Knowledge Base

PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Year End 2016 - Part 2

This is the second of two year end issues of the quarterly newsletter. In this issue, we discuss some further options that will be coming in the NACHA file setup process, setting up free online backup solutions, as well as linking back to useful articles about year end tasks published in previous newsletters.

January/February Support Info

The beginning of the year is always a busy time for everyone; sending out contribution statements/tax receipts, filing payroll tax forms, and there are always many new users just getting PowerChurch set up for the first time. Historically, we have experienced around 400% increase in Technical Support traffic by phone and e-mail in January and February.

Throughout the rest of the year, when you call in to speak with someone in Technical Support, you can expect to connect with someone directly, or receive a call back shortly thereafter. During January and February, the call back times can regularly be more than an hour or two. Support e-mails are normally answered within one business day, but in January and February, you can more realistically expect a turnaround time of two business days.

So please be patient as we work through this busy period. There are also many support resources available on our web site at that may be able to help you resolve the issue or answer your question.

NACHA File Updates

In the next Maintenance Release for Version 11.55, the Payroll direct deposit NACHA file extension will be a customizable option. Currently, the program creates a TXT file. Some payment processors require the file extension to be ACH. There is an easy workaround in the meantime: rename the file. Internally it is the same type of file and the extension is superficial.

Since there is not an exact standard that every bank and payment processor must adhere to, as time goes on, we will continue to add configuration options to ensure compatibility with as many providers as possible.

Free Automated Online Backup Solutions

In issue #18 (Fall 2014) of the PowerChurch Software Newsletter, we explained how to use the Windows Task Scheduler to automate the backup routine in PowerChurch Plus Version 11.55. That article is linked below. As an addendum to that article, we are now going to explain how to use free cloud backup & sync services to copy those automated backups offsite for safe storage.

PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Fall 2014

There are many free services of this type, most notably Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. You install an application that watches for new or updated files in a particular folder on your computer and automatically copies, or syncs, those files to the cloud. Free accounts usually include around 2GB of storage. For context, PowerChurch backups are usually very small in size, allowing you to store hundreds or thousands of backups in one of those free accounts. In this example, we will be using Dropbox, but the process should be very similar across any of these services.

In PowerChurch Plus, go to File > Preferences > System Setup Options. Click on the Backup tab, then click the Choose Folder button to browse to the folder that is synced with the cloud service.

In the example above, we created a new folder called PCBACKUPS to keep the PowerChurch backups separate from any other files that may be synced.

That's all there is to it! The scheduled backups will automatically be created in the location you specify (\Documents\Dropbox\PCBACKUPS). The installed sync application (in this example, Dropbox) will then automatically copy the new backup offsite.

Helpful Year End Resources

Have a look through the previous year end issues of the newsletter. They contain many useful tips for making the year to year transition as smooth and efficient as possible.

Year End 2010 - Making a year end checklist

Year End 2011 - Contribution Statements

Year End 2012 - Year end house cleaning

Year End 2013 - Reassigning envelope numbers

Year End 2015 Part 2 - Tax forms and e-filing in the new year

Year End 2016 Part 1 - Pledge calculations for 2017

Forum Q & A

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 Accounting:

Q. What do you find is the easiest way to keep up with all the different credit card receipts, do you put them in separately in PowerChurch?
A. Yes, input each receipt separately in PowerChurch. Debit an expense account and credit a liability account. Then, when you get the monthly statement, use the bank reconciliation feature to reconcile the charges on the statement to the postings made in PowerChurch.

From Check In:

Q. We have many grandparents checking in/out their grandchildren. Currently, they have to go to check in non-family member. Is there a quicker way?
A. You can check in a child by using the child's name instead of looking up the grandparent's name. This is often done with children whose parents are divorced and the children's profiles are under the parent who has day-to-day custody.

From Membership:

Q. Is there a way to determine which user made what changes in PowerChurch? Is there a log that shows which profiles were last edited by a user?
A. Look under Membership > Personal Profiles > Setup > View Membership Audit Log.

Created: 01/02/2017
Last updated: 07/25/2021