QuickBooks for Churches – The Guide for a Smart Approach

Church accounting doesn't have to be a headache! Often, churches have limited staff and resources. Choosing the right tools to streamline your workflow will keep you from getting overwhelmed. In this article, we'll show you how QuickBooks can help you manage your church accounting – without stress.

7 minutes read
QuickBooks for Churches – The Guide for a Smart Approach

Only 32% of people report trusting religious institutions. Building this trust is crucial to getting more church attendance – and more donations – so you can spread the word of God.

One way to boost trust is to ensure your church is doing everything to be good stewards of tithes and offerings. Having a clear accounting process can help you do this.

With flexible, powerful tools, QuickBooks really streamlines the entire accounting process for churches. In this article, we’ll look at the basics of QuickBooks for churches, including which type of church QuickBooks is best. We’ll also walk you through how you can easily integrate QuickBooks with Donorbox for smarter accounting.

Let’s first outline how QuickBooks helps churches with their accounting.

How Does QuickBooks Help with Church Accounting?

QuickBooks allows you to assign each dollar your church receives to a specific area. So anytime you receive tithing, you can track where that tithing goes by committee, program, or fund. This is especially helpful if your church uses the fund accounting method.

This means you can easily get a clear sense of how much cash your church has and what expenses are being covered by it. So when it comes to creating a case for support or providing impact data, your church will have all it will require handy on the tool.

Plus, with multiple user accounts with unique access permissions, multiple people in your church can work on the application at once. This is especially helpful if you have volunteers managing your accounting.

In summary, QuickBooks streamlines church accounting – letting you spend less time worrying about the money you raise and more time serving your community!

And if you’re using Donorbox for your church fundraising, your job becomes absolutely hassle-free! Donorbox seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks to help manage your donations easily. More on that later!

quickbooks for churches - Donorbox integration

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QuickBooks Online vs. QuickBooks Desktop – Which Should You Use?

Both types of QuickBooks can be helpful for churches! But let’s break each down so you can determine what’s best for your church’s needs.

1. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks Online offers 4 tiers:

  • Simple Start, $15 a month.
  • Essentials, $27.50 a month.
  • Plus, $42.50 a month.
  • Advanced, $100 a month.

All tiers come with these basic perks:

  • Guided setup.
  • Income and expenses tracking.
  • Invoicing and payments.
  • General reporting tools.
  • Tax deduction management.
  • Receipt capture.
  • Cash flow overview.
  • Sales and sales tax.
  • Estimates.

However, QuickBooks recommends either the Plus or Advanced tiers for churches and houses of worship. This is because some of the advanced tools, like bill management and multiple users, are especially helpful for churches looking to grow.

Other pros for QuickBooks Online:

  • Convenience. You can access your accounting tools from any computer or smartphone, meaning you can literally carry your bookkeeping around in your pocket!
  • Integrations with other apps. QuickBooks Desktop has integrations as well, but QuickBooks online has way more – and they’re easy to use! We’ll show you how to integrate with Donorbox later in this article.
  • Easy to share info. Instead of having to download a file to securely send to your accountant, your accountant can have direct access to everything they need.
  • Affordable. With four different tiers, it’s easier for churches to pay for what they need – and nothing else.

Although QuickBooks Online is a great choice for churches, there are a few reasons to consider QuickBooks Desktop, too.

2. QuickBooks Desktop

QuickBooks Desktop comes in two tiers:

  • Premier Plus, $799 a year.
  • Enterprise, $1,269 a year.

Each tier offers some significant accounting power, but the biggest difference is the ability to customize. The Enterprise level allows up to 40 users plus strong customization to make it as useful for your church as possible.

Enterprise also lets you add on cloud access and Salesforce CRM integration.

Other pros for QuickBooks Desktop include –

  • Offline access. You can access your accounting tools without an internet connection since they live locally on your computer.
  • Increased reporting capabilities. You can run more complicated reports, reviewing more data on QuickBooks Desktop.
  • More intuitive. Although this is always changing as Intuit continues to work on QuickBooks Online, some users report feeling more comfortable with QuickBooks Desktop.

A big con for QuickBooks Desktop is limited integrations. If you want to seamlessly connect with your favorite online tools, like Donorbox, you’ll want to go with QuickBooks Online. However, Donorbox also provides a way for you to connect with QuickBooks Desktop via Stripe and Commerce Sync. We’ll discuss that in detail later.

Discounted QuickBooks Products for Churches

If you’re balking at the prices listed for each tier above, don’t fret. Nonprofits – and therefore churches with 501(c)(3) status – can receive significant discounts through TechSoup.

An important note: as of 2022, TechSoup will only provide QuickBooks Desktop to organizations that have received QuickBooks Desktop in the past. This is because Intuit is changing the way they support certain versions.

TechSoup offers the following QuickBooks versions:

  • QuickBooks Online Advanced, 1-year subscription: $160 admin fee.
  • QuickBooks Online Plus, 1-year subscription: $75 admin fee.
  • QuickBooks Premier Editions, 1 user license (includes Nonprofit Editions): $78 admin fee.
  • QuickBooks Premier Editions, 3 user licenses (includes Nonprofit Editions): $168 admin fee.
  • QuickBooks for Mac: $50 admin fee.

In addition to being an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit, there are a few other requirements to be eligible for Intuit products from TechSoup. These include things like having an annual operating budget under $10 million and not engaging in discrimination as an organization.

