A Review of Church Windows

In our quest to provide you the best information on church accounting software, we are taking a look today at Church Windows. First of all, you have to love these guys just based on the sheer cleverness they have put into

their name. I've looked at some of their creations first-hand and have been very impressed. However, what follows will attempt to be an unbiased review of Church Windows.

The Good

Experience. This group has been doing accounting software for churches for a long time, since 1987. That is before the Internet was even being used on a mass-level. This means that their product has had the time necessary to work out any quirks that so often come with new software. It also means that a lot of people know how to use it and there will be good forums and self-help guides available.

Another great thing about Church Windows is that it comes as a complete package or as individual modules. Buying individual modules can be extremely difficult if you don't know what you're doing. A lot of church accountants have no idea what it is they need for their accounting system. For these people it is nice to buy a complete package and know they are getting everything they will need.

On the other hand it is nice for those people who are only looking for a specific feature such as membership tracking, payroll, or accounting to be able to just buy the individual module they need. These people can save a lot of money and confusion by not going with the whole package.

Pricing: This is probably not Church Window's greatest strength, but it is a strength nonetheless. Depending on exactly what you need, you might be able to find a cheaper option. However, usually when you pay a little more, you get a little better quality. Overall this software is priced very competitively.

Classes: Church windows is a pretty intuitive program; however, to get its full use you may want to take some of the classes they offer online. The fact that they even offer these classes is a huge bonus. A lot of people end up buying expensive accounting software for their church and end up not really knowing how to use it.

The Not So Good

I should probably qualify this with the fact that I'm easily bothered by website checkout processes. A lot of the time I wondering what products I'm getting and at what price. I'm also often left wondering what I'll be paying for shipping. Some people say that if you have questions you should call them; well, I for one don't want to call them. If I wanted to chat with someone then I wouldn't be shopping for the church accounting software on the Internet.

With that introduction, I must admit I was confused by the Church Windows check-out process. Take a look at it below.

Church Windows

Church Windows

I'm not sure how much you can see from this picture, but let me explain why it bothered me. First of all at the top it says "Standard Integrated Packages" $695. At this point, I'm wondering what I'm getting for the $700. After thinking about it a while, it looks like I'm getting the membership and contribution software, but that wasn't readily apparent to me.

Now, at the bottom of the picture you will notice they are offering additional options. These always make me nervous because I have no idea if I need this stuff. This one made me especially nervous because it has Accounts Receivable (add $150). At this point I'm thinking, "Wait a minute, isn't accounts receivable part of Accounting?". Then I really start wondering what comes in the accounting package. Is it missing something else that I might really need?

One thing that rubbed me a little the wrong with with Church Windows was the fact that they make you pay for the online classes. I realize that customer support isn't cheap, but a lot of companies these days will offer free pre-recorded classes for people who buy their products.

Church Windows also charges what is called a support fee. This is pretty standard amongst software providers, but it is something you should really know about before purchasing your church accounting software. Basically you have to pay $100-400 a year in order to get all of the latest updates and be able to call them when you have questions. Again, I realize that customer service isn't cheap, but some customers may be annoyed having to pay $400 a year just to keep the software working correctly.

In review, Church Windows is a reliable software that has been around for quite a while. Like most quality products, they have lots of customer support. They also have a great option that will allow you to buy one module or a complete package. Their check-out process is a tad confusing and they will try to hit you up with customer service fees (gotta stay in business somehow). Overall a product that you can't go wrong with, if you have the money.


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  2. I’ve used Church Windows for over 10 years. Once you learn it , it is a great program.
    Regarding your comments about their support packages, they offer phenomenal customer service and support. When you pay for the full support package, you receive fast, professional support by a real person over the phone. Discount prices on their classes that they offer online and in person nationwide. The support also includes at least 4 updates to the general software every year, and at least 2 separate updates having to do with the tax code and payroll taxes if you use the payroll module.
    Nothing is perfect and I’m sure there are other programs that can do much of the same. It is one of the few that offers a payroll program at all, and that conquers strange Pastor pay components such as Housing Allowances. The staff does try to fix bugs and problems. If your system or Church Windows is crashing upon posting, then you really need to get in touch with customer support and work it out. There is probably a much larger problem with the computer or compatibility.

  3. Church Windows User says:

    As a daily user of church windows, I am constantly frustrated with this software. Church Windows is very buggy and poorly done. It is extremely expensive for what you get. Support costs way more than it is worth. Especially when you take into consideration that you call in mostly because of their bugs. Now, to their credit I think the accounting is rock solid. That is if you can post expenses without crashing the software…

    • I agree with this reviewer 100%. I am an office manager and a Computer Information Systems (Web Programming) college student. This software IS poorly written. As one example that I noticed when I first began using the program; one should be able to sort reports by year without having to go through other screens and changing settings somewhere else in the program. The same goes for finding records of members who have died.

      I viewed the tutorial on the changes to the labels section in the newest upgrade and could not believe how unnecessarily complicated they are making the software. No wonder so many people need tech support (and that’s exactly where and how they get you.) Somehow they are forgetting that a lot of us are small churches with an elderly population on a limited income. Also, they are getting free advice from us users on what’s wrong with the program and charging us an arm and a leg. These are not “updates”, they are patches (fixes for bugs). I am seriously looking into open source programs such as ChurchInfo (open source means that it’s free and users contribute to upgrades.)

  4. Johan Ringo says:

    I like the way you review on accounting software for churches, especially Church Windows.

  5. Hey Stacey, I appreciate your comment. I’ll definitely take a look at your software and see whether I can write a review on it or not.

    Thanks for visiting

  6. I liked your article a lot but there are other church accounting software that you didn’t review. Keep us posted on our opinions! We’d love to hear more. rdsadvantage.com/church_accounting_software.shtml

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