Ann Arbor, Mich. - Mar. 1, 2011 - ParishSOFT LLC announced today that the Diocese of Charlotte has selected ParishSOFT's Web-based ConnectNow Church Accounting as the standard software platform for its 91 parishes and schools.
The diocese's decision follows a nine-month review process during which representatives from 20 parishes and schools, along with diocesan staff, formed a task force to examine ways to further improve their accounting processes, procedures, and reporting and ultimately to provide greater transparency to finance councils and parishioners.
Leading the task force was the Diocese of Charlotte's Chief Financial Officer (CFO), William Weldon, who was quick to credit the group's collaborative effort and objectivity. "We came together without any preconceived ideas about accounting software providers," said Weldon. "Instead our parish and school staff considered which systems are the most user friendly while providing the best internal controls, and which would help us realign our reporting to mirror the activities of the Church in ways that secular accounting systems cannot."
The task force reviewed proposals from four vendors, carefully considering how each system would meet the needs of the diocese. After extensive due diligence, which included reference checks with several U.S. parishes and dioceses using the ConnectNow Church Accounting system, the task force unanimously selected ParishSOFT. "We believe that ParishSOFT is the best product in the marketplace for parish accounting software," stated Weldon.
Nearly 90% of parishes and schools in the Diocese of Charlotte were represented at either task force meetings or informational workshops sponsored by the diocese in January 2010 at four different locations. "The workshops provided a forum for us to review our overall goals and objectives, discuss the implementation plan, and show the system to everyone," said Weldon. "As a result of feedback from these meetings, the decision was made to proceed with the ParishSOFT system. We've had a lot of excitement, and support for the ConnectNow Church Accounting system has been tremendous."
Charlotte's transition to the ConnectNow Church Accounting platform is scheduled to begin in March 2011 with a pilot group of 6 volunteer parishes that will send their staff to Charlotte for training. All 91 parishes and parish schools are slated to be live on the new system by July 2011.
Once implemented, the Diocese of Charlotte will have secure Web access to parish and school financial data on a real-time basis via ParishSOFT's ConnectNow Financial Consolidation Manager program. In turn, parishes and schools will gain a new level of support for tasks like chart of accounts management, training, and reporting, all of which can be managed at the diocesan level in the ConnectNow Church Accounting system. Because ConnectNow is designed specifically for churches and schools, the entire diocese will benefit from standardized, real-time financial reports that go beyond simply stating profit and loss to providing meaningful data that supports ministry.
Mike Cusick, ParishSOFT Vice President of Marketing and Sales, said, "Bill Weldon is highly respected by his peers for his work with the USCCB and his presentations at DFMC meetings, as well as his representation of the Catholic Church with the Financial Accounting Standards Board. The Diocese of Charlotte's financial policies and governance standards are among the best we've seen. We're blessed and honored to partner our ConnectNow Church Accounting technology and the dedicated people of ParishSOFT with such a leader in diocesan stewardship and accountability."
About the Diocese of Charlotte
The Diocese of Charlotte, established in 1972, serves 124,000 registered Catholics and an unregistered Hispanic/Latino Catholic population of approximately 125,000. Its territory includes 46 western North Carolina counties in the regions known as the Piedmont and Mountain areas. Bishop Peter Jugis, who is a native of Charlotte, was ordained to the priesthood by Pope John Paul II at St. Peter's Basilica in June 1983. He was installed as the diocese's fourth bishop in October 2003.
CFO William Weldon, a certified public accountant, also serves as chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Accounting Practices Committee, a member of the Not-for-Profit Advisory Committee of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and a 17-year member of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference (DFMC). View the Diocese of Charlotte's Standards for Financial Governance on http://www.charlottediocese.org/financialgovernance.html, or visit www.charlottediocese.org for more information.
Founded in 1998, ParishSOFT offers a complete suite of church and diocesan management software to connect people and the church and to reduce administrative work. The company's Web-based ConnectNow Church Accounting system, launched in early 2009, is the next generation of the CMS Fund Accounting software, first introduced in the mid 1980s by ParishSOFT's sister company Church Management Solutions. The ConnectNow Church Accounting suite includes the modules Ledger and Payables and Payroll, with an Accounts Receivable module coming in 2011. From its earliest beginnings, the ParishSOFT and CMS accounting products have been designed to meet the unique accounting and stewardship needs of churches and schools, while offering the same ease of use and affordability found in secular programs, like QuickBooks®.
ParishSOFT continually invests in improving its software and web solutions, as well as adding new features and products. ParishSOFT presently serves more than 4,800 parishes, and the company's products have been implemented in 48 arch/diocesan offices. Visit www.parishsoft.com for more information about ParishSOFT's products and services.