PowerChurch Software Newsletter - Summer 2019
Welcome to the Summer 2019 issue of the PowerChurch Software Newsletter. While everything else is slowing down, we have been extra busy! So much so that we missed the Spring issue this time around. Don't fret, we will be rolling out an extra issue before the end of the year.
In this issue, we explain the Budget setup, entry, and reporting processes in PowerChurch. We also announce an upcoming increase of support prices with a special offer to take advantage of current pricing before the price goes up. The networking instructions article has been rewritten with details for each of the different Windows OS versions.
The Budgeting feature in PowerChurch Plus is very straightforward and yet a very powerful tool. However, if you don't know the proper setup process, getting started can seem like a daunting task. Never fear - it is all explained below!
- Enable budgets on individual accounts.
To keep every account from being reported in budget comparisons, accounts are set to non-budgeted by default. From the Maintain Chart of Accounts screen found under Accounting > Fund Accounting > Setup, use the Locate button to bring up one of the accounts you want to have a budget.
Click the Budget button found in the middle of the screen, where it reads "This account is used in the following funds".
In the "Budget for this account" field, there are three options, which are detailed below:
- No budget for this account. This is the default option. With this selected, the account will not be included in budget comparison reports and calculations.
- Budget directly on this account. This is the most common budgeted account option. With this selected, you can specify the budgeted amount directly on this specific account.
- Budget by the group. This option can be useful when you don't need to track individual budget amounts and are OK with a shared budget amount across a group of accounts. A good example of this would be the Utilities group. If you don't care to track individual budget comparisons for electricity, water, gas, phone, internet service, garbage pickup, etc. you can simply set the Utilities group account as "Budget directly on this account" then each of the detail accounts in the Utilities group would be set to "Budget by the group".
- Enter budget amounts.
When you have an account set to "Budget directly on this account", you can then enter an annual budget amount or separate monthly amounts. The simplest entry method would be to enter an amount in the Annual Amount field, then click "Distribute Evenly". This will spread the annual amount equally across the twelve months of the year.
If instead, you don't want them spread evenly, you can also enter separate amounts in each individual month. For example, the electricity expense will likely spike in the Summer and Winter for heating and cooling, so you could record individual monthly amounts to reflect the expected rise and fall.
Next year, when entering the new budget amounts for this account, you could enter the new Annual Amount and click the "Distribute Proportionally" button. PowerChurch would spread the new Annual Amount proportionally across the months to match the rise and fall pattern of the current year's budget.
In future years, once all of the necessary accounts have been set up, you can use the handy Copy Budget to Next Year utility found under Accounting > Fund Accounting > Budget. This allows you to copy this year's budget amounts into next year.
You can then use the Budget Entry screen to enter the new budget amounts. This screen was added in Version 11.5 and allows you to enter or edit all the budget amounts on one screen, in a spreadsheet-type layout, in columns and rows, rather than looking up each account and entering amounts individually.
You can find this screen by going to Accounting > Fund Accounting > Budget. Choose Budget Entry. Select the Accounting Year Ending and Accounting Fund then click OK. The Account Numbers, Descriptions, and Annual Budget Amounts are shown in the first three columns. The individual monthly budget amounts are shown in a scrolling view to the right.
At the bottom you will find a Distribute Annual Amounts: Evenly or Proportionally control and a Print button. The latter will generate a budget report titled "Budget Entry" with the fund number and accounting year included.
- Generate budget reports.
There are quite a few reports that will show budget amounts and comparisons. These reports include:
- Annual Budget Worksheet. Displays the annual budget and actual amounts in a worksheet format, which provides space for you to write in next year's budgets.
- Budget Report. Displays budget amounts, actual amounts, and variances for budgeted accounts. You can specify a range of months, funds, and accounts. Use this to view budget amounts, or verify the accuracy of data entry on budgeted accounts.
- Budget Worksheet Report. Displays the current year actual and budget amounts for the specified accounts in a worksheet format, which provides space for you to write in next year's budgets.
- Chart of Accounts - Budgeted Accounts. Displays a list of accounts with budget information.
- Income & Expense Statement. This standard monthly financial statement allows you to optionally include the following budget-related information: Current Budget/Difference/Percent, Year to Date Budget/Difference/Percent, Annual Budget/Difference/Percent, and Next Year Annual Budget.
- Monthly Budget Amounts. This is essentially the same report you can print directly from the Budget Entry screen, which shows the budget amounts by month for each specified acccount. You can also choose to include next year's budget amounts.
- Yearly Budget Comparison. Displays the budget amounts for each account by year. Specify the current year and the number of years prior to include.
PowerChurch Online users enjoy unlimited Technical Support as part of the ongoing service, where PowerChurch Plus users have the option of paying for a single call or buying six months of unlimited support. The current pricing structure for Technical Support service has remained the same for the last 13 years. Unfortunately, it is time for a price increase.
We recently mailed a letter to active PowerChurch Plus users announcing the price increase which takes effect September 1, 2019. Included in that letter is an offer to purchase up to a year of Technical Support service at the current pricing that is available through August 31, 2019.
Current support pricing is a one-time call, which includes a week of free follow-up on the same issue for $30 or six months of unlimited support for $124. As of September 1, 2019, the new pricing will be $35 for a one-time call or six months of unlimited support for $149. A new option for one year of unlimited support for a discounted $280 will be added at that time.
You can take advantage of the current pricing by mailing in the included order form, or on our website at https://www.powerchurch.com/catalog.
We have completely rewritten the networking instructions article in the Knowledge Base. There are now separate, detailed instructions for the server/host setup and workstation installations for all of the various Windows OS versions, including Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2012, 2016 and Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1, and 10. It also includes a separate article explaining the process of using a NAS or other non-Windows device (such as a Linux server) as the server/host computer for PowerChurch Plus.
The Support Forum on our website 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. As I look at my Check Register report, under the heading of "Recon" there are three letters: Y, N, and C. What does "C" signify?
A. It means it has been marked to be cleared when the reconciliation is actually processed. Once the current reconciliation has been completed, it will change to a "Y".
Q. Our church has three Sunday services. We created three activities. Is it possible to pull a summary report showing who is not attending any church services at all for a particular Sunday?
A. The Absentee Report will select only people who were absent 100% of the time in your selected date range. Run that report and select that Sunday and those activities.
Q. Is it possible to send an email attachment to someone at the church building so they can restore a backup without me making the trip?
A. Yes, PowerChurch's backup zip files are usually small enough to be able to attach to an email.
Budget Setup, Support Price Increase, Networking Instructions
Last updated: 07/12/2019