Credit/Debit Card Application Integrates On-Line Receipts With RDS Accounting
As fewer people use checks and more use credit and debit cards, being able to offer the option of credit/debit card contributions and payments is important for churches and organizations of all sizes.
How it Functions:
Each organization places a link on its website for credit/debit card contributions. This link goes to an Internet window where contributors can designate their gifts. This window can be customized by the church with its name and photo, and to determine the areas for which contributions and payments may be made.
This page displays the name of the organization and a (church) photo image and information to identify the contributor and contributions. Each organization can limit the use to debit card only if it chooses.
When that contribution information is complete clicking on the ‘Submit’ button takes the contributor to the encrypted page of the credit card processor for credit card entry, which complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
Three kinds of gifts can be made:
Contributions to church-designated funds
Payments on fees, tuition, and purchases
Authorizing recurring gifts to church-designated funds using ACH bank transfers
The dollar amount of the contribution data is sent to your organization using SSL encryption for automated data entry into your RDS accounting system. This data is entered into your contribution and/or receivables module for edit and posting into the General Ledger.
Kiosks and Tablets:
On-site giving kiosks and tablets can be used. Contributions may be made with mobile devices with access to your website.
RDS selected a credit card processor for its reputation for excellent service and low transaction costs. There are no installation, monthly or annual fees. You do not need to sign an extended term contract. There are transaction fees, which we believe to be among the lowest in the industry.
Contact Management With Mobile Access Leverages Outreach
Critical for many areas of the church’s ministry is the ability to keep track those who need contacts by the church, a record of contacts made, schedule future contacts, and to communicate.
Pastoral calls, outreach and evangelism contacts, financial-related contacts, persons in need of special care, hospital, nursing home, homebound, guests and visitors, bereavement, all can be managed with this program.
• Each item of information is defined by your definition and description. Types of Contacts, Activities, Contact Teams, and Contact Person use your terms.
• Free-form text can be entered to describe information about each contact.
• Track up to 99 contacts for each individual and for each family.
• Establish a date for the next contact to be made.
• Track contacts by ‘Census Tract’ to enable making contacts by area.
• Use your cell phone or tablet to access the Contacts Management records remotely.
• The system keeps track of the number of contacts made for each individual/family, and displays the number.
• Print visitation cards, reports, nametags, address labels and postcards.
Leader Management gives group guidance to leaders
Leaders of groups, such as Sunday school classes, youth groups, small group ministries, etc., need to be able to manage the people in their groups.
It saves staff time when each group leader can enroll new individuals, record attendance, communicate, make inquiries and produce reports for their groups.
Each leader is given security access only for the group or groups of activities for which they have responsibility. If there are levels of administrative leadership they can be given access to all groups under their responsibility.
• Enroll new members
• Record attendance
• View and print reports
• Work remotely and/or mobile
Communication is provided by
• Text messaging
• VOIP phone messaging
• Address label printing
Tablets and laptop computers can access group information on on-site servers or on the Cloud. This gives leaders the ability to manage group information while mobile or at remote locations when Internet access is available.
Use Tablets For Worship And Off-Site Events
A problem in tracking attendance at worship has been a lack of a truly efficient way to do this.
Quick Check-In provides an almost effortless way to record both members and guests in worship and other, even remote activities.
The power of tablets combined with this check-in feature gives you the ability to follow up with those who are absent, and contact guests you might otherwise miss.
You can pass one or more tablets (IPads, Androids, etc.) across the pews so people can identify themselves as present.
Their attendance is automatically recorded, and you can move guests into your database without manual entry.
Quick Check-In provides a simple way for people to check in using a mobile device (such as an iPad), and makes it easy for guests to check in unaided.
Quick Check-In can be used for worship services, off-site activities, or anyplace you want to enter people's attendance, enter guests, record their attendance, and move guest information into the Member Records database.
