Office supplies take up around 4 percent of a church's overall budget—and software falls within that 4 percent. While software is a mere fraction of the budget (according to the "2014 Church Budget Priorities Study" by Christianity Today's Church Law & Tax Team), wise choices not only can enhance the efficiency of financial and other systems but also make a church staff more effective and productive.
"You want to choose applications that make the team as efficient as possible," said Nick Nicholaou, president of Ministry Business Services, Inc., an IT strategy group for churches and other ministries. "[Efficiency] is a hallmark of good stewardship."
Key to operating efficiently, Nicholaou said, is software that is comprehensive and standardized. Comprehensive software means that one package does most of the tasks an office needs—so there are fewer shortcuts and techniques to learn—and standardization means that all of a church's employees can share files among each other without spending time reformatting information from, say, a Pages document (an Apple product) to Microsoft Word.