If you have just joined ChurchTrac or recently upgraded to our Plus subscription, your Accounting/Budgets screen will need to be set up. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to do that.
ChurchTrac is a Single Entry Accounting system that uses a Cash-based or Fund-based approach to accounting. This tool must be set up and used accordingly.
Bank/financial statement: You will need the most recent bank or financial statement for the account(s) you are adding to the ChurchTrac Accounting feature.
Funds: You will need to know or have a list of all your organization's Funds or designated balances of money. It will also help to know how much money is supposed to be in each of these funds.
Income & Expenses: You will need to know or have a list of all your organization's income and expense categories.
Want to know the difference between Accounts, Funds, and Categories? Read this ›
Click the "Funds" tab at the top of the Accounting Screen. The General Fund is already created for you. To add more funds, click the "Add Fund" button.
Your "Current Fund Balance" will be zero. That's okay. Your balance will change in steps 3 & 4 of this process.
Once you have added all of your organization's funds, you will next add your income and expense categories.
To learn how to create a Fund in ChurchTrac, read this ›
After listing your Funds, click the "Categories" tab at the top of the Accounting Screen. The General Offering category is already created for you. To add more categories, click the "Add" button.
You will need to add a new category or subcategory for all of your organization's income and expenses.
You must also assign each category to a Fund in the "Default Fund" field. This step is crucial. Without doing this, you will not be able to track how money is deposited into or spent from your designated Funds.
Once you have added all of your organization's categories, you will next add your accounts.
To learn how to create and manage Categories in ChurchTrac, read this ›
After verifying all of your Funds and Categories are properly listed, click the "Accounts" tab at the top of the Accounting Screen. To add your first account, click the "Add a New Bank Account" button.
Grab your bank or financial statement, then enter the required information in each field of the flyout window.
Accounts are not category or fund specific. Though you are only selecting one category and one fund as you enter your beginning balance, you will be able to apply the money in the account to multiple categories and funds in Step 4.
If your church has only one Fund, you're done! But if you need to divide your church's money between multiple Funds, move on to Step 4.
To learn how to create and manage Accounts in ChurchTrac, read this ›
Once you have added your account(s) to the ChurchTrac Accounting screen, the final step is to divide the beginning balance across multiple Funds. This ensures that your Funds have the proper balance.
To do this, click on the account in the Accounts tab of the Accounting screen. Next, click on the Beginning Balance transaction, then click the "Edit" button in the toolbar below.
To divide the money in the beginning balance into multiple Funds, click the "Add Line" button. In the new line, select a Category and Fund you want to apply some of this balance. Whatever amount you enter in this line must be subtracted from the first line.
In Step 1, we recommend adding very few Funds. The fewer funds, the simpler managing your finances will be. If you have Funds numbering in the double digits, there is a good chance you could consolidate or eliminate several.
Always look over your Funds and Accounts to make sure they reflect the balances in your financial paperwork for your ministry.
Once you are finished, have others look over everything to ensure nothing has been overlooked.