the right tools to function well and thrive. Functioning well lets your church achieve more of its goals and reduces the burden and stress of business office personnel.
Here’s how to get the right tool to count your collections and donations and legitimize your business office.
How we worship requires work behind the scenes
While the reason we worship hasn’t changed in two millennia, how we worship has. Today, churches have wireless microphones, video displays, and comfortable seating, all of which create a greater experience for the congregation and let people follow along better.
If you’ve organized an event, big or small, you know that the front-end, visible side of it is only part of the story. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes to create the end result. As a leader in your church, you never forget that improving the unseen operations behind the curtain does indeed improve the experience of your worshipers.
It’s about foundation. And at the root of it, churches are businesses. They are not-for-profit businesses with a special mission, but they are indeed businesses. And as such, church leaders cannot ignore the importance of helping the business office be the best it can be.
Church business offices must use professional practices and the right tools
The business office helps keep the church grounded, makes sure the funds are coming and going appropriately, and forecasts the church’s financial needs and capabilities. In order to manage all this, business office personnel need the right tools. Whether staffed by many people or solely a single business manager, the right tools are imperative to making the job possible.
Churches are unique in how many ways they collect funds. It is rare for an organization to have such a distributed mix of cash, checks, coins and electronic transactions, so you need solutions that really solve the pain churches have in processing collections and donations.
One tool to help churches solve their unique pain point is a solution to quickly and efficiently count physical money. Every week, especially after Sunday services, cash, check and coin collections and donations create a stressful, albeit essentially welcomed, burden on the business office.
Take away the stress and burden of counting collections by counting cash and checks on a machine that’s fast, accurate, and gets the job done quickly. Prepare deposits and record totals significantly faster and more professionally.
THE BENEFITS OF A PROPER MONEY COUNTER
#1: Save time counting collections. The tasks of the business manager and the business office as a whole extend beyond just counting money. There are myriad to-dos every day. If it’s not paying bills, it’s taking on the tasks of the upcoming festival. You don’t need to be burdened by counting cash and checks slowly and inefficiently.
You also don’t have time to manage volunteers counting money. This can be slow, fraught with errors, and generally bad business practice. Even if only for accuracy reasons, having volunteers handle the collections doesn’t make sense. The reason you do it is because of the time burden, so get a tool that solves that problem altogether. You’re a not-for-profit business, so handle your revenues like a business.
#2: Save time reconciling. The books need to match the statements. You said one thing, but your bank says another. This is a hassle that requires special adjustments and unnecessary work. Get the solution that banks use and match every time.
#3: Dedicate more resources to other areas. You save time. Volunteers are freed up. What do you do with all this extra personal and volunteer time? You check more lines off the list of a thousand tasks you never thought you’d get to. When you automate processes and have the same labor resources, you get more done.
Worshipers benefit from better business practices
It seems hard to imagine that worshipers benefit from better business practices, but improving your organization often starts below the surface and then rises to the top. Creating a better experience for worshipers starts with tightening up church operations. This provides more money savings and more time to tackle the new opportunities. Start with the business office and count collections and donations like a business.
Tim Grabacki is director of product management at Cummins Allison, a leading innovator of technologies and equipment for counting money, sorting coins, and imaging checks with a national network of local sales and service offices.