ChMeetings vs. ACS Technologies

ChMeetings is cloud-based, cost-effective, feature-rich, and user-friendly. ACS Technologies is based on a desktop app and web access may cost extra.

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Are you searching for a Church Management System or an alternative to ACS Technologies? Are you considering ChMeetings, too? Let’s see how ChMeetings compares to ACS Technologies in terms of cost, features, performance, and user-friendliness.

To save you time, here’s what we think, in a nutshell:

ACS Technologies might be a good choice if you:

  • Don’t mind the rather high cost;
  • Are a large church, with many team members, dedicated IT or tech-savvy servants;
  • Do not want or need to store data online or provide members with access to a church app.

ChMeetings might be a good choice if you:

  • Want a lower-cost all-in-one solution that covers most of your needs;
  • Don’t have dedicated IT or servants who are very comfortable with technology;
  • Want to provide everyone - servants, members, and guests - with access to a church app or site, from any device.

Cost

ChMeetings offers more value for a lower price

ACS’s desktop solution starts from $279.95 per month. Cloud access through Access ACS is included for subscribers to ACS OnDemand, but is a separate service for those enrolled in their Preferred Client Program, for whom prices start at $32 per month. According to the ACS Technologies website: “There is a one-time $300 setup fee for new subscriptions to Access ACS.”. It is unclear whether this fee applies to the Preferred Client Program, OnDemand customers, or both. There is no free trial available.

ChMeetings’s prices vary depending on your requirements. We offer a free plan, and paid plans start as low as $12 per month or $120 per year. ChMeetings is a cloud-based platform, so you don’t pay extra to access your data online - from a desktop or mobile device. There is a mobile app available, which works with Android or iOS and is free for everyone. We also offer a 14-day trial so you can see if ChMeetings fits your needs.

Some additional costs to consider with ACS Technologies include a $300 setup fee for their cloud access service (Access ACS), and the online giving fees that ACS appears to charge on top of the payment processor fees. ChMeetings does not charge any of these fees - there are no setup fees and you only pay the fees charged by your payment processor when collecting donations online.

Lastly, it’s important to think about migrating your data to the software you’ll be choosing. ACS does not seem to offer the service, so you must perform the migration yourself, have skilled IT people, or hire a professional to do it for you, which can require additional time, effort, and monetary resources. When you become a ChMeetings customer, you can get in touch with us and we’ll import it for you for free, as long as you choose any of our paid plans.

Here’s a quick cost breakdown:

ChMeetings ACS Technologies
Free Trial 14 days Unavailable
Pricing is based on the number of people Yes Depends on what type of customer you are.
Free plan for 50 people Available Unavailable
Minimum monthly cost $12 monthly $120 annually $279.95 monthly No annual billing. Adds up to $3,359.40 annually.
Extra costs US Text messaging starts at $10 per 1000 standard GSM messages. Messaging is unavailable.
No setup fees $300 setup fee for Access ACS
Free data transfer included with any paid plan ACS doesn’t appear to offer any data transfer service.
No online giving fees ACS appear to charge for online giving, but don’t mention the fees. You must contact them to find out.
Free, all-in-one mobile app Optional, Custom-Branded Mobile App for $45 per month. No mobile app is available.

Features

ChMeetings provides more features than ACS Technologies

Both ACS Technologies and ChMeetings are Church Management platforms that will help you streamline your work. Both provide core features such as member management, communication, and giving. ACS Technologies offers some of its features as separate services; while with ChMeetings, everything is included in one centralized platform.

