Converting diocesan parishes to QuickBooks Print
Trusting in the Spirit
Thursday, Jul. 02, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
Last in a two-part series

Part one of this article described the parish software conversion to ParishSOFT and related activity in the Office of Planning. This week finishes the series as I discuss our process of converting a parish to QuickBooks and some other activities involving that program.

QuickBooks

Just like with census data, parish financial data also needs to be cleaned so that it, too, is consistent and predictable; that is, each parish posts to the same accounts in the same circumstances. For this reason it's important for all parishes to use our diocesan Chart of Accounts and to follow a common set of financial procedures.

Training and communication

We contact the converting parish many months in advance to give their staff time to prepare their financial data for conversion to QuickBooks. The diocese provides everything needed to convert the data from the current financial software program at no cost to the parish. As the parish converts to QuickBooks, I work with them on their processes, consistency, and diocesan standards. We are currently creating those standards now and they will be posted to the diocesan QuickBooks page when complete. I am also currently creating a QuickBooks training program for parishes in the diocese. If parishes are merging, these separate financial files are combined into one.

Another way we are trying to assist parishes is to communicate more with them. I'm sure you've heard this or thought it many times -- communication is the key to a successful anything; time and time again it's shown itself to be true. I send information about QuickBooks and/or relevant financial topics when they occur to parish bookkeepers and accountants. If you would like to be included on this distribution list please e-mail your request to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Products

I represent the Diocese of Madison as a Certified ProAdvisor for QuickBooks, which simply means I can provide support to parishes on how to use the program properly and as a side benefit I receive a product discount which I pass on to parishes. We live in financially troubled times so we created a Web site which allows parishes to purchase their software upgrades and other necessary products at our diocesan discount; the products are delivered directly to the parish and there is no shipping or handling fees charged to the parish. Anyone can purchase QuickBooks products from our site. We receive a small commission from each sale that offsets some of our program costs. You can see the products and prices by going to http://www.madisondiocese.org/Parishes/QuickBooks/QuickBooksProducts/tabid/1483/Default.aspx. Please support the Diocese of Madison by purchasing through our site.

Use us

We ask that parishes use our knowledge and trust our experience by waiting to be converted. Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document which answers a multitude of conversion and parish merger questions located at http://www.madisondiocese.org/Parishes/QuickBooks/QuestionsAboutConverting/tabid/1276/Default.aspx

Thank you

It's worth repeating from Part One that the Office of Planning appreciates your financial support via the Annual Catholic Appeal so we can continue our work and keep helping your parish. Let me know if you have questions or comments.

Pray for us! We will continue to pray for you as we travel through these summer months. Thank you for reading these articles and for all the work you do for your parish.


Vicky Skilondz is the associate director of the Office of Planning for the Diocese of Madison.