PowerChurch Plus is church administration software that helps you manage and track your members, contributions, events, and fund accounting. Its accounting features include accounts payable (A/P), accounts receivable (A/R), a general ledger, and payroll management. Available as a Windows desktop program, PowerChurch Plus costs $395 if you download it, or you can choose to have a CD installer mailed to you for $415. Unfortunately, PowerChurch Plus is unavailable for Mac users.
The Fit Small Business mission is to deliver the best answers to people’s small business questions. Hence, we spend hours researching and testing so that we develop editorial reviews that can help our audience. For this article, we used a rubric that scored software against a set of criteria that we expect to see in church accounting software.
- Has a desktop program only for Windows PCs
- Excludes A/P and A/R from the financial statements
- Has no mobile app
- Is difficult to use compared to Aplos
Is PowerChurch Plus Right for You?
Is PowerChurch Right for You?
PowerChurch Plus Alternatives & Comparison
PowerChurch Plus Reviews From Users
|Easy to install
|No custom reporting
|Multiple windows when accessing different parts of the software
|Event scheduling via calendar
|Overwhelming at initial setup
PowerChurch Plus got high user ratings from review sites because many churches and users find it a good pick for church accounting. What users love about it is its unlimited paid support, which they use whenever they encounter problems or can’t figure out some of the software’s functions. Some users dislike that the software can be overwhelming at initial setup and slow at times.
Based on our walk-through, we can say that PowerChurch Plus can help you keep your church matters organized through its church management features. Moreover, we didn’t encounter any lagging during the walk-through.
With that, here are PowerChurch Plus’ scores on third-party review platforms:
- Software Advice: 4.40 out of 5 stars based on about 100 reviews
- G2.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars based on about 25 reviews
Fit Small Business Case Study
In this PowerChurch Plus review, we compared the software with two of its competitors, Aplos and IconCMO.
PowerChurch Plus vs Competitors FSB Case Study
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PowerChurch Plus Starting at $395 one-time phurchase
Aplos Starting at $99 per month
QuickBooks Online Starts at $90 per month
PowerChurch Plus is a desktop church accounting program, unlike Aplos and QuickBooks Online. Pricing is PowerChurch Plus’ advantage over Aplos since it offers a one-time payment for the software license. Moreover, the installer can be installed on as many desktops that the church uses. PowerChurch Plus’ weakness is ease of use. We find the software difficult to use and a bit inaccessible to users with less-than-perfect eyesight.
On the other hand, QuickBooks Online is a good pick if you want to focus on accounting features. Its class and location tracking features can be used for church accounting. Aplos, our overall best church accounting software, is also a good alternative if you prefer cloud-based accounting.
PowerChurch Plus Pricing
The PowerChurch Plus pricing structure offers two options, downloadable software or a CD program. We recommend choosing to download the software because it’s cheaper and easier, and some laptops today don’t have CD drives. Moreover, you can save the executable file (EXE) in a flash drive or external hard drive to install the program to other laptops.
PowerChurch Plus’ latest version is 14. If you have an older version, you should upgrade.
- Download: A link to the downloadable version will be emailed to you after purchase. It’ll include a PDF user manual, and the link is only valid for two weeks. You need an internet connection to download the installer.
- Physical media or CD installer: The physical copy, delivered through the United States Postal Service (USPS), costs an additional $20 and includes an installation CD along with a printed manual. An internet connection isn’t needed for installation, but your PC must have a CD drive.
PowerChurch Plus Accounting Features
PowerChurch Plus offers an array of accounting features that help you pay bills on time, track cash flow, manage your funds, and more. Here’s a quick rundown of PowerChurch Plus’ top features to help you decide if it’s right for you.
PowerChurch Plus Accounting Features Video
When you open PowerChurch Plus, you’ll be greeted by an empty, blue dashboard. There’s a quick shortcut menu on the left side, but the main navigation will be through the menu bars. The dashboard isn’t as modern-looking as the interface design we see in other popular accounting software products.
Although the developers say that PowerChurch Plus 14 offers a “refreshed” look with bigger fonts and better font style, we still think it’s behind the times when it comes to design. Overall, there’s nothing to do on the dashboard unless you access the menus and open a module.
In Version 14 of the software, the developers said that they replaced the standard Arial font with the Segoe UI font used in Windows 10. We can also see from the image above that there’s “enlarged” text, except for the menu bars. The developers noted that menu bars may still have smaller font sizes since these elements are dictated by Windows. Although the input forms are a bit old-school, Version 14 is cleaner and easier to read because of the new font.
PowerChurch Plus uses a cash-based, double-entry accounting system. It classifies transactions according to funds, allowing you to track fund expenditures and balances separately. For instance, you can keep your building fund separate from your general-purpose fund. You can also enter an unlimited number of transactions, record recurring transactions, reconcile bank accounts, track donor-restricted funds, generate graphs of account balances, and more.
PowerChurch Plus includes a default chart of accounts that excludes accrual accounts for A/P and A/R. When you open the chart of accounts, you see an old-fashioned way of viewing the chart of accounts, wherein an account number is assigned to the general categories of assets, liabilities, net assets, income, and expense. For instance, ASSETS is assigned an account number 1000-000. However, ASSETS can’t be debited or credited. It’s presented for visual purposes to help organize the chart of accounts.
PowerChurch Plus stores vendor contact and account information, enabling you to record checks, whether they’re computer-printed or handwritten. You can also manage and track recurring payments, such as mortgages, leases, and utility bills. Even though PowerChurch Plus has an A/P feature to help manage your bills, it doesn’t include A/P in the financial statements.
