Heritage Church chooses Center to streamline and gain visibility into expenses

Case Study


  • Nonprofit


  • 25 employees


  • Cost savings
  • Time savings
  • Real-time visibility
  • Intuitive user process

Before Center

  • Complicated system requiring an IT department that didn’t exist
  • Disconnected bank cards and expense solution
  • No consistent method for expensing across departments

After Center

  • Expensing is streamlined through CenterCard mobile app
  • Simplification of approval categories for 12 cost centers and 100+ accounts
  • Real-time visibility into spend and 3-4 days faster month-end close 
  • First-class support is always available

Heritage Church is a community-based congregation with approximately 1,200 members across its three locations in Illinois and Iowa. As the Chief Financial Officer, Dave Dryer oversees the church’s financial operations, as well as covers human resources and insurance matters for its 50+ employees.

Challenge: No visibility with disconnected expense management and credit cards

Before Center, there was zero visibility into spend. When employees of Heritage Church made purchases, such as when a pastor was traveling or dining out with congregants, they used bank-issued credit cards. That meant at a later date, an employee would have to dig up a receipt—if they could find it—to log their expense into software that was challenging to use for both employees and the finance team.

Not every department used the software because it was too complicated for some employees to navigate. The resulting hybrid reconciliation process took 2–3 additional hours per month for an operational team member to manually record information from paper into a spreadsheet—before the numbers even reached the church accountant. Dryer shared, “We just didn’t have the IT support the software required. Our other biggest challenge was that we had multiple layers of approval, and it wasn’t straightforward to designate account numbers or to get the approval set up.”

“Prior to Center, each month we risked data entry errors between the 100+ expense accounts and the manual reconciliation process, not to mention the two additional hours it took our accountant to input expense data into the church’s Shelby System.”  —Dave Dryer, CFO, Heritage Church

Solution: Heritage Church seeks support, visibility, and customization

Dryer had been researching alternative expense options for about a year that could simplify managing 100+ different accounts and 12 cost centers. After discovering Center, he was intrigued by the no-cost solution that fully integrates the card and expense platform while offering real-time visibility into spend as well as the dedicated support team. Shortly after the initial outreach, Heritage Church made the switch.

“We have at least 100 accounts across a dozen cost centers. The customization of what employees see and don’t see is really important; otherwise, they’d have to spend time sorting through things just to log the expense. That’s why we chose Center.”  —Dave Dryer, CFO, Heritage Church

The implementation process was personalized and painless, which Dryer attributes to their dedicated deployment manager. “John, our deployment manager, really took the time to understand our business needs and explain the system’s nuances, walking us step by step through the process.”

Impact: Increased control and streamlined expensing process achieved

Center was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Dryer shared, “Usually, the finance department doesn’t get much recognition, but I’ve heard nothing but good things—the employees really like using the software.” He elaborated, “Even the church’s senior pastor, who is essentially our CEO, loves it. All of our staff do.”

Where approvals used to be multi-level, complicated, and without full visibility, Center now gives Dryer and his team the instant access they need to see into spend, and the platform has automated approvals, which help reduce the likelihood of misusing funds that could have otherwise been attributed to the wrong account.

“With Center, it’s simple just to snap a receipt through the app. Now, the employees don’t have to lose or save receipts. It’s all right there. That’s probably the biggest win for them.” —Dave Dryer, CFO, Heritage Church

From reducing time spent on reconciliation to making it easy for employees to attribute purchases to the correct coding, since implementing Center, Heritage Church has realized many benefits, including:

  • Expensing is easy through the CenterCard mobile app. Using Center and the fully integrated mobile app means no more trying to save receipts or compile paper expense reports, eliminating a redundant entry for the finance team in the process.
  • Simplification and customization of the allocation process. With Center, correctly attributing expenses is straightforward thanks to the dropdown menu that only displays the categories spenders need to see—even with 12 different cost centers and 100 different accounts.
  • Enhanced visibility of finances for budget decisions. Heritage Church relies on its board to make decisions, and now with Center, Dryer can close financials 3–4 days earlier than before, so data is accurate and readily available ahead of meetings.
  • First-class support is always available through a preferred channel. Whether Dryer wants one-on-one support with the dedicated account manager or the accountant prefers to find the answer in the Center Customer Success Portal, help is always available through multiple options, including call, email, chat, or web.

Dryer is pleased that employees now have a better experience, and he has more time to help the church with his other responsibilities. Church auditors have also found Center’s system efficient and reliable: “Center helps us at audit time because it’s simply a quick import, and all the receipts and expense data are there. No more reports to pull; it’s all automated.”

For Heritage Church, everything about Center—from the user-friendliness of the CenterCard mobile app all the way to first-class support—has been nothing short of outstanding. Reflecting on the experience as a whole, Dryer shared, “I’ve already mentioned Center to one of my friends who is a CFO at a nonprofit.”


Download this customer testimonial.