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Edited by: Kimberlee Leonard
 and Reviewed: Kimberlee Leonard

Best Church Accounting Software for 2023

Author: | Oct 5, 2023

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Go Sifter Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

When it comes to managing accounting operations for churches, the needs, expectations, and challenges are vastly different from those of other for-profit – or even non-profit – organizations. Gone are the days of manual ledgers and painstaking calculations. Today, church accounting software offers a range of powerful tools designed to streamline financial tasks, enhance transparency, and ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Some of the unique challenges church accounting needs to address include restricted donations, different regulatory reporting requirements, and payroll management for ordained ministers. These, combined with billions of dollars churches receive each year, make it challenging to use conventional accounting software to manage church bookkeeping.

Dedicated software for church finances can help overcome these issues while making accounting operations more efficient and affordable. This, in turn, can help churches maintain fiscal visibility, ensure the church’s financial health, and invest astutely in church missions.

Here is some of the best church accounting software that is affordable, efficient, meets stakeholder expectations, and helps ensure regulatory compliance:

  • Aplos: Best for overall church accounting operations
  • QuickBooks: Best customizable and easy-to-use accounting software
  • PowerChurch Plus: Best desktop accounting software for churches
  • Xero: Best for financial planning and tracking of church projects
  • Realm: Best for customizable reporting
  • Wave: Best for accessing free accounting tools for small churches
  • Zoho Books: Best for church accounting automation
  • Quicken: Best for affordable premium plans
  • NetSuite: Best suited for large churches
  • IconCMO: Best for integrated payroll, church management, and operational scalability

Let us take a deeper look at the details, pros, cons, and pricing of some of the best accounting software for church finance management:

Best Church Accounting Software: Empowering Church Financials


With a wide array of features and remarkable flexibility, Aplos stands out as the ultimate choice for comprehensive church accounting and management operations. With tools to launch and manage online donation campaigns, church event management, and an easy-to-understand interface, it is one of the best solutions for small-to-medium-sized churches and religious non-profits.


  • Full accounting functions and reporting suite
  • Integrated church management software
  • Gusto Payroll integration options (available as an add-on option)
  • Track donations and create reports


  • No customizable invoices
  • Challenging to find an external accountant familiar with the platform
  • Only two users supported in the base plan
  • The base plan does not support donations via text


Aplos offers you a 15-day free trial with 4 four pricing plans:

  • Aplos Lite: $79 per month for two users
  • Aplos Core: $99 per month for two users
  • Aplos Advanced Accounting: Starting at $189 per month, scalable according to the individual needs of the church
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing

Additionally, you can also save 10% if you opt for an annual subscription.


As one of the best and most flexible accounting software for small businesses, QuickBooks is also a flexible option. You can easily customize QuickBooks for church accounting operations using its class and location tracking features.

Additionally, it also facilitates easy access to bookkeeping assistance so that any volunteer CPA can help you manage your accounts without the user limit. This makes QuickBooks the best choice for churches that are looking for a customizable solution.


  • Access to QuickBooks ProAdvisor for assistance
  • Free unlimited customer support
  • Monthly plans – excluding Simple Start – support multiple users


  • Adding third-party church management software can be expensive
  • Must use classes and subclasses to mimic fund accounting
  • Prices cover books for a single organization


Configuring QuickBooks’ Simple Start and Essential plans for church use is restricted, as they lack class and location tracking capability. However, the functionality of fund accounting can be simulated using these plans:

  • Plus: $85 per month for 5 users
  • Advanced: $200 per month for 25 users

You also have the option to add payroll functionality for $45 plus $4 per employee. QuickBooks has also started offering a 30-day free trial or a 50% discount for the first three months.

PowerChurch Plus

PowerChurch Plus is the best option for churches looking for an all-in-one platform tailored to the unique accounting, reporting, and management needs of a church. It offers a full suite of accounting functions with bill payments, payroll processing, tax management, income management, giving management, statement generation, and general ledger.

Additionally, it also offers tools for event and membership management, recording and tracking church assets, sermons, and libraries.


  • Restricted gift management
  • Advanced tools for payroll management and processing
  • Events scheduling and management tools
  • Membership management tools
  • Sermon filing capabilities


  • Supports limited users
  • Outdated and non-intuitive user interface
  • Adding users and add-on functionalities can get expensive



The desktop version of PowerChurch Plus costs $395 per year, while the online software costs $39.95 per month (or $455 per year). Additionally, you will need to pay $25 per month for every two users above the base two-user limit. You also have the option to opt for add-on options like church event check-in stations.


Best suited for churches that want to manage and track donor-backed projects, Xero offers access to specialized tools for project expense tracking, in-depth financial planning, time tracking and reporting, budget estimation, and customized quotes to show donors how they spend their money.


  • In-depth project management and budget analytics
  • Restricted fund management
  • Bank reconciliation support
  • Cashflow snapshots


  • Expensive higher-tiered plans
  • Additional monthly costs for payroll processing
  • 2%-4% transaction fees


Xero’s Early plan costs $13 per month, which includes payment of up to five bills, sending 20 invoices and quotes, capturing bills and receipts, and a short-term cashflow snapshot. Higher-tiered plans are $37 and $70 per month and add bank reconciliation, multiple currency support, project tracking, expense claims, and in-depth analytics tools. Xero currently offers 50% off the first three months for the monthly plans.

You can also add payroll processing at $40 per month plus $6 per employee.


Realm’s church accounting software is the best option for churches that want extensive reporting tools to inform stakeholders of the church’s financial standing. It offers 30 church-specific customizable report templates, where you can save, customize, and reuse predefined church reports. Realm church accounting software also allows you to customize standard accounting reports based on time frames, core accounts, funds, and departments.


