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Church Windows vs ACS Comparison

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Overview

Church Windows is a church management software for modern churches to manage memberships, donations, church receipts, budget...

ACS is a church management software designed to help churches of all sizes handle finances, members, services, background...

  • Platforms supported
  • Web-based
  • iPhone app
  • Android app
  • Windows Phone app
  • Typical customers
  • Freelancers
  • Small businesses
  • Mid size businesses
  • Large enterprises
  • Customer support
  • Phone
  • Online
  • Knowledge base
  • Video tutorials
  • Platforms supported
  • Web-based
  • iPhone app
  • Android app
  • Windows Phone app
  • Typical customers
  • Freelancers
  • Small businesses
  • Mid size businesses
  • Large enterprises
  • Customer support
  • Phone
  • Online
  • Knowledge base
  • Video tutorials

Video & Screenshots

Pricing

Starting from

379

Per year

  • Free trial available
  • Credit cardless trial
  • Free account
  • Subscription based

Starting from

279.95

Per month

  • Free trial available
  • Credit cardless trial
  • Free account
  • Subscription based

User reviews

4.4

944

5

4

3

2

1

491

326

99

19

9

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
91%
would recommend this app

3.9

122

5

4

3

2

1

47

36

27

7

5

  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
73%
would recommend this app

Pros

Later, we added the Donation module and this was the greatest asset for the software. First in importance was the accuracy of the entry and the availability of almost instant reports.
I love that this program is very user friendly. Coming from an accounting background I appreciate the similarities.
I would rate it very well. Adequate support makes all the difference in helping to apply a good experience in working with any kind of software uses.

Pros

The customer service at ACS is outstanding and would recommend this company and their products to anyone.
The onboarding team and the customer service reps are easy to work with and try to be as helpful as possible. The Church Life app is great, and has been a blessing to our church members.
What I like best is that it is an affordable, integrated, double-entry accounting system designed specifically for churches and small non-profit organizations.

Cons

When trying to correct mistakes or errors it can sometimes be tricky to do. I think this software requires more training than one would expect.
The scheduler program is used by our church, but must be handled separately from all our other calendars due to lack of integration with other programs.
If I were to chose a negative, I suppose it would be the learning curve.

Cons

And unless they've recently updated the software (unlikely), you can't even use it on iPad without an external keyboard. Further, their pricing structure is ridiculous.
Set-up for reports is too complicated and graphs are difficult to arrange and filters are confusing.
The lack of functional expense reporting is lacking given the current state of the art technology. ACS is also limited on the choice of administrators on who should access this or that.
  • Vendor responds to reviews
  • Last review2 months ago
  • Vendor responds to reviews
  • Last review21 days ago

Key features

  • Total features50
  • ACH Payment Processing
  • API
  • Accounting
  • Accounting Integration
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Application Management
  • Asset Tracking
  • Attendance Management
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Calendar Management
  • Check Printing
  • Child Check-in
  • Committee Management
  • Communication Management
  • Contact Database
  • Customizable Branding
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Reports
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Donation Management
  • Dues Management
  • Electronic Payments
  • Email Management
  • Event Calendar
  • Event Management
  • Event Scheduling
  • Expense Tracking
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting
  • For Religious Organizations
  • Fund Accounting
  • General Ledger
  • Invoice Management
  • Invoice Processing
  • Member Database
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Member Types
  • Membership Management
  • Membership Renewals
  • Mobile Access
  • Multi-Location
  • Online Calendar
  • Online Giving
  • Payment Processing
  • Payroll Management
  • Personalization
  • Pledge Management
  • Registration Management
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • Small Group Management
  • Third Party Integrations
  • Transaction History
  • Visitor Tracking
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management
  • Total features41
  • ACH Payment Processing
  • API
  • Accounting
  • Accounting Integration
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Activity Dashboard
  • Application Management
  • Asset Tracking
  • Attendance Management
  • Attendance Tracking
  • Bank Reconciliation
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Budgeting/Forecasting
  • Built-in Accounting
  • Calendar Management
  • Check Printing
  • Child Check-in
  • Committee Management
  • Communication Management
  • Contact Database
  • Customizable Branding
  • Customizable Fields
  • Customizable Reports
  • Customizable Templates
  • Data Import/Export
  • Donation Management
  • Dues Management
  • Electronic Payments
  • Email Management
  • Event Calendar
  • Event Management
  • Event Scheduling
  • Expense Tracking
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting
  • For Religious Organizations
  • Fund Accounting
  • General Ledger
  • Invoice Management
  • Invoice Processing
  • Member Database
  • Member Directory
  • Member Portal
  • Member Types
  • Membership Management
  • Membership Renewals
  • Mobile Access
  • Multi-Location
  • Online Calendar
  • Online Giving
  • Payment Processing
  • Payroll Management
  • Personalization
  • Pledge Management
  • Registration Management
  • Reporting & Statistics
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • Small Group Management
  • Third Party Integrations
  • Transaction History
  • Visitor Tracking
  • Volunteer Management
  • Website Management

