This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
Aplos is a cloud-based nonprofit and church accounting suite that helps you track donations, create giving statements, and generate customized reports automatically. Its features include online giving and tithing, bank reconciliation, event registration, and a chart of accounts. Prices start at $79 per month, and you can try Aplos for free for 15 days with no credit card required.
Aplos Deciding Factors
Nonprofits looking for nonprofit software with accounting, event registration, and online donation features
Email, video tutorials, knowledge base, and paid support
Are you looking for something different? If you need basic bookkeeping features and not nonprofit management tools, check out our guide to the best small business accounting software.
Best for: Smaller nonprofits looking for easy-to-use accounting software
Best for: Nonprofits that track multiple funds
Best for: Nonprofits that prefer desktop accounting software with nonprofit-specific features
Starts at: $90 for QuickBooks Online Plus
Starts at: $799 per year for one user
Aplos vs Competitors
In our Aplos review, we compared the software with QuickBooks Online Plus and Premier Plus Nonprofit. QuickBooks Online Plus and Aplos are both cloud-based solutions, whereas QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit is a desktop program.
Aplos vs Competitors FSB Case Study
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Aplos Starts at $79 per month
QuickBooks Online Plus Starts at $90 per month
QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit Starts at $799 per year
Aplos isn’t a cost leader because it’s priced at $79 per month for only two users while QuickBooks Online Plus is $90 per month for five users. QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit is also not an affordable alternative at $1,999 per year for five users. But in terms of accounting features, these three products are head-to-head. QuickBooks Online Plus fell a few points behind Aplos and QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit because users still need to configure QuickBooks Online for nonprofit use.
If you want to prioritize nonprofit features over accounting features, Aplos is a clear winner. Since QuickBooks Plus and QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit focus on accounting, these products don’t have nonprofit-specific features like member management and event scheduling. For ease of use, both Aplos and QuickBooks Plus take the lead. We find these two software products easy to use, unlike QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit.
Overall, Aplos remains as a convenient choice for nonprofit accounting but isn’t necessarily the affordable one. We recommend choosing it if you feel that its benefits outweigh its price. Otherwise, you can go for QuickBooks Online Plus and tweak it for nonprofit use. QuickBooks Premier Plus Nonprofit is also a possible choice for nonprofits that prefer desktop accounting.
The standard Aplos suite costs $79 per month, with key features like fund accounting, donation tracking, and event registration. Each Aplos plan can have two admin users but unlimited user roles. You can add as many users on specific user roles but only two users can have admin privileges.
If you wish to accept donations through text messaging, you need the Text To Give add-on. For advanced bookkeeping tasks such as fixed asset tracking, you can subscribe to the Aplos Suite + Advanced Accounting package.
Aplos Core + Advanced Accounting
Number of Users
Unlimited with maximum of two admin users
Unlimited with maximum of two admin users
Unlimited with maximum of two admin users
Fixed Asset Tracking
Income & Expense Allocations
Aplos didn’t disappoint in accounting features. We give Aplos a high score on this criterion because it provides necessary accounting features.
Aplos offers a fresh and clean interface, starting with the dashboard. Unlike other church accounting software we’ve reviewed, it has a useful dashboard with analytic tools and charts to view the financial position of your church. What we like is that it gives emphasis on cash flow, as it’s a crucial element in church accounting.
Aplos’ chart of accounts is fully customizable. Moreover, you can establish separate funds, such as building funds or general funds, making Aplos a true fund accounting software. What we like here is that the interface of the chart of accounts is easy to understand and use. It has drop-down menus for each balance sheet and profit or loss classification.
The first thing we noticed is the outstanding layout of the A/P module. We see it as efficient because you enter and pay bills on one screen. There’s also a snapshot of A/P on top with an aging classification. When entering billing details, you need to choose the account debited, fund affected, and the percentage.
Once you’re done entering bills, you can immediately record payment below. We like this streamlined process because it allows the simultaneous recording and payment of bills. Aplos also prints checks with vouchers once you’re ready to pay. Moreover, short, or partial, payments are allowed.
The layout of the A/R module is similar to A/P—it’s clean and easy to use. Creating an invoice is also easy, given the outstanding form design. However, the design and customization of invoices aren’t as robust as other invoicing software.
Another great feature is Aplos’ ability to connect your bank accounts. It’s easy to connect your bank using Plaid or Finicity. If you don’t want to connect your bank accounts, you can import your transactions in CSV format manually.
The reconciliation module is well-designed. You can track total differences easily at the bottom of the screen as you match and tick off transactions. The reconciliation statement is also outstanding, as it uses the adjusted balances format and shows the calculations for cleared and uncleared calculations as of the bank statement date.