There are two notable differences between ChMeetings and ACS Technologies:

  • ACS Technologie does not offer Service Planning, which is included with ChMeetings starting with the Small Plan that costs $25 per month or $250 per year.
  • ACS does not allow you to provide members with online access to a church app.
Feature ChMeetings ACS Technologies
Mobile App
Member Management
Custom Profile Fields
Groups
Mass Email
Mass Texting Available, Costs Extra Unavailable
Event Management
Check-In
Service Planning
Volunteer Scheduling
Member Portal
Web Page Builder
Follow-Ups
Appointments
Digitally Signed Forms
Online Giving
Pledges
Accounting
Reports
Integrations Yes Yes
Multilingual Yes - 19 Languages No

Performance

ChMeetings performs better than ACS Technologies

We are not using ACS actively, so we can’t speak objectively about their solution’s performance, but we did some research into user reviews left within the past two years on Capterra. Here’s what we found:

1. ACS Technologies:

People are happy with ACS because it’s an extensive tool that helps them organize their church information and manage accounting. Some users find it dependable, while others specifically mention no longer using it. Among the reported issues, we found slowness when the number of donor files increases, a difficult reporting process, tasks taking a long time to perform, unreliable existing integrations, and missing needed features.

2. ChMeetings:

Most people are happy with ChMeetings’s overall performance too, and say it’s scalable, fast, and responsive. Some users mention that ChMeetings needs improvement in the notification system, integrations, and API.

User-Friendliness

ChMeetings is more user-friendly than ACS Technologies

When a software solution is user-friendly, you are more likely to be successful with it. User-friendliness means that the software has an interface that is easy to use, well-optimized workflows, good overall product design, and comprehensive, clear support and guidance to help you answer questions and learn faster and easier. A user-friendly software saves you time, effort, and even money by helping you do your best work every single time. Here’s what we think about ACS Technologies and ChMeetings in terms of user-friendliness:

1. ACS Technologies requires you to install desktop software. ChMeetings is completely cloud-based.

  • With ACS Technologies, you must install a desktop app; and unless you belong to their OnDemand group of customers, you do not get cloud access for free. With a desktop app like ACS, your data is stored locally, so you can’t access it anywhere else other than the computer you’ve stored it on. This makes it more difficult to keep your data up-to-date. Additionally. when ACS releases an update, you must install it yourself; which takes time and has the potential for issues to occur. Desktop apps have a hard time keeping up with the latest technologies, so they may complicate your work and keep you behind in the long run. However, since it’s a desktop app, ACS may be suitable for you if you don’t want your data to go online.
  • ChMeetings is stored in the cloud and there is no desktop app required to access your data - all you need is a web browser; You can install a progressive app if you want to, but you will still need internet access to use it. With ChMeetings, your data is always up-to-date, and app upgrades are free and automatic. We offer an all-in-one solution, which you can access from any desktop computer, laptop, or mobile device, using a web browser or free apps for Android and iOS.

2. ACS Technologies has a more outdated interface while ChMeetings features a sleek, modern design.

  • Complex interfaces that require you to read the docs before using the software are a thing of the past. These are often found in desktop apps like ACS, which is a legacy product that has not been brought in line with the latest technology improvements.
  • ChMeetings is built upon modern tech standards that allow us to create seamless user experiences, improve design quickly, and ensure that our solution is as simple and clear as possible.

3. ACS provides complex help resources that are difficult to search and navigate. ChMeetings provides a well-organized help center that helps you quickly find the answers you seek.

  • ACS provides several software solutions, and they have one knowledge base for them all. While there is a filtering option, it doesn’t apply to search, so it can be hard to find answers related to specific software that they offer. In addition, much of their content is stored in .pdf format, which again makes it more difficult for you to quickly get to the information you need.
  • ChMeeting’s help center is built with one of the most popular support platforms, and our customers find it useful and easy to navigate. Searching is fast and results are relevant, since ChMeetings is the only solution we offer. No information is stored in .pdf files, and everything is searchable and easily accessible. We always want to do better, so if you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Capterra Ratings

Chmeetings- Capterra reviews ACS Capterra reviews

Free Trial

ACS Technologies does not provide a free trial, which makes it a bit difficult to make a purchase decision only based on research, reviews, or comparisons like this one.

ChMeetings gives you a 14-day free trial, which you can use to get a pretty good idea about whether it’s for you or not. You can also add demo data to work with during the trial, so you don’t need to spend time adding it yourself. After the trial, you can continue with our free plan or subscribe. Check out our Pricing page for details.

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