[CS-FSLUG] Church Management Software

EnzoAeneas enzoaeneas at gmail.com
Fri Mar 28 10:25:30 CDT 2008

My girlfriend who is an accountant performs payroll and it takes her
forever. And her company still outsources the tax portion.
I would have to agree with Tim's approach on the financials. At least
until we get a subject matter expert involved in the project.

As for localization, I am all for it. Our spanish ministry would
definitely benefit from something like this as they start their own
Again Tim, great insight.


On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 10:11 AM, Tim Young <Tim.Young at lightsys.org> wrote:
> Hi,
>  I have refrained from speaking up too much about this topic.  First of
>  all, let me say that I think it is a very good project, lest my other
>  comments lead you to think otherwise...  :)
>  I am involved in building a similar project for mission organizations,
>  "Kardia" (kardia.sf.net).  The web-site is woefully out of date.  But
>  suffice it to say that we are hoping to have our first usable version
>  out in a few months.  Kardia is focused entirely on missions, and would
>  take a lot of work to get it to function for a church.
>  While I do not know which priorities you should take, I would like to
>  mention that "payroll/tax" is a HUGE item.  The finances in general are
>  a bit rough.  Every church will have it's own chart of accounts and own
>  accounting practices.  Building a financial package that works for a
>  large group of churches will be very difficult.  We are doing this in
>  Kardia for missions, and it is a massive undertaking.  Most software out
>  there for missions, even the $300,000 versions, does not contain payroll
>  as a part of it.  A few had it in it, but they dropped it because of the
>  complexity.
>  My recommendation is that you look at your question of which modules to
>  start with on two fronts.  Yes, look for the highest impact items you
>  can find, but balance that out with items that can be done in a timely
>  manner.
>  I think that, with a little bit of work, you could find a way to
>  export/import to quickbooks, kMyMoney, or some other financial
>  management software.  While this would not be the long-term solution, it
>  may give you a good jump-start.  If financials are one of the things you
>  want to start with, tying it in with another program at the beginning
>  may get you a fair bit farther in the beginning.
>  The other thing I would like to mention, is that, if you can use one of
>  the many multi-lingual code design systems, that may help as well.  What
>  you are making will be very helpful for churches here in the States, but
>  it will be equally as useful overseas.  If it is easy to build
>  translations, then you will have increased your audience by a huge
>  margin.  So I would like to encourage you to look into that.
>  So, with those comments, let me re-ask Robert's question:  Which of the
>  following will make the biggest impact on churches in your initial
>  target audience.
> > * Track donations
>  > * Track attendance
>  > * Promotional mailings
>  > * Worship service scheduling (bulletins, announcements, others?)
>  > * Worship service execution (slides, recordings)
>  > * Manage ministry/administrative teams
>  > * Time tracking for employees
>  > * Pay bills
>  > * Payroll, taxes, and other accounting goodies
>  > * Membership roll
>  > * Mailing list
>  >
>  >
>  - Tim Young
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