Integrations

  • Total integrations5
  • Authorize.Net
  • Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT
  • Constant Contact
  • DonorHub
  • Eventbrite
  • Gmail
  • Google Analytics 360
  • Mailchimp
  • Meta for Business
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • PayPal
  • Planning Center
  • Pushpay
  • QuickBooks Online Advanced
  • Quickbooks Online
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud
  • Stripe
  • Zapier
  • Total integrations5
  • Authorize.Net
  • Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT
  • Constant Contact
  • DonorHub
  • Eventbrite
  • Gmail
  • Google Analytics 360
  • Mailchimp
  • Meta for Business
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • PayPal
  • Planning Center
  • Pushpay
  • QuickBooks Online Advanced
  • Quickbooks Online
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud
  • Stripe
  • Zapier

User reviews that mention these apps

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Church Windows logo

Church Windows

Pros and cons

Reviewed 4 years ago

Great for smaller churches because it is a lot cheaper than ACS. You get what you pay for. Overall a good value.

Pros

Ease of use. Love that it's easy to reclassify a check that has already been paid and record a check that was handwritten or eft. Payroll is fairly easy.

Cons

Hard to make changes to donations once posted. Sometimes you get a good customer service and sometimes not so friendly. I always have to call about my updates because they don't send a disc and I don't get it in my email or I don't see it in my junk mail.

Vendor response

Angel, Thank you for taking the time out of your day to submit a review of Church Windows Software. Your input is truly appreciated and helps make Church Windows better software. Please let us know if you have questions by calling us at 800-533-5227 or email us at support@churchwindows.com Thanks again, Church Windows Support

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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Church Windows logo

Church Windows

Church Windows - easy to use

Reviewed a year ago

It's still much better than my previous experience with ACS. Much more user-friendly. Support has gotten slow but always resolves issues.

Pros

Easier to use, once you understand the program. Lots of options for customizable reports. All our church info in one place.

Cons

The customer service has gotten slower to respond over the years. You can pay extra for premium support, which I don't appreciate. Been a customer for 15 years, paid a lot of annual fees for support.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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Church Windows logo

Church Windows

Patience and then you'll be amazed at how it performs

Reviewed 8 years ago

When I took on a new job recently, I was introduced to Church Windows. At first, I used the same logic as I did with a comparable software, at the end of the day, that approach didn't work. So, rather than trying to figure it out myself, I was going to call its help desk every time I needed help. And you know what, that's how I learned the system. I spoke with Church Windows technicians almost daily,...

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend7/10

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ACS logo

ACS

ACS software

Reviewed 3 years ago
Pros

It manages our church membership well and the customer service is excellent

Cons

The software is a little clunky and out dated to a degree

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Great for a small church

Reviewed 4 years ago

We wanted a way to integrate membership management and giving records. This afforded us that possibility.

Pros

The ease of use was great. First-time users were able to learn it quickly. Also, there are good instruction videos as well as customer call center. Able to meet our needs without stress

Cons

For a small church, the price could be a little cheaper per month or offer a multi-month discount

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend3/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Old and outdated

Reviewed 3 years ago

I would have never picked it and would have switched away from it if I could.

Pros

I worked at a church that had used this software for a long time. It was very old and clunky compared to newer competitors. ACS was working on a more modern version, but it wasn't available for churches of our size at the time.

Cons

It was archaic. Was cumbersome, ugly and not intuitive. The church paid a surprisingly high amount for the software.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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ACS logo

ACS

ACS does what it needs to

Reviewed 2 months ago
Pros

Although we no longer use ACS, it was a great church software for us. It held all the information we needed, such as financial, contributions, and church member information. Great customer service and mostly user friendly.

Cons

At the time we used ACS, I found it difficult to correct errors in accounting software.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Good management software for churches

Reviewed 4 years ago

Church membership management, running reports, accounting and bookkeeping, contributions, etc

Pros

- Easy to use - Great customer service - Great customizability

Cons

Could look more modern, but certainly gets the job done

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend2/10

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ACS logo

ACS

We Moved On from ACS

Reviewed 3 years ago

ACS was great in its time but newer products like Planning Center or ACS's own Realm are much better for the modern church.

Pros

ACS was one of the earlier full-featured church database management systems. Its original iteration was groundbreaking.

Cons

ACS struggled to keep up with the changing digital landscape and was too slow to implement online features, cross-platform compatibility, and the like. As a result, the software is clunky and not particularly user-friendly.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Bulletproof, contains all the core functionality, but dated

Reviewed 5 years ago

Crucial information that aids in caring for our church family.

