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Are Outsourced Virtual Accounting Services Worth It for Your Church?

Managing church finances can be a daunting task for pastors and church leaders. Balancing the budget, keeping track of expenses, and ensuring that all financial records are accurate and up-to-date can be time-consuming and overwhelming — especially when church accounting services consist of volunteers with limited time and expertise. 

That’s why many churches (in stride with savvy businesses and nonprofits)  are turning to outsourced bookkeeping and virtual accountant services to help manage their finances. 

But is outsourcing worth it for your church? Let’s explore the benefits and pitfalls of outsourced bookkeeping services and virtual accounting, and how partnering with a virtual accountant (like the CPAs at Temple) can impact your church finances.

First, Know Your Needs

Before deciding whether virtual accounting services are worth it, it’s essential to know your specific church accounting needs. What financial tasks do you need help with? Do you require help with budgeting, bookkeeping, payroll, or tax preparation? Knowing your needs will help you determine the level of service you actually require, and estimate the cost of outsourcing more accurately.

If your church has a small budget and only needs basic bookkeeping services, outsourcing may not be necessary. However, if your church has a large budget and requires more complex financial services, outsourcing could save you time, energy, and money in the long run.

You’ll also want to consider the experience and expertise of your staff and/or volunteers. Do you have trained accountants on hand already? If not, outsourcing virtual accounting services can provide the efficiency and knowledge you need to ensure that your church finances are in capable hands and that financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

Lastly and perhaps most importantly, consider your church’s goals and priorities. If your church’s priority is to grow and expand its local ministry, outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks can drastically free up your time and effort to focus on those goals — the heart of your church’s purpose.

What to Expect: In-House Bookkeeping  vs. Virtual Bookkeeping Services

There are two main options for managing your church’s finances: in-house bookkeeping or outsourced virtual accounting services. In-house bookkeeping involves hiring a staff member to manage your financial records. This option can be costly, as it requires a salary, benefits, and additional overhead expenses. This option can also be downright risky if you opt not to hire, and rely on ministry volunteers. 

On the other hand, outsourced virtual accounting services offer cost-effective options for managing your finances. Virtual accountants work remotely, which means you don’t need to worry about additional overhead expenses. Additionally, virtual accountants can provide a wide range of services, from basic bookkeeping to complex financial analysis.

Virtual accounting services also provide flexibility. As your church’s financial needs change, you can adjust your services with ease. Virtual accounting services are scalable, meaning you can increase or decrease your services as needed.

Another advantage of outsourced virtual accounting services is that they are highly scalable. This means that as your church grows, you can easily adjust the level of service you receive to meet your changing needs. Outsourcing also allows you to access the latest accounting software and technology without having to invest in expensive software licenses or hardware.

Benefits of Virtual Outsourced Bookkeeping Services for Church Accounting

Virtual outsourced bookkeeping services could offer many benefits to your church, including:

  • Cost Savings: Outsourcing virtual accounting services can save your church money on overhead expenses, such as salaries, benefits, technology, software, and office space.
  • Expertise: Virtual accountants have the experience and knowledge needed to manage your church’s finances effectively. They can provide accurate financial records, tax preparation, and financial analysis.
  • Flexibility: Virtual accounting services are scalable, which means you can adjust your services as your church’s financial needs change.
  • Time Savings: Outsourcing virtual accounting services can save pastors and church leaders time, allowing them to focus on other important tasks.
  • Reduced Risk: Virtual accountants can help reduce the risk of errors in financial records, ensuring that your church is compliant with tax laws and regulations.

Pitfalls of Virtual Outsourced Bookkeeping Services for Church Accounting

While virtual outsourced bookkeeping services offer many benefits, be aware of the potential pitfalls:

  • Cost. While outsourcing accounting services can save money in the long run, it’s still important to weigh the cost of outsourcing against the cost of hiring a full-time accountant or bookkeeper. You should also consider the level of service you need and the fees charged by different accounting firms.
  • Lack of Control: Outsourcing financial tasks means giving up control over your financial records. It’s important to choose a reputable virtual accounting service that you can trust with your church’s financial health.
  • Communication: Since outsourced accounting services are done remotely, communication is key. Communication could be a challenge depending on the virtual accounting service you choose; so make sure to establish clear lines of communication with your virtual accountant to ensure that your church’s financial concerns are heard and record-keeping needs are met.
  • Security: Outsourcing financial tasks also means sharing sensitive financial information with a third party. It’s essential to choose a virtual accounting service that has robust security measures in place to protect your church’s sensitive financial records.

How partnering with Temple can impact your church finances

Outsourcing bookkeeping services can be a cost-effective and efficient way to manage your church’s finances. By partnering with a virtual accountant, your church can benefit from expert financial services, cost savings, flexibility, and time savings. If your church is looking for a way to improve its finances and ensure long-term sustainability, you might want to consider investing in a virtual accountant with Temple Management

Our virtual accountants are industry professionals, who are experienced and knowledgeable in managing church finances. We can provide the services you need to ensure your financial records are accurate and up-to-date.

Learn more about how Temple‘s team of Certified Public Accountants (CPA)s and Accountants can help you focus on your community, while we focus on what we’re good at: empowering churches to succeed financially.


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