The Cost of Using QuickBooks for Your Church

I get a lot of excellent questions about using QuickBooks for church accounting purposes on my website. One of the most recent questions I received was about the true monthly cost of using QuickBooks. This really got me thinking and I decided to put together a document that hopefully clearly outlines the cost of using QuickBooks Premier Nonprofit Edition.

Background Information

Cost of QuickBooks Premier Non-Profit Edition 2012 (if you purchase it through a link on my website): $320

Cost of QuickBooks Monthly Payroll Program

  • Basic: $108 a year
  • Enhanced:  $236 a year

cost of quickbooks for church accounting

Let’s do some math.

*It is usually considered best practice to upgrade QuickBooks every three years, so we’ll look at this from a three year perspective.

Cost of QuickBooks Nonprofit ($320) divided by 36 months = $8.89 a month

Cost of Basic Payroll ($108 * 3years) divided by 36 months = $9 a month

Cost of Enhanced Payroll ($236 * 3years) divided by 36 months = $19.67 a month

If you want to go really cheap, you can do the payroll yourself without the extra software. That means you can get your church accounting done for $9 a month! That’s pretty hard to beat, especially considering the quality of the QuickBooks software.

Add the basic payroll and you’re looking at about $18 a month (with the enhanced payroll you’re looking at about $29 a month).

$30 a month to get the most popular accounting software in the world (along with payroll) is a pretty deadly combination.

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church management

QuickBooks will take care of all of your accounting needs, but what about managing your members? Some churches operate without church management software, but many churches like having some software that will keep all of their member information organized.

Most of the church management packages out there nowadays will interact quite well with QuickBooks, but the one that seems to work best with QuickBooks is Servant Keeper by Servant PC.

Servant Keeper Costs $499. According to a frequently asked question on their website, you have to upgrade about every 3-5 years. We’ll use three years just to keep things simple.

The cost of Servant Keeper $499 divided by 36 months = $13.86 a month

This means that if you were going with the most expensive QuickBooks package and Servant Keeper you would be looking at $43 a month. Note that this doesn’t include any extras (which you may or may not need).

If you wanted to go really cheap and drop payroll, you could do your church management and accounting for $24 a month. This is for the top of the line accounting software that over 80 percent of all churches are using. Not a bad deal in my opinion.

Hopefully this helps shed some light into what the costs of QuickBooks are. Remember that you get 20 percent off any QuickBooks purchases if you click through to QuickBooks on one of the links on my site.

Happy Accounting!


  1. Two weeks ago i assumed the role of office administrator for a small Unity fellowship, only 8-12 members, annual budget maybe $8,000.00. Prevous bookkeeper had 20-30 years experience, double entry and canNOT or will NOT ‘teach’ me QuickBooks,which seems like overkill to me.

    ALL we need to do is keep current is bills paid, log donations by members, “vendors” per QB?? (and year end report), make deposits and monthly statement reconcilliation. NO payroll.

    System in place is like building a spaceship to the moon when all that’s desired is a walk around the block ~! Can you help me simplify QuickBooks? Blessings, Avalon

  2. I have been using Membership Plus/Money Counts by Parsons for years and love it. However, I think ACS purchased it and is not promoting nor upgrading it. Have you heard of this software?

  3. I have greatly enjoyed your comments and user comments on Quickbooks and ACS. I am treasurer of a medium sized Episcopal Church that has been using ACS for at least ten years now. We are considering a change as there is favorable comments on Quickbooks and I am wondering if you have a side by side comparison of both, or any other new system software such as Cloud Based NetSuite for non-profits?

    I feel stuck in the middle as our ACS system is a single user system with only the current business member running it and she is neither systems savvy nor accounting savvy. I hope your response to this remains confidential and is not posted…

    Your comments so far do not seem to address the multiple user features and support. This is also a concern because of the confidentiality of some data, particularly gifts and pledges.

    Two more specific questions please…
    Our system is largely a cash based system but should I be concerned about how to handle accruals.
    For example, a parishioner recently gave $10,000 towards a new income. I have not shown this as income but rather have posted it directly to an account that accumulates restricted gifts on the balance sheet, with a dedicated bank account for such gifts. How should that be handled in a Church system??? There is a fairly new FASB Accounting standard for non-0profits that specifies that Pledges should be recognized when made not when the cash is collected, as we do it now. Is that proper accounting, and how to various systems account for pledges?????
    Finallym the non-profit P&L statement will have a positive or negative result for the accounting period. Hos is that handled since Church Accounting does not appear to have a “retained earnings” account. Your comments will be much appreciated, on email if possible.
    Paul Vilandre

    • I’ll send Paul an email, but to answer some of the questions that will benefit all the readers.

      The net income from the P&L statement (called the statement of activities for churches) ends up in what is called Net Assets. Net Assets takes the place of retained earnings in the non profit accounting world. The truth is they aren’t that different from each other; it’s more of a name change than anything else.

      You are right that pledges should be recognized when made. Simply make the following journal entry:

      Pledges Receivable $XXXX
      Contribution Revenue $XXXX

      All the different software programs out there can handle this type of transaction.

      Your question on restricted funds is a bit more difficult to answer (I’m coming out with a series of posts that I think should help). The idea is that you recognize these restricted funds as revenue, but then you make sure they are classified as restricted net assets in the statement of financial position (the balance sheet).

      What exactly do you want to know about multiple user accounts?

      Hope this helps,


  4. In June I inherited our church treasurer’s position along with Peachtree’s OneWritePlus software, which I believe has been unsupported since the early 1990’s. It’s doing fine, but I want to migrate to something else before something goes wrong and I can’t get any help. Several questions: will QuickBooks Premier be able to import my existing database, and how essential is the payroll module? With an operating budget of less than $100,000/yr., I’d like to keep the cost of a software purchase down as much as possible. Thanks.

    • Hey Helen,

      Thanks for coming by the site. It’s always great to hear from a recently-called church treasurer. I hope you enjoy the position.

      It’s never a sure thing when you talk about importing existing databases so I’d recommend you talk with the people over at QuickBooks about your specific situation.

      The payroll module is not necessary if you know what you are doing. It is really helpful though and can make life much easier.

      Good Luck!

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