QuickBooks and Donorbox – A Powerful Combination for Smart Accounting

Connecting your Donorbox account to QuickBooks is a great way to make your church fundraising and accounting seamless. That means that any time you receive a donation, it will automatically show up in QuickBooks. You won’t have to do a thing!

Here’s how to integrate QuickBooks with Donorbox in 2 easy ways-

1. Integrating via Zapier

Zapier helps you connect Donorbox with QuickBooks Online.

Before you start this process, you’ll need –

  • A Donorbox account with some donation data.
  • A Zapier account.
  • Your QuickBooks account details.

If you haven’t already, sign up with Donorbox – it will take only a few minutes for you to get started! Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the entire process!

Step 1 – Activate the Zapier integration

Login to your account on Donorbox and under “Integrations & Add-ons”, select “Zapier & API”.

zapier integration with donorbox for churches

Now, click “Activate Zapier Integration” and get the API key you’ll need for integrating Donorbox and QuickBooks Online.

donorbox and zapier integration

Step 2- Set up your Zap

First, set up the Zap with an initial trigger and action. Here, you’ll see the trigger is “New or Updated Donation” in Donorbox, while the action is “Find or Create Customer” in QuickBooks Online. –

quickbooks online for churches

Step 3 – Connect Donorbox to Zapier to use the Zap

The information needed to continue with the Zap will include –

  • Your Donorbox email.
  • Your Donorbox API key that you got after enabling the Zapier integration.

connecting to quickbooks via zapier

You’ll be able to test the connection after this.

Step 4 – Enter QuickBooks Online account details

Next, you need to input the QuickBooks Online account information –

  • QuickBooks login details.
  • The action event in QuickBooks Online.

quickbooks integration

Step 5 – You’re ready to start streamlining

Once your Donorbox account is connected with your QuickBooks Online account via this Zap, you’re ready to start the following actions –

  • locate your supporters in QuickBooks Online,
  • Create sales receipts,
  • Create expense.

As a result, you’ll be able to do the following –

  • See full donation amounts.
  • Corresponding processing fee deductions.
  • Automatic updating of data every time you receive a new donation.

Here’s the detailed step-by-step guide to help you set up the Zaps for all the above actions.

Need more help? Check out this video that walks you through everything you need to know about Zapier and Donorbox integration!

Donorbox + Zapier - Learn More!

2. Integrating via Stripe with Commerce Sync

This method connects QuickBooks (Online and Desktop) to Donorbox donations via Stripe with Commerce Sync.

For this integration to work, you will need a few things in place –

  • A Donorbox account with donation data.
  • Your Donorbox account connected with Stripe.

If you need help getting started with Donorbox, read this guide – and sign up for free to start fundraising in just 15 minutes!

Step 1- Connect to Commerce Sync with your Stripe Account

Click this link to start the activation process at Commerce Sync.

From there, you’ll be prompted to log into your Stripe account.

Next, give Commerce Sync access to your Stripe account by clicking “Connect my Stripe Account.”

stripe and commerce sync for quickbooks

Once you do that, Commerce Sync will link with your Stripe account.

Step 2 – Connect Commerce Sync with QuickBooks Online

After your Stripe account is connected, you’ll be prompted to select which accounting software you want to connect with.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to do it with QuickBooks Online, but you also have the option of connecting with QuickBooks Desktop.

Here’s the screen you’ll see. Select QuickBooks Online.

quickbooks online

You’ll then be prompted to sign into your QuickBooks Online account if you aren’t already.

Next, click “Connect” to confirm you want to link your Commerce Sync account with QuickBooks Online. This will authorize the connection!

commerce sync and donorbox

Connect QuickBooks with Donorbox - Sign Up!

Step 3 – Start organizing your data

You will be prompted to select whether you want your sales separated by customers or lumped together in a daily summary.

We recommend keeping sales separated by customers since that is usually how donation-based businesses like churches need to track their sales.

Now all your Donorbox donations will be logged in QuickBooks online! You’ll be able to do the following –

  • View Donorbox donations in QuickBooks.
  • Request a special historical transfer.
  • View your payout from Stripe in the form of deposits in QuickBooks.

Learn how to activate the above actions in this step-by-step guide on ‘Donorbox and QuickBooks’ integration using Stripe with Commerce Sync.

Over to You

When your church needs new accounting software, QuickBooks is an excellent choice. Plus, it helps that TechSoup offers significant discounts on Intuit products so your church doesn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for solid accounting software.

Donorbox is here to help you streamline your accounting even more with quick and easy integrations. Whether you choose the Zapier method or the Commerce Sync method, both will help connect your Donorbox donations to your QuickBooks account without you having to lift a finger.

Donorbox also offers a plethora of powerful fundraising tools for churches and nonprofit organizations. More than 80,000 organizations are using these tools and have raised $2 billion – and counting! – in donations. Sign up today and start fundraising in just about 15 minutes!

For thorough guides and helpful advice for churches, visit our Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter and rest assured – your church will receive the best collection of Donorbox resources every month in your inbox!

Lindsey Baker

Lindsey spent years wearing many hats in the nonprofit world. Whether she was helping arts nonprofits with their messaging and content, planning a fundraising gala, writing an NEA grant proposal, or running a membership program with over 400 members, she learned how to navigate – and appreciate! – the fast-paced world of fundraising. Now, she loves sharing those hard-earned lessons with the Donorbox community.

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