I'm already thrilled with Roll Call, and we have yet to realize the benefits of creating our own photo directory, or using it to check in classes. I did just set up our various grade levels of Sunday School, with graduation rules in place- so that next August, one click will update all kids and their information into their appropriate class for next year- sweet. Setting up html email templates using urls from our website graphics was a snap, and made our communications 500% better looking immediately. Creating groups of things like, which members need a printed label for our newsletter and which ones get it online was incredibly easy. You may have noticed, we haven't started to handle our financials in Roll Call yet; it's worth owning even without that! Over the next year, we'll look to see if our Treasurer wants to join in on Roll Call. I do not doubt that if it does Financials as well as it does everything else, it'll be worth changing from ACS. Roll Call is a game changer!
Our church had a cobbled-together sock drawer of solutions that had been done one at a time over the years, in which nothing worked together. Roll Call allowed us to take all these disparate elements running under Windows emulation into a unified, dynamic solution in the Mac environment. We are just starting to reap the benefits,as our Fall season begins. It's so great to have our membership database, directory, attendance, Sunday School classes, mailing labels, etc. all 'singing off of the same music.' I would have treated myself to this program, even if the church hadn't purchased it; in addition to saying goodbye to Windows, I no longer have to live in fear that one of six separate things isn't updated properly, or that someone isn't getting a mailing. We haven't even scratched the surface yet as far as the child check-in, but it's coming. The HTML email enables us to look like we're paying for a commercial service, such as Constant Contact. Which we aren't!
We were attempting to export our old files from ACS, and their export utility made it virtually impossible, through no fault of Roll Call's. Hence, I spent a lot of hours re-entering data via copy and paste, with our old Windows desktop and new Mac version open side by side. It was worth the work, because when it's finally in and you can manipulate the data and reports, wow!
Our church of about 500 has recently relocated and wanted to upgrade to a Child Check-In system that printed child's name tags with a parent security tag for a safe and secure child check-out process after class or event. I personally downloaded and tried over 5 different software programs using the "30 day trials" and Roll Call, by far, was the most user friendly! Entering families is quick and simple, creating groups with specific times, people, and locations is helpful, and the Mobile App saves $$ while being user-friendly to whoever steps up to the Check-In tablet Sunday morning.
1. Family files can be as specific or generic as you need.
2. You can check-in and print 1 child at a time, or you can check-in as a family and everyone's name-tags w/security tags print all together.
3. You can enter in volunteers and create their own group so all people serving can have name-tags as well.
4. Once you understand the printer set-up, from reading the manual and online help, it is easy to move forward with multiple printers and Mobile Check-In sites.
5. Excellent online support with documentations of previously posted help desk questions and the tutorials to solve them.
6. AMAZING phone support during office hours!! Not only helpful but conscious of my end ultimate goal and problem solved me how to get there.
7. Name tags are already designed simply and logically. No need to make a custom design when the default is perfect.
8. The user interface is simple and inviting. Everyone appreciates how clean and welcoming the Check-In screen is. ANYONE can use it :-) Even on the back-end in the set-up program.
CONS: And this is from user error... (as in I didn't fully read all the instructions)
1. Confused setting up printers for Client vs. Mobile function. Again, once I read the directions and Josh the tech hero from Roll Call helped me, I was independently setting up and running 5 computers to 2 printers effortlessly.
I've only been using the system for a few weeks and have a lot to learn to better support our growing church. Our parents love using the Check-In system and our volunteers love how easy it is for them to use and track our families. Personally, I was sold when I could figure out how to run the program without outside help. I'm not the most tech-savvy mama out there, but Roll Call is simple, straightforward, and they offer EXCELLENT customer support is you do get stuck.
Roll Call is a robust software package with strong sales and technical support. The ability to use a check reader makes this software very attractive. Set-up is straightforward but will take some study. Data can be exported for manipulation in other software, but to do so will take some higher level skill. Financial summary data can be written to disk for import by some accounting software packages. As a stand-alone or networked database, Roll Call is an excellent affordable product that is worthy of consideration for either Windows or Macintosh platforms.
The database structure is well done with a predictable interface. Most impressive is the financial input and tracking. We are implementing using a check reader. This has greatly improved accuracy and has cut the time in half we used to spend counting weekly offerings. Having the check reader alone tips the usability and should be a standard purchase for all Roll Call users.
With only a little work, all of the data can be exported for use in other software.
Our initial set-up allowed us to import our initial members from a tab-delimited file without problem. This saved days of input and allowed the migration of our data to be quickly accomplished.