If the Activity is an enrolled activity (individuals are already enrolled in it), Click on 'Automatically Enroll Members in Activity' to enroll an individual in the activity when they check in if they are not already enrolled.
All Individual Activities (i.e., such as worship):
Check-in can be by family or individual. When an individual identifies themselves there are options to display family address and family phone number.
The background color for the check-in window can be selected.
A member only needs to enter their last name or home phone number to be identified. When there are multiple people with the same last name, the person selects the correct one(s) from a list that is displayed.
Only brief information is requested for guests/visitors to enter.
First and last names of two adults in a household, their gender, cell phone and e-mail address
Home Phone number
The program requires a minimum entry of first and last name of guests. If those are not entered nothing is stored.
Move Guests to Member Records:
When the check-in is complete the RDS program, Move Insta Check-In Guests to Member Records, can automatically enter them into the Member Records database.
For security purposes users cannot escape out of the check-in window. An administrator can exit the program by entering a password in the Password field. The program will close when the password is typed.
• Each person is recorded for attendance, and can be entered into the database and enroll them in an activity if these options are chosen.
• The program can be used with both RDS Advantage (on-site server-based system) and RDS Connect (Cloud-hosted system).
• Each tablet used for check-in is connected to the server using the Pocket Cloud app and Remote Desktop.
New payroll check-in/out functions have been added to RDS Advantage/RDS Connect.
You can now allow employees to check into work at their own workstations.
So an employee clocks in and out at their PC. No “time clock” hardware is required and there is nothing to purchase. Everything is included in the RDS Advantage software.
For staff that does not have access to a personal computer, you can provide a PC or multiple PC’s anyplace for the same function. All that’s needed is that they be connected to your server.
There is no administrative function required to make this work.
The system calculates the total amount of time worked for each employee, and you just click on a check box when processing the payroll to enter the time in your payroll data entry.
On-Line Bank Reconciliation Integrated with RDS Bank Reconciliation
Now you can download your cleared checks and deposits from your on-line bank records. Your RDS Bank Reconciliation program merges those records with its Bank Reconciliation program to simplify your reconciliation.
A bank reconciliation is a process that explains the difference between the bank balance shown in your bank statement, as supplied by the bank, and the corresponding amount shown in your RDS accounting records at a particular point in time.
Reconciling your computer records with your bank records is a most important accounting function that should be done every month.
The RDS program, ‘Bank Reconciliation Clear Items Using File from Bank,’ BR112, automates the process.
This simple step is accomplished by downloading your bank cleared checks and deposits file, and importing it into your RDS Bank Reconciliation program, using BR112. A report is printed showing the information you need to make any other clearing entries.
This feature will be included in Version 9.15.10, coming soon.
RDS Advantage© and RDS Connect© Announce
A Comprehensive Inventory Management System
In these lean economic times, more and more churches are understanding how important it is to have good records of their physical assets. Natural disasters and losses from theft and poor inventory controls have increased the need for secure records of church property. For proof for insurance values and backup for financial statements of assets prudent administrators want good controls.
The RDS church management system introduces complete applications that include scanned barcode inventory updates, loan and maintenance information, acquisition costs, member borrowings, building/room locations and memorials. Comprehensive reports show dollar and unit details, automated e-mail, mailings and lists based upon inventory data.
• In the event of a natural disaster, a physical inventory proves to insurers your contents and values
• Provides a dollar value of contents
• Record maintenance schedules, condition of equipment, serial numbers, maintenance policies and warranties
• Track insurance policies and costs and expirations
• Track gifts of items that have been given in honor of others
• Record the cost and date of acquisition of items
• Track items borrowed or disposed of
• Record loans and loan information
• Know when items are missing
• Print barcode labels with descriptions and locations
• Take inventory with scanner, then update the database
An inexpensive barcode scanner is provided that measures just 1.26" x 2.44" and weighs only an ounce with its battery.