Pros

I love that this software has been refined and is extremely reliable and fast. Efficient data entry and keyboard functionality. Powerful reporting. Covers the basics of what a ChMS should offer with ease, speed and power.

Cons

This software is dated. It's "cloud" based, but lacks lots of modern communication tools such as text communication, easy email distribution and remote web-based functions like small group attendance, and volunteer management. In all honesty, ACS is so big and has so many add-on features, it can probably do all of these things, but it's hard to know all of the functionality because it's not easily...

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend2/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Documentation lacking, some add-on modules don't mesh well, reporting in Access sorely lacking.

Reviewed 6 years ago

In general, many of the features of your software are frustrating and not intuitive. I was a programmer and it seems your programmers need to spend more time using the product in real world applications. It should be word like in functions like word. Copying and pasting, formatting those types of applications.

Pros

#1 Pro is that ACS addresses the most important tasks a church is in need of.

Cons

I have found many thing that weren't intuitive. Uploading of photos ok although no way to standardize within the program (cropping sorely needed) and downloading photos isn't intuitive. The modules are limited, all the data in Access needs to transfer into the people suite for reporting purposes. Access pretty useless for reporting purposes. Using the volunteer management is not really practical to use as intended. Although you have made changes where you can transmit data to excel or word. OnDemand stings because you can't save locally in an easy manner. Many times our church has served more or less as your beta testing because we actually try to use all the features and give feedback but we get nothing in return for that. We only do that because it is lacking features or functionality.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend3/10

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ACS logo

ACS

ACS is okay...

Reviewed 5 years ago

We can keep track of our members and visitors and keep good records for visitation.

Pros

The transition from Servant Keeper to ACS was smooth. The onboarding team and the customer service reps are easy to work with and try to be as helpful as possible. The Church Life app is great, and has been a blessing to our church members.

Cons

Working through a separate "portal" is a total pain. The software seems like it's not advancing with the times, and I would much prefer a true "cloud" based system. We are often "kicked off" the portal and have to log in again. We also have difficulty with AccessACS, because it can only be accessed by a Windows based browser (and we all use Mac computers). It's a bit of a hassle to access AccessACS through a separate browser to do the needed uploading tasks and helping our folks with their passwords and such. Finally, they really haven't updated much in the software. It's stagnant, and I see some areas where we may want to explore more modern technology.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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ACS logo

ACS

It does everything

Reviewed a year ago

ACS is dependable, strong and has always delivered. They have been in the game for awhile and show no signs of slowing down.

Pros

ACS does everything we need in church management software! Aside from service planning it does EVERYTHING needed!

Cons

I would love to see ACS step into the service planning side of things too and truly become an "all in one" stop shop! Interaction with CCLI, ect... The software does take a bit to get used to, it could be more user friendly.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Awesome Church Management Software

Reviewed 6 years ago

We have been using ACS software for over 14 years. It handles all of our church needs. I can recommend it to any church! It handles all of our financial and people needs.

Pros

ACS has a new version of their software that is called REALM. It is all online and extremely user friendly. They have online help for every aspect of the program.

Cons

The only con is the small learning curve to begin using.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Great Church Software Management

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

I like the way this software allows you to access other church members along with photographs to recognize individuals within the church. I currently am assigned the process of checking roll in our Sunday School class which I do on this software and submit without the need for paperwork.

Cons

I really haven't discovered anything negative with this software yet. However, having only used it for a about a year, I am still learning it.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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ACS logo

ACS

ACS is ministry minded!

Reviewed 6 years ago

ACS Technologies is continually looking for ways that it can better serve it's church clients and their membership. They truly are a partner in the ministry that our church has as we reach our community for Christ!

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend6/10

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ACS logo

ACS

It is really an option to maintain a conection between members of different churchs

Reviewed 5 years ago

As member of a catholical community I would have actual information about my churh

Pros

It is an important tool to communicate information , independent of the church size, with total access to information anytme and anywhere

Cons

This software only is supported in english, then it is exclusive to use only in english spoken countries

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend5/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Perfect for a church new to church management software

Reviewed 5 years ago

I was new to my position at a church and ACS was the program we had in use when I started. It was a great program and was easy to learn with very minimal training.

Pros

Organizes a lot of information for you church members and also can keep track of the contribution side of your ministry.

Cons

The look and some functions are a bit outdated. They are constantly doing updates and the cost is a bit expensive.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

A Great Product Overall with World-Class Customer Service

Reviewed 4 years ago

ACS is a church software product with several different suites to choose from. I found the People Suite, then Realm, extremely helpful in keeping member records, and the Financial Suite gives the church the reports and information needed for making budget decisions.

Pros

ACS Realm is a simpler version of ACS People Suite, and much more intuitive. The implementation was smooth and the transition fully backed by their wonderful customer service. I also love getting a live, knowledgeable person on the phone within a few seconds of calling. Payroll is also very easy in ACS Financial Suite.