Financial offering data is easily tracked and the standard reports are very easy and adequate.
The program runs equally well on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.
Like any relational database, users should be familiar with database functions. This is not a simple spreadsheet list but rather a robust multi-function package that requires some study. However, training materials and support are quite good. Most functions are straightforward, but some require reading the manual for proper implementation. Assigning security levels to various users is a little difficult to understand - the documentation for this part of the program could be better.
This is not a web-based solution for those wishing to give partial database access to congregation members.
After serving as church treasurer for 16 years, I decided I needed a break from the weekly (daily) attention. After 6 months of no hassles, I somehow found myself as financial secretary. Piece of cake, right? After a considerable amount of time looking for just the right software, I decided on By The Book's Roll Call. We are a relatively small church (150-200 regular weekly attendance), and don't require a lot of bells and whistles. At first, I thought we could get by with Roll Call Lite, but quickly realized we would need the full version because of wanting to track pledges. The support people at By The Book are SO helpful! I have had to call for support only twice; once, when I had trouble with the download (Norton issues) and again when I was having trouble finding a particular feature. The support people are very nice, and willing to explain various aspects of the software in a friendly and patient way. David is the one I talked to today. He helped me way more that I ever expected. He gave me all the basic information needed to get my church completely set up and ready to post contributions and pledges starting this Sunday. Roll Call has many features we probably will not use anytime in the near future (tracking attendance and that sort of stuff), but still is a very good price for what we will use. My primary use will be for tracking contributions and pledges. Once I got used to how to move around within Roll Call, data entry is very quick and simple. In just one afternoon, I was able to complete the setup and am ready to start posting contributions. Roll Call will allow me to track all contributions to any number of funds, in addition to tracking pledge amounts. The available reports will let me show fund balances and track pledged amounts vs. pledges received, or if anyone is behind or ahead on their pledges and by how much. Roll Call will let me send contribution letters by email or regular mail at any time. I imagine that, at some point, we will use Roll Call to print a church directory. One plus to Roll Call is that the software belongs to the church. It is on our computer. There is no yearly membership fee. One price does it all. If an upgrade is needed, just pay the difference and download. Yes, it IS a piece of cake! Thank you, By The Book!
I would highly recommend this database program to any church needing a more efficient way of keeping track of membership records, from mailing lists to giving records to Sunday morning worship attendance. All of my volunteers have been able to quickly learn their area from me just sitting down with them for a short time and walking through the process. I would recommend the full tech support service for at least the first year, if not every year. It's very comforting to know there is someone just a phone call away who can walk you through the process. Overall recommendation would be an A+++.
Overall great tech support starting with transfer of data from FileMaker Pro database to Roll Call. Easy to learn basics from just using the program and/or online helps and/or calling tech support. Tech support feels like family after calling and working with them just a couple of times. Entering donations, printing quarterly/yearly/individual statements, keeping track of pledges, running donation/pledge reports - all very easy to learn. I haven't found much that's not user friendly and whenever I've had a question tech support was just a phone call away. I love being able to call Kim, have her connect to my computer and watch as she shows me how to figure something out. If she's not sure she turns me over to Dave and he has been able to walk me through anything I needed. I really appreciate Dave walking me through the download process for every computer in our office. It was a blessing to find such a great program!
One of the areas we are having problems with is the "missing worship report" - however I haven't called tech support about it yet. Also, one of my volunteers thinks the way the attendance report with the dashes and number one's is hard to understand. I don't find it that difficult but she thinks there should be an easier to read format. I really don't have any real concerns as I know that tech support could help me with just about anything.
Our church was originally a long-time customer of Connection Power (now owned by Fellowship One). CP was always a convoluted mess to me, difficult and complicated to use. When Fellowship One purchased CP and dramatically increased the monthly pricing, it was a great excuse to jump ship.
We hadn't searched too long before we settled on Roll Call. It was the obvious choice for our budget. Our initial attraction was the one time fee for everything we need, and then no fee afterwords. We will be saving TONS by not having to pay a monthly fee. Setup was fairly easy, although I had to fire off a couple phone calls to Roll Call for some help, but they were very helpful and knowledgable.
Our setup consists of 2 check-in computers. I LOVE how seemlessly the computers talk to each other. All the data that I input and changes I make on one computer is instantly available to the other computer (with CP, any change you made HAD to be synchronized before those changes took effect), with infared scanners. We opted for the custom key-tags for our parents, which look GREAT and very proffesional. We have received TONS of comments on how much more simple and quick the "new system" is. Overall, we are VERY pleased, as are our parents. The staff is pleased so far with the system as well.
