The Power of Statistical Accounts

by Kari Eaton, Outsourced Technology Supervisor

One of the biggest power houses of the Intacct Platform is the use of statistical accounts in conjunction with your natural general ledger accounts. Statistical accounts count any nonfinancial information that is relevant to your organization. Statistical accounts allow you to analyze data in financial reports, and create computations against other statistical or general ledger accounts to create key performance metrics. Examples of statistical accounts used to track non-financial data are employee headcount, building square footage, number of active donors, Sunday attendance numbers for churches, or student enrollment numbers for schools.

Consider an example of a multi-campus mega church who tracks Sunday attendance across their campuses. The executive pastor wants to see these attendance trends by campus, by week. Intacct users are able to load this information into a statistical journal each week, tagging each campus. Graphs can then be created to show these trends week over week, month over month, or year over year. Now that the executive pastor knows how many congregants are attending church service each week, he wants to see how that relates to plate giving. The church is already counting plate giving and records this each week into Intacct, again with the ability to tag each campus. A simple computation is created within the platform to divide the attendance number by the plate giving GL account to give us our average contribution dollar by attendee. Another report is created to show this metric trending over a period of time to give the executive pastor the best insight on his congregation.

The graph pictured shows the trends over the past year, for the entire organization. All of the information is drillable within Intacct, so the pastor can easily see the numbers behind the bars. There is a significant dip in donations for July, and after we click into the information, we are able to see that attendance numbers were up, but contributions were down. More people were coming into church, but not giving as much as they do throughout the rest of the year. This allows the pastor to evaluate his message during the summer months. Perhaps it’s the ideal moment to start a new campaign to get the congregation fired up for the rest of the year.

This example is just the tip of the scale when it comes to statistical reporting. We at Salmon Sims Thomas have developed the Top 10 Performance Metrics for Churches as featured in the Church Executive magazine that outline several other use cases for statistical accounting. With Intacct’s ability to integrate statistical accounts into your accounting platform, you’re able to elevate your general ledger platform into a true strategic management system! Contact me to learn more about Intacct statistical accounts for churches.