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What is ACS?

ACS enables churches to manage groups, events, finances, donor relationships, volunteers, staff, child care, schedules, mailings, reporting, websites, growth strategies, and so much more. Whether online, offline, desktop, or wireless, the tools you need to help you connect your community are totally integrated under one roof!

No matter the size of your church or organization, ACS has the tools to help extend your ministry.

Who Uses ACS?

ACS serves churches of all sizes (from an average weekly attendance of 50 to 5,000+) and denominations.

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Reviews of ACS

Average score

Overall
3.9
Ease of Use
3.5
Customer Service
4.5
Features
3.8
Value for Money
3.6

Reviews by company size (employees)

  • <50
  • 51-200
  • 201-1,000
  • >1,001
Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Religious Institutions, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

A Great Product Overall with World-Class Customer Service

5.0 6 years ago

Comments: 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.

Brian
COO in US
Religious Institutions
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source
Source: SoftwareAdvice

ACS - great value for churches and small nonprofits

4.5 8 years ago

Pros:

As a small nonprofit, we have used ACS General Ledger, People, and Contributions for over 15 years. What I like best is that it is an affordable, integrated, double-entry accounting system designed specifically for churches and small non-profit organizations. The People and Contributions modules allow us to easily monitor pledges, acknowledge donations, summarize gifts by fund, and report on subsets of our donor base using criteria we choose. The General Ledger offers the custom budget-actual reports and statement of financial position (non-profit balance sheet), as well as the summary of restricted accounts that is not found in typical for-profit packages. ACS also allows your administrator to set specific user permissions customization, so you can limit each user to only the functions that he or she needs. Vendor support is key, and we have found the vendor support behind ACS to be very solid. The software does not do everything, but what it does it does well. When we have had problems or questions, ACS technical support has pro-actively worked them out. In most support sessions, the ACS rep is temporarily granted remote control of our local computers and works directly with our data and reports. Support reps are readily available when we call, and they are very knowledgeable of the product.

Cons:

Overall, we like ACS. I don't have a lot of criticism. The addition of a functional expense statement would be very helpful, since this is the format used by the IRS on Form 990 (required of most 403(b) organizations but not for most churches). Direct delivery of GL reports by email would also be helpful, but printing to pdf and emailing is not terribly difficult. As our number of donor records and years of data have grown, I have found the software to slow down somewhat, particularly when running custom extracts of donor data.

David
Communication Coordinator in US
Religious Institutions, 2–10 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Not Easy or Quick to Use

1.0 5 years ago

Comments: The old ACS system is just much too dated and expensive for current usage. ACS does have a new product called Realm that is supposed to be much easier and more flexible to use. I have looked at some of the demos for Realm and it does look like a vast improvement. If a church were to consider using ACS, I would encourage them to either specifically look at ACS' Realm product or go with another vendor entirely.

Pros:

The best aspect of ACS is that it can hold and track a massive amount of diverse data. You can track all of the things you would expect in a database like names, contact info, birthdates, etc. As a church, you can track the first time someone attended, when they got baptized, and other random bits of info you may want to keep.

Cons:

The traditional ACS system is incredibly difficult and cumbersome to use. Its computer app interface looks like it was made 20 years ago; it is not aesthetically pleasing. It requires hours and hours of training to learn how to use (they hold training sessions at different locations throughout the year and have various online helps). Running what you would think would be simple reports is not easy (I have had to pull together updated reports that have members names and addresses to do mailings. I have had to call ACS to have them walk me through how to do such reports as doing so is in no way intuitive. Also, using the computer app program to login to ACS takes several minutes to log into, which can be frustrating if all you are trying to do is look up a phone number (they do have a webbased platform where you can log in, but its function is not as robust in what it can do as the computer-based app, which as I said is slow and cumbersome).

Verified Reviewer
Verified LinkedIn User
Religious Institutions, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Bulletproof, contains all the core functionality, but dated

5.0 7 years ago

Comments: 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 explained anywhere (and I've been a user for 12 years). Also, it's reporting process is not difficult for someone with some background in reports, but it's far too complex for an average pastor or lay-leader to use - which requires a database person to run reports. Also, no customizable dashboards, etc. So, it will probably do most everything you want, but you'll need a ChMS expert to figure it all out and run the reports...

Josh
Josh
Administrator in US
Religious Institutions, 11–50 Employees
Used the Software for: 2+ years
Reviewer Source

Aching for ACS

4.0 5 years ago

Comments: The customer service at ACS is outstanding and would recommend this company and their products to anyone.

Pros:

This software was the solution we needed. When ACS Realm is fully launched, we will find that our questions will be answered with the product provided.

Cons:

Sometimes the software can be clunky and not able to fully customize the solution we need but then the question is asked, "What do I really need to do?"