There are really no cons to speak off. The only suggestion I would make is the ability to make a more customizable welcome screen. As is, it's very bland and boring looking. It would be nice to be able to customize the screen (make the buttons larger, or center the screen, etc.) or add a background picture.
Finally, Roll Call's software is very easy to use, with lots of great instructional videos online to get you going. If you're looking for gear to use (touch-screen, infared scanners, printers etc.), consider searching around on eBay or Amazon for used gear. It was much cheaper for us (e.g., we got 2 used Dymo label printers for $60 on eBay) to purchase used gear. Just a thought!
It's a good product and reasonably priced. We have only been actually using RollCall for about 5 months and most of that time was in a learning curve. We are not using it to it's full cabability but so far, it meets our needs. I'd recommend to anyone implementing Roll Call to hold off purchasing until you are actually ready to implement so as to take advantage of the all the free tech support and training.
The biggest Pro for our church is to have all of our membership information in one place. Before RollCall, we had about four different spreadsheets, all with different information for the same people. The good thing is we were able to import most of the data from our spreadsheets into RollCall. The directory functions are so easy to use and it prints out a nice looking directory. We are just implementing the Child Check In and already find it such a time saver! No more lines waiting to check in your child!
The biggest con is not being able to access the database remotely. We have a small church which means most of the people that need to access RollCall have other jobs and would like to be able to access from home. I would also like to see a more robust word processor, particularly allowing importing of Word Templates for letterhead.
Free tech support runs out too quickly. Since most churches are not in a rush mode, a better delivery of support would be on an hourly basis - say 15-20 hours of support, (which would include getting started classes) and when that runs out customer needs to pay for it. It just took us so long to get going that our tech support ran out and funds are limited.
I have been using a stand alone version of Roll Call V6 then V8 since June 10, 2003. I have maintain all contribution records for Holy Cross to present. I have just upgraded to V14 Client/Cloud so that our new computer-literate Pastor can also use the other feathers of RC. Very pleased with its performance. Custom support has always been outstanding!
Does exactly what I need it to do to track contributions and maintain address records for periodic contribution mailings. Our new Pastor will be using many more of the features of Roll Call.
Complex, but good customer support overcomes my inability to read the manual carefully. I tend to print manuals and use printed version, and presently I am using V13 manual with V14 software. Do not know what I am missing.
Greatly enhanced our organization's connectivity. Essentially easy to use and manage. Great customer service.
Really feature-rich. Mostly intuitive and user-friendly. Scalable to meet the demands of the organization.
THE CUSTOMER SERVICE IS SECOND-TO-NONE. Quick to respond. Personable. Expert. Stays until the job is done.
Some initial learning required in order to really understand the product. The GUI could stand to be upgraded a bit.
Church admins will love this software, especially since it offers great support and training tools.
All the data about members and attendance are stored in one localized database. It makes it easy to communicate with church members and to keep track of which members are volunteering for certain groups. This is what my church uses it for mostly, but it also offers many other great features. Another great thing to keep in mind is that churches can determine which package is best for them depending on the size of their congregation, so they are not paying more for services that they cannot utilize.
The design of the software does not have a modern look. Very simple and basic, but this can also make it easier for users to navigate.
Our church was looking for a better system to help us keep track of our members and their information. We were using a combination of spreadsheets, word documents, and access databases prior to selecting Roll Call for our solution. We looked at two other options. We decided to do the trial for Roll Call, and after working with it for a few weeks and learning the features, we decided it would meet our needs best.
- Full featured- tracks people, giving, attendance, services, small groups.
- Has a web and client option
- Any mobile device with a web browser is supported
- The client works on both Mac and Windows
- You only have to buy the software once, rather than a monthly fee forever (though you pay for annual maintenance)
- Allows you to easily import from other systems (we used this to import over 200 records)
- Email/Phone Support is EXCELLENT! David and Kim were very quick to reply.
- There are many user videos that you can have staff / admins watch to learn the system.
- Text messaging functionality needs to know the cell phone provider to work (as it sends email messages to do texting). Not a huge show stopper, but extra info we have to get and maintain.
- The Roll Call Connect mobile functionality is quite useful, but doesn't offer all the functionality that you find on the client. It seems like Roll Call is committed to ongoing enhancements so I think it will continue to develop.
Overall, this system is "light years" ahead where we were. I'm glad we made the investment and it has enabled us to grow and manage our Church much more effectively.
