PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Summer 2014
As promised in the previous issue of the newsletter, we have continued to use the summer slow-down to complete some web site improvements. We have replaced all of the old "Video (no audio)" recordings in the Knowledge Base with up to date YouTube videos. We recently published a major update to the Mobile Web App for PowerChurch Online users. In this issue, we'll also provide some clarification on the topic of voiding and reversing transactions and other items in PowerChurch.
A couple of years ago, we published a web site giving you access to your PowerChurch Online Membership database. It was designed primarily for people on the go using phones and other small screen devices. Over time, we found that more and more people were using the web app as their primary means of accessing PowerChurch Online, not just as a convenience feature on their phones.
We have recently redesigned the layout of the Mobile Web App to now be more responsive to different types and sizes of devices. The site will automatically adapt to your screen size, making the best use of the available space. It also now gives you the ability to add and edit Attendance data!
Because of the new functionality and improved user experience, you may find that you have multiple users who only need access through the web app. Logging on through the web app doesn't count against your concurrent user licenses, so the more people you can get working in the web app, the fewer licenses you will need!
If you're paying for additional user licenses of PowerChurch Online, take a look at the list of people who are actively using the system and see if you can't move them over to the Mobile Web App instead.
PowerChurch's approach to having an uneditable audit trail is that any time a change is made in posted transaction history, you will see the chain of events that led to that change. For example, if you enter a $100 contribution today, then next week look back and that contribution is only $10, PowerChurch Plus will detail exactly how that change was made. If you have users and passwords enabled in the software (of course you do!) you will be able to see exactly when that entry was made and who made it.
There have been many articles and news items over the last few years about how frequently churches are defrauded and how easily it happens. The small church is very condusive to this type of problem because there isn't the internal structure that you normally find in a commercial environment. There you expect to find lateral departments with vertical leadership roles and oversight.
What PowerChurch hopefully provides is a little peace of mind, knowing that the information you enter into the program will remain there, unaltered. When there are so many thousands of dollars and even the church's nonprofit status at stake, it is important to us that the program is designed to do everything within reason to accurately represent the state of things and to deter fraudulent or otherwise dishonest accounting.
Below are a few examples of processing corrections to posted data in different areas of the program:
Example 1 - Accounts Payable
An Accounts Payable check was printed, but the wrong check number was entered in the system. While that check is open/unposted in Accounts Payable, you could simply change the check number on the Maintain Computer Generated Checks screen. Once that transaction has been posted, though, you won't be able to simply make changes. You would first need to void the check in Accounts Payable, then enter a new manual check using the correct number. After doing so, you should have three transactions on record: the original with the wrong number, the void of the check with the wrong number, and then the correction with the right check number.
Example 2 - Payroll
A batch of Payroll checks were printed on the wrong check stock. While the transactions are still unposted in Payroll, you can delete those checks from the Modify Unposted Payroll screen and then reissue them. Once those checks have been posted, though, it will require that you void the checks in Payroll, then issue new checks. When finished, as in the previous example, you would have three instances of each of these Payroll checks: the first check which pulled from the wrong account, the void of that check, then the correction.
Example 3 - Contributions
A contribution was entered for $100, when in reality, it was only a $10 contribution. While the contributions are still unposted, you can easily make this change on the Modify Unposted Contributions screen. However, once they have been posted, it would require that you reverse the original contribution, then enter a new contribution for the correct amount. This would leave the same three instances of this contribution as mentioned in the previous examples: the original entry for the wrong amount, a reversing entry to negate the wrong amount, then a new entry for the correct amount.
To reverse a contribution, go to Contributions > View Posted Contributions. Find the contribution in question, select it, and click the Reverse button at the bottom of the screen. This will create a new unposted contribution with an amount of negative $100 to offset the original. Be sure to post the reversal, don't delete or modify it.
Example 4 - Fund Accounting
A transaction was entered directly in Fund Accounting to record the bank interest earned on the savings account last month. The transaction was accidentally entered into the month of August instead of July. While it is unposted, you could easily make that change on the Modify Unposted Transactions screen. However, once it has been posted, as with all those previous examples, it will require additional entries to correct the problem.
You can reverse the original transaction from the incorrect month of August on the View Posted Transactions screen in Fund Accounting. Find the transaction, select it, and click the Reverse button. As with the previous Contributions example, this will create a new unposted transaction that does the exact opposite of the original transaction; the debit and credit columns will be switched. Don't delete or modify the unposted transaction that is created. Enter a new transaction for the month of July. Once everything has been posted, you will have the same three entries: the original in the wrong month, the reversal out of the wrong month, and the correction into the right month.
As you probably noticed in considering each of those examples, regardless of the nature of the problem or where the transaction was originally entered, the solution and outcome is always essentially the same. You create additional entries in the program to reverse and correct the problem.
Taking that one step further, reviewing unposted entries prior to posting can keep you from having to make additional entries to correct problems. Run the Unposted Report in whatever area of the program you entered the transactions. Use the Modify Unposted screen in that same area to fix any problems you find prior to posting.
Back in 2008, we added an option to Import Contributions from a file into Version 10.4 of PowerChurch Plus. This feature was added at the request of users who were Vanco Services customers who needed a way to easily import their Online Giving activity into the program.
Vanco Services is a PCI Level 1 Compliant Service that has over 25,000 customers. More than 15,000 of those are churches, schools, and nonprofits! They offer many payment processing services including ACH transfers, credit and debit cards, online and mobile payments.
Visit them online at https://vancopayments.com/egiving/powerchurch for more information.
The Support Forum on our web site is a very active online community of our users and Tech Support staff
members. There you can browse through thousands of questions and answers, or post your own.
Q. I am working with Lifetouch Pictorial Company to send them a roster of our membership. When they received my data, which I sent through PowerChurch, they said it comes to them in a PDF file which they cannot edit from. They said I need to send it in an excel or other format.
A. I'm not sure how you're getting this data but there is a function in Personal Profiles that will export the data in the format that Lifetouch wants. Go to Membership > Personal Profiles > Other Output and choose Create File For Pictorial Directory Companies. The file that is created is a text file that you can edit if you needed.
Q. Does the federal tax table change each year? If so, where do I find the new table? I tried irs.gov but could not find it there. Maybe that means the table has not changed?
A. Quick Tip: Do a search in the Knowledgebase first. There are lots of good articles there. Here is an index of Payroll articles for all state and federal taxes: www.powerchurch.com/support/pr.
Q. A contributor would like to send a check to the church once a month and the amount be split between 2 different funds. Is it possible to designate 2 funds in repeating contributions?
A. You would have to create two separate repeating contributions for the envelope in question.
Last updated: 07/25/2021