Paperless bill approvals for a US-based church

Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church in California is a religious organisation using fund accounting for their donor-designated funds. For quite a long time they managed their finances with a combination of an antiquated version of church accounting software and paper documents, which was slow and inefficient.

Compiling a strategy for digital transformation was no easy task. As the church has just 400 members, it’s particularly important to keep costs low while getting the best possible value. They decided to implement QuickBooks Online, which offers them an affordable solution for their current size. But – it lacked approval automation.

Fast-forwarding the way to approval automation

The accounting team of Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church had wanted a digital approval process for some time, and Covid-19 became the turning point that made them fast-track this goal because their quite complex approval process was impossible to follow with people working from home.

A paper-based approval process vs automated approvals in ApprovalMax

In the past, the authorisation of a pay request submitted by volunteers looked like this: first the head of department approved, then the quality controller verified that the correct accounts were stated. Next, it got authorised by the Head of Finance before it moved on to one of the trustees. Only after the trustee’s final approval could the amount be paid out.

This laborious process not only took a lot of time, it wasn’t as reliable as digital approvals either; and that’s not just since Covid-19. Pay requests had to be approved on paper first, then the bookkeeper entered them into the system and printed them out once more for another physical approval on paper. Now, this is all in the past:  volunteers submit their requests conveniently as bills in ApprovalMax where they run smoothly through the predefined approval process. 

Flexible approval setup using classes and amounts

Walnut Creek Presbyterian Church uses QuickBooks Online class tracking in their chart of accounts. So, they can set up their approval rules by classes as well to specify who will approve various expenditures like ministry supplies, building maintenance or staff development. They also designate responsible approvers by the bill amounts, adding an extra level of control where needed. 

ApprovalMax provides flexible approval automation for QuickBooks Online and enables the delegation of bill creation to an unlimited number of volunteers, who do not need any access to the accounting system itself. This establishes a paperless, truly streamlined process for bill approval and keeps confidential data safe.

Start your own 30-day free ApprovalMax trial and see for yourself!