Would recommend without hesitation or reservation for any church that wants to organize it's office functions, keep up to date information on its members and to be able to provide donation information to a member, including statements, at the push of a button. Also includes tracking of donations and pledges for the minster and board of directors.
Very intelligent design to include the functions necessary for most churches, small to large. Easy to learn and use. Good user documentation and tutorials both printed and on-line.
Truly outstanding support no matter if it's a how-to application question, assistance in formulating a complex query or help in installing a version upgrade.
Good security which provides several levels of access..
Good support for the youth ministry including a child's special needs and allergies. Includes reminders for renewing of background checks.
An excellent array of reports for every type of user from a data entry person, a financial person, volunteers and the volunteer coordinator, the youth ministry people and the minister and board of directors.
Competitors point out it is not browser based. That is not an issue for us. If remote access is required, we can attain it through a third party remote access program such as "Logmein" which is free.
I like the customized reports and customer service is always helpful if we have an issue or just need help trying to figure out how to run a specific report.
I wish the customized reports would export directly into Excel in one step instead of copying to csv and copy and paste into Excel.
I think it is the best church software package available for its price range.
ROLLCALL is a great product for the price. Allows you to track many aspects of a members participation like attendance, groups involvement, giving, etc... It also allows you to run many different reports. If a report you desire does not exist then tech support will create one for you. It offers a child check in feature that can be used on Sunday morning for children's church. This not only looks professional but adds security making first time parents feel comfortable leaving their children in your care. Price varies according to church size which makes it very affordable when your are a young growing church.
Since ROLLCALL is not web based it can sometimes be difficult to access from a location other than your building, like your home. Also, child check in can be slightly complicated if you are meeting in a portable facility. You will need to either access the database through the internet and create a VPN, this may require some upgrades to your system, or copy the data file to a portable computer for Sunday service and then replace it to your server after. This adds a few steps which you must be diligent to do in order to avoid loss of information.
Overall we are delighted with the Roll Call product in comparison to the Church people management system we were using. For a congregation with about 200 members this is an ideal system. It is very budget friendly and we are not paying for data management that we are not using.
The switch to Roll Call was quite easy as Customer support quickly answered or solved all questions /problems in the transition. Never were we put on hold or passed to a different department.
We have been using the child check-in for 3 months and it has work quite well. I would advise 2 check-in touch screens if you have lots of visitors as the visitor check-in for children is takes about 5 minutes and cause a back up of people occasionally. However we are increasing are ability to get followup information on visiting families as a result. The attendance report feature works really well for this purpose.
The People management input, search, lists etc. functions and is manipulated well. Love that duplicate entries are caught quickly and easily deleted or merged for best profile. Finding and opening a profile also is fast and I am not using my printed directory at all anymore. Yet when I need one for a member the directory is quick to format and print or save as a pdf attachment.
Weekly contribution summaries and batch info are also formatted nicely and our book keeper is satisfied with the results.
Again we are delighted and thank you for a great product.
I would definitely recommend RollCall. The price is very reasonable, the customer service is fantastic, and it has allowed us to really grow our ministry.
RollCall has allowed us to completely automate our child check-in. It is very easy to use. The kids are able to check themselves in every morning. We are able to accurately track our attendance, run labels for various mailers, send mass emails, and run visitor reports to send postcards to our visitors. It also allows us to do an accurate headcount during class to make sure that every child is accounted for and checked in. We also use RollCall for our summer VBS program, and our mid-week bible study for our kids.
Some of the query and reporting features are fairly complicated. I no longer send emails out using RollCall. Instead, I export the email addresses and send them out separately. The email feature is very touchy and if I accidentally use the Enter key on the 10-key pad, it will send my email out immediately before I'm done typing it.. To avoid this, I no longer send emails through RollCall. Also, changing the fonts for some of the mailing labels is not an option, and it is a feature that we would like to use.
Roll Call is great for a church database both for contributions and our children's program attendance. The program streamlined the donation receipts this year.
Like most church-focused software we considered, it has its limitations because of different levels of church size and the cost of online features. Our church is small so the higher costs do not suit.
I am very happy with the program - the few things I don't like we have been able to work around and are more than outweighed by the functionality of the whole.
I like the way Roll Call is a whole church system - we bought it primarily to keep track of children's church but it is so much more than that. It is easy to teach and administer and has the flexibility to be modified for our needs. The back up assistance after purchase has been outstanding - no question is too trivial for the company to follow up. My every issue has been addressed and answered to my complete satisfaction. The company have also assisted us in acquiring the bar code scanners etc that we decided to use with the system, which allowed us to get them at a good price and with no questions as to compatibility.