Aplos has a good reporting capability, with more than 70 customizable financial and accounting reports available. You can create standard reports, such as income statements, balance sheets, budget reports, statements of activities, donor management, and customer relationship management (CRM) reports. You can save reports as PDFs or export them to Excel as CSV files.
Aplos integrates with Gusto to help you manage payroll duties. You can track your payroll manually in your payroll expense account or import your payroll information from Sage, Pathways, PayCycle, or ADP. With Aplos and Gusto, you can also file your local, federal, and state payroll taxes, as well as 1099s and W-2s.
Aplos offers church management functions that can help you grow your ministry and community. You can create events, organize donation drives, and accept tithes from your members. We gave Aplos a perfect score here because it has all the nonprofit features that we wanted to see.
Aplos lets you create customized mobile-friendly forms that you can share through email or social media for fundraising campaigns. The platform includes a dedicated portal, where donors can view and track their donations, download their giving statements, and update payment details.
There’s no need to enter contributions manually. The system imports offline tithes and donations automatically so that they can all be tracked in one place.
Your donor will receive an emailed receipt after a successful donation. Giving receipts can be customized to your brand, and you can send them quickly with a single click. You can track contributions by person and prepare monthly, quarterly, or yearly giving statements. You can also email giving statements to an individual or a list of contacts.
If you have generous donors with ongoing donations, you can have them set up a recurring donation in the donor portal. They can set up their profile, review processed donations, set a schedule for donations, print out statements, and update their payment information.
Aplos lets you track donations by donor. You can add either individual contributions or batch deposits.
There are two ways to record a donation.
- Import a batch of donations using an Excel template
- Record individual donations from the Contributions tab by clicking on the + button on the top right corner of your page. You’ll arrive at an online form where you’ll be required to provide details such as contact name, the purpose of the donation, and the donation amount.
Aplos has a built-in event registration tool that allows you to create an online form for your event so that people can sign up. You can share your registration form through email, social media, or a link to your website. The system tracks registrants automatically to help you plan your next steps seamlessly.
Create your own website, even without coding experience. You can make your own templates, edit the homepage layout and header colors easily, and add premade pages and stock images to customize the look and feel to reflect your organization. Many churches find that their websites help people get more involved in their activities.
Your donors have the option to contribute to your organization through text messaging. They can send their offerings by texting to your toll-free number. As an administrator, you can receive unlimited gifts and set up short codes so that your donors can give to a specific cause. This feature is valuable for donors who don’t carry checks or cash and wish to donate anytime.
Upon sign-up, Aplos will ask questions about your church or nonprofit. The questions are easy, and it’ll only take 2 to 3 minutes of your time. Once you’ve accomplished the initial setup questions, you’ll land on the dashboard. Aplos comes with a default chart of accounts, and you may add more specific accounts if you like.
Using Aplos is easy, even for non-accounting personnel, but there are some functions that require accounting knowledge, such as making journal entries. You can learn the rest of the features on your own or access Aplos’ support center. In case you can’t find a feature, you can use the live chat function at the lower right of the screen. The live chat function is only available during office hours.
Aplos Assisted Bookkeeping Options
The Aplos Advisor program is for certified public accountants (CPAs) and bookkeepers who would like to be Aplos-certified. If your church needs assistance in bookkeeping, you can hire one of these third-party Aplos Advisors. Aplos doesn’t provide direct bookkeeping services.
Aplos is a popular software brand for religious and nonprofit institutions. Aplos reviews indicate that the software is easy to use and scalable enough for large churches and nonprofits. However, some users noted that it could use some user interface improvements and that its reports are too complex.
These are its ratings on popular third-party review websites:
- Featured Customers: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on around 1,600 reviews
- GetApp: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on around 160 reviews
- G2.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars based on around 30 reviews
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What does Aplos do?
Aplos is an all-in-one accounting and management software for nonprofits and churches. You can track donations and pledges on Aplos together with the list of donors and their contact information. Users can also create budgets by fund and track fixed assets.
Can you receive payments on Aplos?
Yes, you can receive payments manually or electronically. Whether it’s from ticket purchases or donations, Aplos can accept money from debit and credit cards, bank transfer, or pay later.
Overall, Aplos is an extremely valuable program for faith-based and other nonprofit organizations wanting to manage donations, donor information, and accounting in a single platform. We consider it one of the best church accounting applications because of its wide range of features, price, and powerful reporting capability. It’s simple and user-friendly, making it useful for churches with inexperienced bookkeepers.