Case Studies

Software for not-for-profits you can have faith in

The last thing Robert Macrowan had imagined he would be asked to do was to take on the role of treasurer of his local parish church, St Margaret’s, an historic Anglican church in Rottingdean, close to Brighton.

A place of worship has stood on this site since the Saxon period, and apart from a few 20th-Century touch-ups, the striking church looks pretty much the same as it did following its restoration in 1856. Indeed, St Margaret’s was deemed so striking in the early 20th-century that American developers wanted to dismantle the church stone by stone and rebuild it in California. Thankfully they didn’t offer enough money!

Robert jokes that he felt he was facing a task just as Herculean when he was first handed the St Margaret’s books to inspect. “Having been a palliative nurse and hospital manager and following my retirement far more used to spending my spare time on leisure activities, I don’t consider myself to have any accounting skills whatsoever.”

“Previous treasurers had used, as in common in a lot of churches, a mixture of manual processes and Excel, with the payroll done through Sage which was very cumbersome,” he explains. “I wanted to make things more streamlined and it was suggested to me that I have a look at Liberty Accounts cloud solution which is used by other Anglican churches (and churches of other faiths).”

“To my surprise and delight I realised that Liberty Accounts did everything that I needed,” says Robert. “This included recording donations and then sending off the Gift Aid claim all the way through to my Statement of Financial Activities and the Anglican Churches Return of Parish Finance.”

He says his fears over running a payroll were calmed when he realised just how easy Liberty Accounts made it for his minimal requirements.

“The software uses account names that I was familiar with and there were no complicated workarounds to produce any of the information I required,” he says. “It was all just a click here or couple of click there—fantastic!”

As Robert reaches the end of his first year on Liberty Accounts he says that he never thought that he would be so relaxed with the role. “A combination of software that meets our requirement, and a support team that you can call or email, has really made my life much easier than it was for previous incumbents, who used several different tools, none of which were designed for the purpose.”

Although Robert says he has no immediate plans to step down as treasurer, he is confident that as long as St Margaret’s continues to use Liberty Accounts the next person to take over the role will find it far less daunting.

Share this: