Churches are not businesses, but churches should always strive to use wise business practices. Brad Leeper, president of Generis, a team of church generosity consultants, says, “Shrewd business practices are part of the fiduciary responsibility of church leadership.”
Wise business practices in the church are more and more often including outsourcing, especially outsourced accounting. Churches can often hire an accounting firm for less than half the cost of one staff bookkeeper or accountant. There are several reasons for this:
- Lower Labor Costs
Outsourced accounting eliminates the time and money you spend to recruit, interview, hire, and train accounting personnel. When you sign on with an accounting firm, you automatically get access to experienced accounting professionals who love what they do.
- Less Management
Outsourced accounting eliminates the time and money needed to manage the accounting personnel’s benefits, sick days, and vacation days.
- More Space
Outsourced accounting frees up office space. Office space, furniture, computers, technology, and storage units that would normally be used for accounting personnel and financial records can be used for more beneficial purposes.
- Reduced Taxes and Employee Benefits
Outsourced accounting removes your financial responsibility for health benefits, FICA, 401k, and workers compensation associated with staff members.
- Fewer Capital Purchases
Outsourced accounting reduces your financial risk by limiting capital purchases like CPU hardware, software, and IT support.
Churches can rest easy while all these financial responsibilities are pushed into another firm’s hands.
Leeper says that churches often find cost savings in an outsourcing strategy. Long Hollow Baptist Church in Nashville found this to be true. “Long Hollow had money budgeted for staff expansion in accounting,” said Ben Stroup, a consultant working with Long Hollow. “They were planning to add several full-time positions. But we discovered that they could outsource their accounting needs for less than half the cost of adding the necessary staff members.”
Long Hollow signed on with Dime, a church accounting company, in August 2010. Because of the church’s savings, they have been able to fund new ministry positions.
“Outsourced accounting is a great option for churches who are looking to save money on administrative costs,” Leeper said.