  • Church-specific accounting features
  • Restricted fund management
  • Customizable church reporting
  • Donor, parishioner, and staff CMS


  • Limited features compared to competitors
  • Lack of transparent pricing
  • No free trial


Realm offers three custom pricing plans to meet your church accounting needs. You will need to get in touch with the Realm team to get custom quotes.


Wave is the best option for small churches with little to no budget for accounting software. And as the church grows, you have the option to add a payroll plan at a monthly fee. Wave’s free plan gives you access to unlimited income and expense tracking, key financial reports, and cash flow tracking with an intuitive dashboard and the option to add unlimited users.

It also supports automated payment reminders, a mobile app for finance tracking, and multiple payment options for donations.


  • Free accounting platform
  • Unlimited income and expense tracking
  • Unlimited users or collaborators
  • Mobile app for accessibility


  • Basic accounting features compared to competitors
  • Additional charges for payroll processing
  • Expensive tax support services
  • Transaction fees for bank and credit card transactions


Wave church accounting software is available for free with unlimited basic accounting features. You can add a monthly payroll plan for $20 or $35 (depending on the state). Wave also offers accounting and payroll coaching ($329 one-time fee), bookkeeping support ($149 per month), and tax support (starting at $899).

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is the best choice for churches seeking intelligent accounting automation along with affordable error-free accounting support. Churches can leverage Zoho Books’ automation capabilities to save time and money, eliminate late fees, and minimize errors in their accounting operations. Some automation tools available for churches include automated payments, transaction categorization, and tax calculations.


  • Free plan available
  • Supports accounting automation with the free plan
  • Payroll processing and expense tracking capabilities
  • Can add accountant support to all plans


  • Additional $2.50 per user per month for two or more users
  • Expensive higher-tiered plans
  • The free version is only available to churches with annual revenue less than $50,000


Zoho Books has a free base plan for a single user, allowing the church to perform and automate basic accounting functions. Pricing for paid plans ranges from $15 – $240 per month and gives you access to advanced features like project expense tracking, tax calculations, workflow automation, in-depth analytics, and custom reports.


Quicken is best suited for churches with a tight budget but requires a full suite of accounting tools. It is also suitable for churches already using HR and payroll management software.

Quicken offers desktop accounting software with mobile support for iOS and Android devices. Its key features include automatic income and expense categorization, multiple budget creations, bill tracking, cash flow projections, tax-related transaction tracking, and access to various report templates.

Quicken’s premium plans also offer advanced church-specific features, including calendar budgeting, custom reporting, and advanced tax reporting.


  • Affordable full-suite accounting software
  • Expense categorization and tagging
  • Access to tax reporting
  • Mobile counterparts of desktops for remote accessibility


  • Lacks payroll management features
  • Few church-specific features compared to competitors
  • Require desktop installation


Quicken offers a range of basic to premium plans ranging from $4.99 – $9.99 per month on an annual subscription basis. Its base plans are suitable for most churches as premium plans give you access to primarily non-church features.


NetSuite is the best church accounting software for large churches that need to manage a more extensive staff and need a tailored digital infrastructure to meet their accounting needs. Churches can add modules to their accounting infrastructure, including accounting software, CRM, accounting automation, advanced analytics and reporting, HR software, or ERP solutions.


  • Full suite of accounting features
  • Customizable for your unique needs
  • Third-party integration options available
  • Payroll management tools available as add-ons


  • Expensive custom pricing
  • Complex software tool
  • Deep learning curve


As NetSuite creates a custom digital infrastructure for your church, you will need to request a custom quote from their team.


IconCMO is best suited for churches that handle large funds, are looking for FASB compliance, or do not want to pay per user. The tool offers you an extensive range of church-specific features, including online donation management, unlimited payroll, fund accounting, and child check-in. It also offers you access to FASB-compliant reports for regulatory compliance.


  • Supports unlimited users
  • Extensive church management features
  • Affordable pricing for small and medium churches
  • Access to childcare safety feature as an add-on
  • Add-on payroll management support for unlimited employees


  • Can become expensive for larger congregations
  • No fixed-asset tracking
  • Event registration feature available only as an add-on
  • Need Rubix account and active internet connection for Icon Check-In feature


IconCMO offers a family-based pricing system, where the price increases as your congregation grows. Starting from $35/month ($385 annually) for 1-50 families, the plans go up to $149 per month ($1,639 annually) for 3,000+ families. It also offers add-on features like check-in ($15 per month / $180 per annum), payroll ($25 per month / $275 per annum), event registration ($15 per month / $180 per annum), and SMS messaging ($50-$500 per month for 250-25,000 messages).

Our Methodology

We have compiled this list of the best accounting software for churches based on a thorough assessment of the church-specific features. Also we have checked accounting tools (basic and advanced) that each software offers. Other factors include account pricing, ease of use, customer support, user ratings, and expert opinions of every software.


A thorough evaluation of multiple factors is essential when deciding on the most suitable church accounting software. This involves considering aspects such as your budget, the size of your congregation, and your specific accounting requirements.

Next, consider the accounting tools and reports you will need, the number of users you will need for the accounting software, and the need for mobile compatibility and third-party integration options.

By carefully analyzing these considerations, make an informed choice of software solution that aligns with your present needs and provides a seamless avenue for expansion as your church progresses in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions on Church Accounting Software

Do churches use cash or accrual accounting?

Churches use cash, accrual, or a combination of both per lender requirements and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

What features should I look for in accounting software?
What financial statements do churches use?
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