Sydney Anglican Parish Accounting System (SAPAS)
SAPAS has now been available to parishes in the Sydney Diocese since 2002. There have been a number of refinements and new features added to improve the product over the years. Currently more than twp-thirds of all parishes are using the system.
SAPAS is a specially tailored computerised accounting system designed to help parishes handle their accounting, reporting and taxation issues. The package offers -
SAPAS has been developed jointly by the Sydney Diocesan Secretariat (SDS) and Benkorp Management Services Pty Limited (Benkorp). Benkorp is an accredited MYOB consultant and training provider with extensive experience in assisting parishes handle their accounting and financial reporting requirements (refer their website at www.benkorp.com/sapas/index.html).
SAPAS consists of a specially prepared Data File plus a detailed Manual designed for parish treasurers. The product operates within the MYOB accounting package. MYOB was chosen because it is one of the most widely used accounting packages (both by Anglican parishes and by small businesses in general) and the product is continually updated to meet the latest requirements of the GST and BAS reporting, etc.
For a parish that already has access to a computer (either in the church office or at the treasurer’s home) the steps to get started with SAPAS are simple -
(Refer to the Order Form page on www.benkorp.com/sapas/index.html for more details).
The basic ‘Accounting Plus’ package (which contains a payroll module to handle PAYG and the annual Statement of Earnings) should suit most parishes and is available from Benkorp or most computer retailers. Parishes with more than one church are encouraged to seek advice either from the Secretariat or Benkorp before proceeding because there are several options depending on whether the financial records are to be maintained in one place for the whole parish (either treating the whole parish as a unit or with specific detail by church plus a consolidation for the parish) or separately by each church (either with or without a parish consolidation).
As an accredited MYOB consultant with detailed knowledge of the SAPAS product, Benkorp are well placed to answer any technical questions that the parish treasurer may encounter in using SAPAS. Benkorp offer a limited free telephone support service to SAPAS users. On-site training can be arranged if necessary, currently charged at $132 per hour.
Any issues of principle concerning the structure and reporting of SAPAS or other similar matters can be referred to the Manager, Diocesan and Policy Services at SDS (email@example.com or 9265 1682).
As noted above, the copy of MYOB purchased for this purpose should be registered in the name of the parish (rather than an individual) to ensure that it remains parish property if a new treasurer is appointed, for example. SAPAS is licenced to the particular Anglican parish and it is a condition of that licence that it be used only for the purpose of recording and reporting the financial transactions and related data of that parish.
The SAPAS Manual covers the simple security and back-up procedures. Parishes are encouraged to consider these carefully because, like any computer system, it is important to protect the valuable data that is held within the SAPAS in the event of a computer hardware fault or other corruption.
Current as at 21 March 2011
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