Cons

The Financial Suite is not intuitive, but mistakes have gotten easier to fix due to upgrades. The church is still waiting to switch to ACS Realm Financials, as payroll cannot be done there, despite well over a year of promises that it is happening soon. It would be helpful for Realm input of donations to flow to the Financial Suite. Also, ACS People Suite gave options for certain reports that cannot be run in ACS Realm.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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ACS logo

ACS

We used this at a friends church to see how it would work before buying and decided against it.

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

The interface was really clean and simple, it seemed pretty easy to move around for the most part when working in it.

Cons

It was just too basic for our needs, not robust enough to really do what we wanted. I wish there was more to do everything we needed for our church.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Best Church Software - REALM

Reviewed 2 years ago

Great company and very helpful. They want us to succeed.

Pros

The ease of use. The versatility. They update and upgrade every week to stay relevant. Very helpful to make sure we are happy especially during Covid.

Cons

The ability to get a photo attached to your profile for an older person. That our church database is everyone - not just a database for members and one for donors/visitors.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend9/10

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ACS logo

ACS

I used ACS in my previous job as a Finance Manager for a church

Reviewed 4 years ago
Pros

I really liked the ease of use and the features that ACS offered for church and school management. Also, ACS's customer service and development teams were incredible.

Cons

At times, the wait time for customer service was rather lengthy, especially around peak seasons like in February and March near tax time.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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ACS logo

ACS

It is like working on Windows 15 years ago.

Reviewed 5 years ago
Pros

It does do everything you need for church accounting. The support is very good. The training materials are extensive. The trainers and very good and usually very helpful.

Cons

It is cumbersome, very slow to use (with many extra steps for every task), not intuitive and and very outdated. Some of the training material goes back to 2003, and looks exactly the same. There are extensive training materials, but they are most often so basic they do not answer anything besides basic questions.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend3/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Showing Its Age

Reviewed 2 months ago

ACS was once state of the art software--it is no longer. The company itself is working to move customers to newer products (Realm in particular) and current ACS users should get themselves into the cloud ASAP.

Pros

ACS does everything I need a ChMS to do--keeps track of members, church finances, volunteers, communications, etc. ACTS is a trusted name in this space, and their products are solid and reliable.

Cons

ACS may do everything I want a ChMS to do...but not without a lot of frustration. Sorting out workflow and finding the relevant settings takes far too long and is not at all intuitive. While all the modules technically work together, in practice their integration is flimsy and difficult to understand.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend8/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Great Customer Service & Support!

Reviewed 6 years ago

ACS OnDemand church database is not incredibly pretty or user-friendly, but it is very capable software for mid- to large-sized churches to choose.

Pros

The biggest pro is ACS' support team. They will capably answer almost any question about how to use the database when you get stuck, and will remain friendly, patient and helpful throughout the call. A+

Cons

The thing I dislike most is the "look and feel" of the user experience. It just isn't pretty.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

Exploring software for your church - consider ACS.

Reviewed 3 years ago

My experience with ACS has been very good. I started with them when we all had DOS computers and moved up to the windows platform. Now, we are able to have versions of the software on our phone. The system has the capability of being backed up to the cloud and does not need to be kept on your church's server. There is also an alternative for more contemporary churches called "Realm."

Pros

ACS gives you the total package in church software. It helps you efficiently mange both the "people" side of the job and the "accounting" and numbers side and will allow them to communicate with each other. There are several modules that will allow you to track different aspects of the member or prospect in the life of the church and this system does it very effectively. It has been around for a long time and they have perfected the software.

Cons

Because the software does so many functions and can be tailored to almost any church of any size or situation, it can be a little confusing. Therefore, training is vital. They excel in offering wonderful training through their company and through local trainers.

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support

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ACS

Grown with software

Reviewed 6 years ago

Church has been with ACS for over 16 years, have grown with the changes. Currently running on our own server, with workstation versions on desktops, and kiosk on check in stations. Software performs most task needed for basic church management. Ability to use Dymo label writers and touch screen computers for check-in was a huge improvement. No real work flows or process flows with automated steps.

Pros

No pros were added to this review

Cons

No cons were added to this review

Overall Rating
  • Value for money
  • Ease of use
  • Features
  • Customer support
  • Likelihood to recommend10/10

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ACS logo

ACS

ACS is a financial/membership workhorse for our church

Reviewed 3 years ago

ACS has been an invaluable tool for us to manage the finances and membership of our church. It handles details which allows us to focus on ministry.

Pros

The ability to sort individuals and groups within the larger congregation. We have set up numerous subgroups in our congregation and use ACS to generate our directories.

Cons

Some categories could not be customized as we would have liked. In the people arm, some fields were mandatory even if unnecessary for our purposes.