Church bookkeepers have for a long time been confused with accountants. They, however, carry very different responsibilities. Bookkeepers maintain the financial records of the church that includes income and expense records. They are supposed to keep records of the dates and amount of every transaction of the church. It is also their task to keep track of all accounts and are the ones who verify the accuracy of the procedures used in the accounting processes. Accountants, on the other hand, perform all the tasks of bookkeepers and also provide auditing, tax planning, financial planning, payroll processing, and consulting services.

In the case of a church, a bookkeeper could be required to also wear the shoes of an accountant and treasurer. They are therefore in charge of all financial aspects of the church. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to;

  • Recording tithes, offerings, and any other income the church has and then depositing the amount into the church account.
  • Reconciling petty cash receipts and also balancing checking and investment accounts. They then submit these reports to the church board.
  • Preparing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, and yearly reports of the church’s financial records and submitting these to the church board.
  • Creating a yearly budget draft that they then present to the church board for review.
  • Processing payroll for the church staff.

These responsibilities, however, vary from church to church depending on their job description or as guided by their bylaws.

While it is not mandatory that a church hires a bookkeeper to take care of its financial records, there are several ways a church can benefit by hiring one.

So why consider outsourcing?  For some smaller to medium-sized churches, having an outsourced bookkeeper can increase expertise & accuracy, lower bookkeeping costs, and provide a missing link in internal controls.  Let’s take a look at these one-by-one:

The cost of having someone on staff for bookkeeping in a small church often means combining the role with another role to make the job enticing enough.  For other churches, it means hiring someone part-time who may not have a great deal of experience.  Yet, for many others, it means asking a volunteer treasurer to maintain the accounting.  Hiring someone who is trained and does bookkeeping for many churches means they can give you higher quality work at an affordable price.

Accuracy and expertise are critical for good financial health in any church.  Having a trained and qualified bookkeeper means having an expert who knows the right way to make entries, understands and complies with local and federal requirements, and ensures your reporting is accurate.

Internal controls are a key area where churches are at risk.  Having someone outside of the financial system reconciling your bank accounts, tracking, and verifying your deposits and checks means there is a second set of eyes going over all of your systems, increasing the safeguarding of your congregation’s resources.

No two churches are the same.  The needs of each church vary due to size, availability of volunteers, resources, and staffing abilities.  Clergy Financial Resources offers several options to help churches with exactly what they need from managing their financial system to coming alongside and helping the one that is in place.  Here are four service options. You can contact us to have one customized for your congregation:

    • Pro Advisor Support I Bookkeeping
      This support service provides you comprehensive answers to your bookkeeping questions. This support service is available at a flat rate of $45.00 for each 30-minutes session.
    • QuickBooks Help Desk
      This support service provides you comprehensive answers to your bookkeeping questions. QuickBooks Help Desk is billed at an hourly rate of $75.00 per hour.

Sometimes congregations get stuck with bookkeeping questions or even need to outsource their bookkeeping. Discover how Clergy Financial Resources we can help you save time and money with our bookkeeping services designed for churches. 

Clergy Financial Resources is the leading provider of church payroll for churches and other religious organizations for almost 40 years. We have earned the highest rating of A+ from BBB and an amazing 4.9 customer service rating.


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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (888) 421-0101 
Fax: (888) 876-5101


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