After talking with a CPA that stopped by the site, I decided to give Servant Keeper a deeper look. Initially I overlooked this software counting it as just another church management software package. However, according to this CPA, it has one feature that really sets it apart: it can link directly to QuickBooks for Churches (also known as the Premier version for nonprofit organizations).
I had a very pleasant conversation on the phone today with the people at Servant PC today (they have a very friendly staff which is always a bonus). Anyways, I learned that Servant Keeper will hook up with both QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Premier/NonProfit. The person I spoke with mentioned that churches have been very successful using both. She did mention that integration with QuickBooks Online is currently unavailable.
Why Linking to QuickBooks is Helpful?
The short answer is that your accountant will likely want to work with a well-known package like Quickbooks. The longer answer is below.
It is true that there are several church accounting/management packages out there that have their own accounting components. These packages claim there is no need to link up with a popular program like QuickBooks because they have their own accounting modules. What they are saying is true in some situations. However, most of the companies that set out to make church software (like Servant Keeper) focused on church management. They built excellent software for keeping track of members’ personal information and donations. In short, this type of software is focused on making sure members don’t fall between the cracks. The software was not built with accounting in mind.
On the other hand QuickBooks only really does one thing: accounting software. They have specialized in accounting for years. What companies specialize in, they tend to be the best at. So those companies that specialize in creating church management software have created the best member management software. Those companies that focused on accounting have created the best accounting software. The truth is your church probably needs both.
There will probably be some people out there that disagree with my assessment here. Perhaps one more example will help. Let’s pretend the tables were turned and QuickBooks decided to build church management software instead of accounting software. Their management package just wouldn’t be as good as the management packages that have been developed by companies who have been working on church management for years.
Servant Keeper Features
Servant Keeper is a great package for keeping track of your members. It is easy to use. When you log in to the program it has a list of the families within your church on the left side. When you click on the family name, the right side of the screen will populate with the individuals. This makes it easy to see valuable information about any of your members within seconds. Another interesting little tool that this software has is the “group feature.” Basically it allows you to make groups out of families and individuals. This can be a very handy tool for church leaders to keep their members organized in their heads. For example, you could have a “choir group” or a “regularly attends group.”
One other extremely nice feature that comes with Servant Keeper is the contribution management tools. Basically the software makes it extremely easy to enter in new donors and contributions. It also has the ability to automatically create donor statements at any time of the year. This is a really nice feature because in the past QuickBooks wouldn’t do this for you.
Any of you who have used Servant Keeper, please write your comments about it below. You would be surprised at how much these comments can help someone that was in your position a few years ago.
For more information you can visit the actual Servant Keeper Website.