If your church has invoiced income, such as room rentals and daycare tuition, you can issue invoices for payment in the A/R module. You can also record unlimited transactions, enter recurring transactions, accept partial payments, and issue credit memos in case of overpayment or data entry errors.
As with A/P, A/R is only a tracker. When you record accrued income, you can see it in A/R, but not in the books. Once it’s paid, the amount will appear in your financial statements.
After issuing the payment of a bill (A/P) or the receipt of a payment (A/R), you must post the transaction twice. First, you post it within the A/R or A/P system to offset the outstanding invoice or bill. Then, you post it to the fund accounting system so the payment will be reflected in your financial statements.
PowerChurch Plus has a check printing module under A/P, and the form is easy to fill out. You only need to supply the amount of the check, and PowerChurch will generate the amount in words automatically. You can also complete the payee information using the vendor code or by searching the vendor name.
Unfortunately, you cannot connect bank feeds to PowerChurch Plus. However, it offers good account reconciliation features, which is essential for good bookkeeping. The lack of a bank connection isn’t a problem if you tend to enter transactions in the software as they occur, ensuring you constantly have up-to-date books. However, if you prefer to enter transactions after the fact as they appear on your bank statement, then you want a live bank feed like the one offered in Aplos.
PowerChurch Plus allows you to record unlimited payroll transactions. You can set up your unique requirements for payroll, such as pretax deductions and Social Security exemptions. The program tracks employee contact information, salary, position history, emergency contact information, pastor salary, and housing allowance. It even supports all federal and state tax forms.
Each module contains built-in reports that you can send directly to a printer, email, and share with other users. Every module has a Custom Report Writer that allows you to generate your own reports based on your needs. Reports included in the Fund Accounting module include a balance sheet, income and expense statements, restricted funds, equity accounts, transfer accounts, and liability accounts.
PowerChurch Plus Church Management Features
PowerChurch Plus got a perfect score because it contains all the church features that we’d like to see. It has fund accounting, donation tracking, recurring donation features, pledge tracking, congregation management features, and fund reporting.
The membership management feature has several modules, including personal profiles, family mailing list, activities and skills, attendance, visitations, and ministry services.
Store information about each household, such as the street address, family pictures, and preferred mailing address.
Record individual information like birthdays, cell phone numbers, and email addresses. You can use this module to manage church members and keep track of their participation.
Create different activities like youth group, choir, and women’s ministry. You can use these groups to create email lists, mailing labels, and mail merge letters as well as record attendance and event calendars.
Track attendance records of each individual in an activity. The attendance can be viewed in the member record.
Store visitations that are made by the families listed in the Family Mailing List module. This module keeps track of visitors to your church. Users can also add a description of what happened during the visitation. Visitation data can be accessed in the member record.
Track ministerial services like weddings, baptisms, and funerals performed for people listed in the Personal Profiles module.
The Contributions module helps you manage tithing and donations. The program stores giving records for each individual listed in the Personal Profiles module, and it uses envelope numbers to connect individuals to donation records. You can assign a gift to a specific fund, create different designations within each fund, track recurring contributions, and import contributions from third-party online giving programs like Vanco Payment Solutions.
Record pledges and track pledge progress for a specific purpose and date range. You monitor track pledges or faith promises on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, or one-time basis. PowerChurch Plus includes built-in reports showing comparisons of pledged to actual donations.
Schedule one-time or recurring events and announce them to your members through email. You can synchronize the Events Scheduling module to Google Calendar to ensure every event goes smoothly. Using the Equipment Inventory module, you can also reserve all kinds of equipment, such as church vans, chairs, and video projectors, and assign tasks to people listed in the Personal Profiles module.
PowerChurch Plus Ease of Use
PowerChurch Plus doesn’t have the best user interface; the design and navigation flow are old-fashioned. When you open modules, windows stack over each other, which can make your screen cluttered.
Most of the actions can be done only through the menus. Users must familiarize themselves with the items under each menu to navigate around the program easily. Overall, PowerChurch Plus is difficult to use, and users with less-than-perfect eyesight might have a hard time using it since the font is small and the form design is tight.
Customer support is free for 90 days for first-time purchases and 45 days for upgrades. After the free support period, users will pay $35 per call or email plus free follow-up for one week. Alternatively, users can get six or 12 months of support for $149 or $280, respectively. Users can call for support during working hours.
How We Evaluate PowerChurch Plus
We created a rubric to evaluate church accounting software featured in our best church accounting software guide. In our evaluation, we considered the following criteria:
10% of Overall Score
We considered the cost of the software compared to its competitors.
20% of Overall Score
For accounting, we included features that must be present in a church accounting software, like double-entry bookkeeping, customized chart of accounts, bill tracking, invoice tracking, bank reconciliation, and many more.
20% of Overall Score
Church software must at least include fund accounting, donation tracking, pledge tracking, and member management features.
30% of Overall Score
Our ease of use score mainly focuses on how easy for users to utilize the software, reach out to customer support, and integrate third-party apps and services.
20% of Overall Score
Our expert score is the overall verdict of all the software’s features evaluated as a whole.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
PowerChurch Plus is an on-premise or desktop-installed software. You need to install it on your computer before using it, whereas its counterpart, PowerChurch Online, is a web-based version that doesn’t require installation.
Both products have the same features. However, we recommend PowerChurch Plus if you need many users because PowerChurch Online has limitations in the number of users.
PowerChurch Plus offers a mix of accounting and church management features. The accounting side is based on true fund accounting to help with accountability and ensure donations are used appropriately. Its church management features are also remarkable. PowerChurch Plus has member tracking and event scheduling for church events, activities, and services. On the downside, A/R and A/P are only for tracking purposes and are excluded from financial statements.