PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Summer 2016
Welcome to the Summer 2016 edition of the PowerChurch Software Newsletter. In this issue, we clear up some confusion about the different models of check readers that are available. We walk you through some useful reports and processes to help make your data entry more accurate and offer an invitation to submit user reviews for PowerChurch Plus on Capterra.com.
MagTek Check Reader Compatibility
Since the Check Reader functionality was introduced in PowerChurch back in 2002, we have sold and supported three different MagTek Mini MICR check reader models. Each are listed below with details about their compatibility between different versions of PowerChurch and Windows.
MagTek Mini MICR Keyboard Wedge (#22520001)
This one has no drivers to install. The device connects to the computer with a "Y" adapter on the keyboard PS/2 port. This will work with any computer that has PS/2 ports and any version of PowerChurch Plus or PowerChurch Online. The only compatibility issue with this model is that computers don't come with PS/2 ports anymore.
MagTek Mini MICR USB (#225230033)
PowerChurch Plus Versions 8.5 and 9, PowerChurch Online - Communication with these versions of PowerChurch require running an additional piece of software, called MICR Send. This software was created by MagTek and translates the information that comes out of the check reader into something that PowerChurch can use.
- If you have older versions of Windows (up through XP/2000 and 32 bit Vista) you should be able to use this device with the versions of PowerChurch listed above.
- 64bit Windows Vista and higher are not compatible with this check reader.
PowerChurch Plus Versions 10, 11, and 11.5 - These versions of PowerChurch Plus were released with built-in communication controls and the MICR Send software is not needed. Regardless of your Windows version, you should be able to use this model of check reader in these versions of PowerChurch Plus.
MagTek Mini MICR USB Keyboard Emulation (#22523009)
As with the first model in the list, there are no drivers to install with this one. When the USB cable is connected to your computer, it thinks a new keyboard was plugged in. This will work with any computer that has USB ports and in any version of PowerChurch Plus or PowerChurch Online.
Capterra.com User Reviews
Many church administrators search the internet looking for information and reviews of Church Management Software. One of the more popular and useful web sites is Capterra.com. PowerChurch Plus is one of the featured products on the site, but we don't have many user reviews. Please visit the link below and answer a couple of quick questions about your experience with PowerChurch Plus. We would sincerely appreciate it, as would those shopping for software in the future!
Checking Your Work in PowerChurch
As mentioned in a Summer 2014 newsletter article, once you have posted transactions in PowerChurch, making corrections is a multi-step process: You reverse or void the original item, enter a corrected one, and then post your corrections. That isn't so bad, but it's much better to catch these mistakes before they're a part of your permanent paper trail.
When working in Contributions, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, or Payroll, posting is a two-step process. First, you post in that particular module (for example, Post Contributions), and then you do the final step in Fund Accounting > Post Transactions. This gives you two opportunities to check your work: once before posting in the original module, and again before posting in Fund Accounting.
Before posting in Contributions
After you've entered contributions, there are three reports in the Contributions module that you can use to check your work.
- The Unposted Contributions report shows each individual donation separately, with a grand total at the bottom.
- The Bank Deposit Slip, Unposted Contrib shows you totals of only your cash and checks, and you can have it print out a preformatted deposit slip to take to the bank.
- The Funds Report shows you totals entered for each fund, with a grand total at the bottom.
If you find any mistakes while contributions are unposted, you can correct them in Modify Unposted Contributions.
Before posting in Accounts Payable
After you've entered invoices and/or checks into Accounts Payable, run the following report prior to posting.
- Open (unposted) Items is the main one, which shows you each invoice or check that's waiting to be printed or posted.
If you find any mistakes with invoices or manual checks, you can correct them in Maintain Open Invoices or Maintain Manual Checks. If computer checks have already been printed, you can make some changes in Maintain Computer Generated Checks. If the problem is with the invoice, you will need to delete the computer check record, fix the problem with the invoice, and print out a new check.
Before posting in Accounts Receivable
There are two reports in Accounts Receivable:
- The Open (unposted) Items shows all invoices, payments, and credit memos waiting to be posted.
- The Open (unposted) Payments shows only the actual money received that's waiting to be posted.
If you need to make corrections, you can do so in Maintain Open Invoices or Maintain Open Payments.
Before posting in Payroll
In Payroll, you can check your work before, during, and after you Process Payroll.
- The Employee Pay Items report shows each employee's default pay items and amounts. This includes all of the items that will be part of the Payroll transaction. You can change these items from the Maintain List of Employees screen. This report can also be run from the Process Payroll screen. On the Verify Payroll step, click the printer button to run the report.
- The Unposted Transactions report will show you the Payroll transactions that have not yet been posted.
If you find any problems, go to Modify Unposted Payroll. If it's just a check number or date, you can fix it there. If not, delete the unposted Payroll record and Process Payroll again.
Before posting in Fund Accounting
- The Unposted Transactions report shows you a list of each item waiting to be posted.
- Account Activity, Balance Sheet, Income & Expense Statement, Check Register, and Detail Changes in Equity. These reports can all be run to optionally "Include Unposted Transactions". You can run these reports before posting to check your work and verify that the transactions and amounts look correct. Running these reports to include unposted transactions gives you a preview of what you will see after posting.
If you find any problems, you can correct them in Modify Unposted Transactions. However, if the problem originated somewhere other than Fund Accounting, you should consider making the correction there instead.
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.
From Maintenance Releases:
Q. I am trying to update the 11.5 maintenance release, and I keep getting "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file: Deletefile failed; code 32"
A. Is anyone else on the network using PowerChurch? If so, have them log out. If you have any other PowerChurch windows open, close them before installing.
Q. Is there any way for me to add a new contribution type? I have cash and check, but would like to add credit card. I have Version 9 of PowerChurch Plus.
A. Newer versions have customizable contribution types. An upgrade from v9 is only $149 plus $10 shipping.
Q. Can PowerChurch direct deposit be used without a third party? Can we deposit directly into the employees' bank accounts?
A. Banks require a transfer of money via ACH. PowerChurch cannot create that file. It is necessary that you work with a third party software or service to initiate the ACH transaction.
PowerChurch Online, PCPlus V 9, PCPlus V 8.5, PCPlus V 11/11.1, PCPlus V 11.5/11.55, PCPlus V 10/10.4
MagTek Check Reader Compatibility, Capterra.com User Reviews, Checking Your Work
Last updated: 08/23/2016