How CrossPoint Church Aligned Accounting Systems To Church Vision

Jan 23, 2023

Last year, we were able to sit down with Gabe Caligiuri, Pastor of Operations at CrossPoint Community Church, Modesto, CA to learn more about his experience working with Church Central Office.

CrossPoint Community Church is an independent non-denominational church founded in the early 1900s. This large church has a long, beautiful history with a lot of long-time, loyal members. Because of that, there was a deeply ingrained way things had been done, even if that ‘way’ was not aligned with where the church was headed. This was especially true in the business office.  


Why did CrossPoint reach out to Church Central Office?

The long-time CFO had decided to retire and the leadership of CrossPoint entered into a relationship with Church Central Office even before Gabe was tapped to join the church staff. They felt it was time to zoom out and take a fresh look at the business office to ensure it was not only coming along with but also supporting, the vision and mission of the church as a whole. 


What was the primary challenge CrossPoint was facing?

When Gabe joined the team, there was a sense among the ministry staff that the business office was out of sync with the mission and vision of the church as outlined by the new church leadership. 

They began to think about new norms and processes to bring them into alignment and identify places where they could grow while keeping in mind that the tenured business office staff were very committed and called to this work. 

Jeff and the Church Central Office team were a part of this strategic work bringing the experience and insights that come from working with many churches across the nation. We were able to help hire and onboard Gabe as well as audit current systems and processes and lay out clear next steps. 

"It can be easy, especially in a larger church, to get insulated and get used to the way you do business without seeking input from the outside. There’s no impetus to question if you are stewarding the business office in the way God is calling you to. Working with Church Central Office allowed us to reconsider what the real marker and measure of success are."

- Gabe Caligiuri, Pastor of Operations


What were your primary objectives?

When Gabe started, there was a lot of fear around ministries not knowing how to approach the business office and many unpleasant discussions about the budget. His aim was for the business office to not be seen as a speed bump or barrier to ministries, but instead to shift to alignment and empowerment. 

The entire organization got on board with the new direction, mission and vision that the leadership had set out. Everyone began to see the business office as a ministry of the church in its own right, enabling and empowering other ministries to be able to do the important work that they do.

Church Central Office played an important role in laying the foundation to achieve this goal.


What it is like to have an outsourced, remote accounting department?

At first, Gabe was somewhat hesitant about the concept of it especially around sharing sensitive information with an outside organization that may or may not be committed to you, your values and your mission. He thought he’d just be told what he wanted to hear but after almost a year of working with Jeff and the Church Central Office team, that that is not the case. 

From the very first conversation, Gabe felt that Church Central Office was in tune with the mission and vision of CrossPoint, even coming alongside to help shape the mission and vision even more clearly.

“I trust Jeff and the CCO staff implicitly because they’ve proven that they’ll be there for us when we need help. They've gone above and beyond to help us lay out a plan and also to offer solutions I don't think we would have come to on our own when issues have arisen.”

- Gabe Caligiuri, Pastor of Operations


What still has to be done in-house?

The internal team still tackles day-to-day tasks like:

  1. Processing bills
  2. Running Reports
  3. Interfacing with ministries


What does Church Central Office take care of?

Church Central Office planned and headed up the extensive systems integrations project so the in-house team could still handle day-to-day responsibilities. 

This included:

  1. Outline the structure and map out what the integration plan needs to be to transition from old systems to new ones where there’s integration and data flow, saving manual work
  2. Countless hours of work to get integrated with Bill.com and Quickbooks online
  3. Setting up systems that benefit ministry staff like:
    • Credit card usage and payments integrated into Quickbooks using Ramp.
    • Weekly Ministry Budget Reports. Ministry Staff used to have to request these and it could take days to receive them. Now they're an automatically generated report which motivates ministry leaders to step up in their role in the process, like turning in receipts, to ensure what they get is as up-to-date as possible.

What are the benefits of working with Church Central Office?

Ultimately, the systems integration is like 1 or 2 full-time employees saving the church so much time and money. To hire someone in California to do what Church Central Office does for CrossPoint would cost "$10,000 a month or over $120,000 a year" says Caligiuri. "We pay less than half of that each month for our work with Church Central Office. Working with them is a no-brainer."


What do you enjoy about working with Church Central Office?

The Church Central Office team is very organized, working through a clear project plan with dedicated milestones and timelines on a predictable weekly rhythm. For example, you can expect a reply to any emailed question typically within one business day, providing confidence in the ongoing support you're receiving. 


Finally, what would you say to a church that is considering Church Central Office?

Greg cautioned against 'cleaning up house' before bringing in a skilled, knowledgeable and committed partner, but instead to get started as soon as possible. Once you have your leadership on board, know there is wisdom to bringing an expert into the mess and allowing them to help you get to where you want to go.

“Jeff and the Church Central Office team are real partners to us, and are part of the family in the business office.”

- Gabe Caligiuri, Pastor of Operations


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