Data collection is fast with 100 scans per second, with enough RAM to acquire over 10,000 scans with timestamps.
Connect the scanner to a computer with a USB cable to update your inventory database.
RDS is entering its 29th year serving churches across the country. Its ministry-oriented team emphasizes excellent customer support and solid applications covering all aspects of ministry and church management.
RDS Advantage and RDS Connect Cloud-hosted Systems
Making Ministry Manageable
As with all new features added to RDS church systems, there is no additional cost
RDS Connect© Cloud-hosted system:
RDS Advantage announces its new Cloud-hosted church system, RDS Connect©.
This is a complete hosted-in-the-Cloud church management system. Features include: 1) work from any location with Internet access, 2) an SaSS (software as a secure service), 3) hosted on a Tier III data center with 256 bit SSL encryption, 4) provides more time in ministry and less time managing software and hardware, 5) installation, updates and daily backups are done for you, 6) access with Windows or Mac workstations, 7) reduced hardware (IT) management costs, 8) Remote Deposit Capture for contribution and receivable checks, 9) unlimited toll-free customer phone support, 10) Constant Contact for bulk e-mail, 11) includes the powerful RDS Advantage applications, and 12) is backed by 28 years of successful service to churches and not-for-profit organizations.
Change color and font in RDS Advantage:
Users can choose the font they like for applications in RDS Advantage. Select any font from the font list on your computer. The font you choose will be used for field descriptions, data entry fields, and menus throughout the system.
You can change color schemes for RDS Advantage by using Microsoft Windows.
Finger-Vein Identification for Payroll Check-In/Check-Out:
RDS Advantage supports biometric (finger print) clock-in and clock-out for payroll. You can have multiple PC check-in stations, and each is connected to your server. Employees are identified by their fingerprints or by finger-vein technology. When calculating payroll, employee time worked is imported from the check-in station into the RDS Advantage payroll system with a click of the mouse. This saves time in calculating employee time and helps prevent ‘buddy check-in.’
Finger-vein identification is the recommended option, as it is the newest technology and is highly accurate and secure.
When using this technology it can be used for Insta Check-In stations and to identify individuals throughout the system.
Remote Deposit Capture:
Electronic deposit of check contributions and receipts is the leading edge of ACH Banking. RDS Advantage offers check imagers that integrate with its accounting systems. As checks are scanned, the payee and the check number are entered into the data entry window, encrypted images of the front and back of each check are stored on your computer, the deposit endorsement is automatically printed on the back of each check, and when entries are complete the deposit can be sent to your bank electronically. This combines both data entry and remote deposit into one process and one step. This is new enough that some banks are not yet supporting this technology.
RDS Advantage Insta Check-In© automates the check in process for people attending Sunday school, worship and other events. • When parents check in children a nametag is automatically printed plus a parent receipt, and the person is recorded for attendance. • Every member of a family can be recorded for attendance at one time for any or all activities in which each participates. Name tags include a photo of the individual. • Enter the phone number or family name or use keytags, membership cards, or proximity cards to identify a family. Touch screen and/or keyboard monitors can be used. Monitors can be set up as kiosks. • Check-in can be set for Family or by Individual. • Express check-in instantly prints nametag and records attendance. • All features can be customized by user.
On-line forms are available you can place on your website. People can complete the forms on-line, then click a button to send to the staff person (any e-mail address) you designate.
RDS will customize the forms at your request and insert the e-mail address for the person who is to receive the information. Forms are provided without cost by RDS Advantage. There is a $25.00 charge for customization. Contact us if you would like to see a copy of a form.
Membership Form - The membership form provides data entry for their biographical information.
Prayer Request Form - Enables people to enter requests for prayers and prayer chains.
Debit Authorization - Contributors enter the information needed to authorize recurring gifts, debited from their bank account into your church account (for security, bank and contributor account numbers are not entered.
Combination Vacation Request / Facility Schedule Request - Staff can request vacation, comp time or personal time off, and can request dates, times and information to schedule facility use.