The query function is not entirely intuitive (at least for me) and while information can be extracted to another program for further manipulation, it is a slightly cumbersome process. I would also like to see more options for information and formatting with the badges so we can include all the detail that we would like to see. Also the ability to change font, size and orientation would be good.
I was looking to save our church some money on office expenses but also find a program that works well with Mac. RollCall fit the bill on both accounts! We are saving $1400 a year now!! That's a lot for a small church! Thanks RollCall!
I love that it works well for those that are data entry focused, keyboard shortcuts all work great so there is very little 'mousing' around on the screens. The report exports to Numbers spreadsheets work really well and are much quicker than what we were using before. The number of different reports I can access make it really easy to get all kinds of information into nice presentations for meetings. I also love how I can so easily save it to a stick and "take RollCall home" to work at home too.
Our children's ministry wishes it could keep track of the kids club points system together with Check-In. Beyond that, I can't really say there is anything else I don't like!
I am someone who uses Roll Call multiple times a weekend to resource the names of kids and their families attending and visiting our Children's Ministry. I do not have very much technical understanding and so while I hit some bumps here and there, it's been refreshing to just call up customer service and get immediate answers and assistance. Customer service has always been patient and helpful (and I call often!) We are starting to use Roll Call beyond the Children's Ministry to track our financial giving and as our overall church database, which is something our main campus has been doing for some time. The only con I have come across in my year of using Roll Call is that sometimes families checking in don't remember the last 4 digits of the phone number they used...sometimes they try every number in the family and still can't pull up their information, so in these cases they start the process all over as a new visitor. I wish as an administrator, I could simply go in and look them up another way, without logging out of the main check-in system. When this happens there is usually a line of people behind them waiting to check-in so we don't have time to log out and re-log in as an administrator...if that makes sense... Thank you Roll Call for helping to make our Children's Ministry an easy and secure place for children to be checked in and out of.
We highly recommend this software for all church sizes. We needed something to get us out of the file cabinet records drawer and into the real world using electronic media. This is a simple software package that provides us everything we need to maintain membership and contribution records. Our church size is approximately 100 Members and this fell right into our budget range.
We just upgraded to Version 11 and see even more improvements that will help us better communicate with our members and visitors with letters, mailings and Email. The report documents are much better and we see great improvements in the user interface.
Version 10 is easy to use and implement. Works well on a MAC as well as a PC. You can't beat the pricing as compared to many other softwares we looked into. You maintain / host the software on your on your premises and on your hardware. I was able to save time by importing membership data in a CSV format. It is very flexible in customization providing numerous fields to change for our specific needs. Customized "Access Levels" gives us security at different levels.
Report customization is lacking and could use more flexibility. The Query tool is is a bit cumbersome but works.
Every interaction I have had with Roll Call staff has been wonderful. Not only are they very friendly but they quickly walk me through whatever issue I have to resolve.
Very comprehensive database.
I like the multi tabs in the families and separate records for each person for tithing, reporting, and groups.
A good deal of Extra things that waste time and are either overkill or double info. Some of the inflexibilty in fields and their outputs when some of the records generate. Although the records are as a family, they still function separately, so you have to visit each person with changes (except phone & address). Can be slow and time consuming.
The software is great in theory, but make sure you have some computer programming experience in your background. I found the software to be difficult to navigate. Once the data is entered, its seems as if this software can produce lots of options; but, be aware the software is sometimes difficult for the user to figure out. Every report or request is tedious if you are not computer savvy enough to program the software to give you what you want. . . . . very little seems to be one or two clicks away from your desired outcome. Customer support gave me the answers I needed and timely, but don't expect an overview with a salesperson or service rep. Set aside time to watch ALL the videos and you might get the answers you need for setup.
We are enjoying the software and it's accomplishing what we need. It just has taken an enormous amount of time to set it up and learn how it can work for us.
I am so sorry to hear that your intial set up has been difficult. We reach out to each person that downloads a trial of the software to see if they'd like any help getting things set up or to join us for an online demo.
If you or anyone at your church are still having difficulty getting what you need, please contact us at 800.554.9116 and we'll be happy to help.
Roll Call allows you to ensure accountability and monitoring to your Children Ministries. By designating who can and cannot pick up children as well how is dropping them off you can rest assured and have peace of mind when you drop your children off with staff and volunteers.
The user side of the system appears to be a little dated in the visual experience. It would be more effective and easier to use with simpler push button windows. Less text more pictures