Website Development and Hosting:
RDS Advantage announces its support for the SkyCMS church website system. This web-based set of tools includes all the features needed to build and manage websites with advanced features such as blog, video, photo gallery, form builder, SEO, RSS, cross-browser compatibility, hosting, calendars, image editor, FTP access, podcasts, donations, file management, website search, statistics, secure private content and more.
When using SkyCMS for your website, the events in your RDS Advantage Scheduler can be exported directly into the SkyCMS calendar(s).
SkyCMS websites are available in five sizes from free for smaller churches to only $199.00 per month for mega-size churches. All options include all features and free hosting on a Tier IV Data Center.
Departmental Financial Reporting:
Heads of ministries and departments want to see the financial statements for their areas of ministry. For security reasons this usually means the accounting department must print each financial statement for each ministry head. In RDS Advantage ministry leaders can now print their own departmental financial statements without having access to other sensitive accounting information. There are choices for Revenue and Expense, Balance Sheet, Supporting Schedules, Statement of Changes and Variance Reports. Reports can be selected in many comparative options and for any time periods.
USPS NCOAList Management:
The U.S. Postal Service has announced that effective November 23rd, bulk mailers must process their addresses through the USPS NCOAList. RDS Advantage now supports this process so you can benefit from discounted mailing through pre-sort labels.
Advanced Reporting Selections:
RDS Advantage has included the ability to store report selection criteria with user-defined names. Unlimited stored report selections can be accessed from each report window. A new feature allows users to see in one place ALL stored report selections by all users. By clicking on a column header the lists of stored reports can be sorted by description, user’ name, date stored, date modified, system, program name, version of the system, or by user’s initials.
Use Electronic Banking in All RDS Advantage Accounting
NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) is the standard in the banking industry for electronic banking. RDS Advantage Payables, Receivables, Contributions and Payroll are all NACHA enabled.
This means you can make payments to vendors and employees and receive money from contributors and ‘customers’ (CDO, fee payments, school fees, etc.) electronically, without going to the bank.
You have no additional costs to third party vendors, and you do not need to use third party software. The only cost you might have would be if your bank charges for NACHA transactions. If so, this should be a small amount. If your bank does not accept NACHA transactions you may want to consider opening an account with a bank that does.
Use new technology check imaging for contribution and receivables checks that scan and stores an image of the front and back of each check, prints you deposit endorsement on the back of the check, prints your processing memo on the front of the check, and sends the deposit information to the bank electronically. When the bank acknowledges receipt, you can then destroy the checks. These check imagers are available from RDS Advantage and are programmed to interface with Contribution and Receivables data entry.
Check images are encrypted for security.
RDS Advantage provides telephone messaging capabilities using Voice-over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology.
"Phone Messaging" options on the Member and Activity Records print menu. Can select a group of people to be called. After you have selected the people, click on the ‘Phone’ button. This will produce a file of phone numbers and names you want to receive a recorded message, FTP it for the VOIP messaging, and take you to the web site to record your message, and set the parameters of how you want your calls to be placed. This inexpensive method of communicating can be paid by credit card or you can use their automated payment technology.
This very economical and speedy service has the ability to phone any number of people and deliver your message in minutes. For example, it will take approximately three minutes to call 1,000 families (with a message of about 30 seconds). Your cost for these 1,000 calls would be about $75.00 (about 7 1/2 cents per call). This service can use up to 200 different phone lines to make your calls. The message can be any length - your cost is based upon the total number of minutes of all the calls.
There is no equipment to purchase -- no minimum or maximum number of calls to make, and there are loads of user-defined criteria you can set for your calls. For example, you can have the system include the name(s) of the person called as part of the recorded message, you have ask for a reply, and the system will use your telephone caller ID. You do not tie up your own phone lines. You can see an instant on-line report of the results of the calls.
With a person or family identified in a window, just press Shift F9 to automatically display the driving directions and maps from your organization’s address to that person/family. You can print the maps and driving directions or e-mail them. You can also enter different beginning and ending addresses for new maps and driving directions.
Print Postal Service pre-sort labels and reports for your mailing lists. The built-in function of the system non-automated prints first class, standard and periodical pre-sorts, including tray labels.
Recurring contributions can be established in batches to process contributions that are received on a regular basis, such as direct deposit contributions handled by bank ACH processing. EFT (electronic funds transfer) using NACHA protocol is built into the system for contributions.
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) receivables are supporting using NACHA (National Automated Check Clearing House Association) protocol. This application is built into the accounts receivable system as an integrated capability.
Fastrack Conversion© greatly simplifies the process of a church moving from another system to RDS Advantage. A combination of training, data conversion and initial set-up work by RDS makes a new system fully functional immediately following training.
A quick entry feature for entry, inquiry and maintenance of family/individual/organization data, in just one window, all the information about families, individuals and organizations is instantly accessed. This feature is possible because of its powerful normalized relational database, and some very innovative programming.
The RDS Advantage integrated web calendar, provided without cost to RDS Advantage users, can be installed on your web site. Multiple calendars - run different calendars from the same script - each with their own events and configuration. Language translation - easily modify templates to translate the application to your language. International support - Change day/month names, date format, and which day the week starts on. Bulk Import - Import events and schedules from the RDS Advantage Scheduler in one step. Search - Search events in the calendar using an intelligent search form and a date range. Template Display Preferences allow you to change display options like colors, fonts, sizes, etc from within the web interface. User Authentication - Create users in the system, and allow them to log into the calendar to perform different actions. Protect the calendar display by only allowing registered users to view it. Customize the user database to include any fields you wish, just like events. Assign Permissions - Once you’ve created users, give them permission to perform various actions on your calendar. Add/Edit/Delete events, edit their own events, create new users, assign permissions, login to the calendar display - configure all of these options and more on a per-user or per-calendar basis. Approve Events - Allow the public to submit events, but don’t display them on the calendar until an Administrator has viewed the submission and approve. The events displayed on this calendar(s) on your web site are updated from the RDS Advantage Scheduler, so there is no duplicate entry or maintenance required.
The Microsoft Remote Desktop component delivers Windows-based applications to a wide variety of desktops, including those that normally would not be able to run Windows. Through terminal emulation, Remote Desktop allows the same set of applications to run on diverse types of desktop hardware, including Linux, MacIntosh and Unix.
Virtual Private Network
An efficient and economical way to access data files on an RDS Advantage database server by a remote user is through the use of VPN (virtual private network). In this method, RDS Advantage is installed on the remote computer. With a secure connection established for the remote and host computers, the Internet is used to make the connection. Operation on the remote computer is just as though the remote computer was connected to the host as a workstation.
Electronic mail takes a step forward that can save a church more money in a year, and every year, than the cost of the RDS Advantage system, including support. This feature provides the ability to send e-mail and text messages to one or more, all or any part of the database, or to individuals in groups or activities. When sending the e-mail, attachments such as newsletters and photos can be included. The system sends the e-mail to every person selected who has e-mail, and will print either address labels, postcards or envelopes for all those selected who do not have e-mail.
One of the mailing expenses you may be incurring is sending reports of each member’s contributions. This is required by the 1993 Tax Reform Act which requires contributors to have a report from recipients of gifts which qualify as tax exempt. You can send these free of any mailing, printing and handling costs by using the e-mail capability in RDS Advantage.
RDS Advantage can send each contributor’s report by e-mail, and the system will automatically print address labels and printed reports for all those who do not have an e-mail address. So no one is omitted or overlooked. The system will use your e-mail application so you do not have to purchase and use any particular e-mail software. Use this same feature to send Receivable statements and Payroll direct deposit check information.