You Don’t Have Time to Build an Accounting Firm

You Don’t Have Time to Build an Accounting Firm
Jonathan Boulos – CEO – SJFS

The demand has never been higher for CFOs and COOs of dioceses to find ways to support the parishes and schools of their diocese with back office support: payroll, bookkeeping and accounting, construction, IT, etc. I’ve spent enough time with CFOs to know that their frustrations with the (lack of) timeliness and reliability of information from the parishes and schools were pervasive and impacting their ability to do their jobs. COVID, and the resulting actions, further emphasized the need for fast and reliable information, particularly financial information. Many Catholic organizations are worried about making payroll, filing government applications, and simply knowing where they need to spend their limited amount of time. It’s a dream that parishes are ASKING for support after so many years of refusing it when offered. A common response is to establish a shared accounting function within a diocese, but while the desired outcome is good, the setup and maintenance of it could be catastrophic. Look at a few statistics on the state of the accounting labor market:

  • 42% of Accounting firms say they turn away work because of staff shortages.
  • 300,000 accountants left the profession during the pandemic.
  • Less than 50,000 entered the workforce in 2023, down from 67,000 in 2022, & 72,000 in 2021.
  • Accounting Compensation went up 13% in 2022 and 21% in 2023 for an entry-level salary of $67,000.

Add in the deficient state of most diocese’s technology and process to more efficiently process transactions and you have a dangerous cocktail that risks missing or failing on a golden opportunity to show your parishes and schools that you’re here to help. No CFO or COO reading this wants to run a staffing agency, and none that I’ve met have the extra time to develop accounting professionals even if they can find them. The reality of the labor market is one that requires a lot of attention so that they’re not wooed by an ever-growing value proposition from other potential employers. Let your shared accounting function be our problem.

We’ve spent 5 years building expertise and leverage in people, process, and technology so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for your diocese. We serve dozens of dioceses across the country by supplementing their diocesan team, outsourcing their shared accounting function, or simply offering our services to their parishes and schools. Those three areas of people, process, and technology show why we’re able to look at the facts above and know we’re positioned in strength in that market, not just hoping for the best:


  • We’ve built years-long relationships with universities that put out talented and mission-minded people like the University of Notre Dame and Franciscan University.
  • We’re entering the fourth year of a summer internship program that brings college students to our South Bend HQ to learn how to serve the Church in an innovative organization where they will learn to be the best professional they can.
  • Our innovative posture doesn’t stop at accounting, but we also learn from the best available ways of rewarding employees so that they’re not looking over the fence at a shiny new toy.
  • Our people love working here and they love working with each other because there is no confusion about why we’re here.


  • We learn from every new client and make sure that we take back best practices to others.
  • Being an accounting firm means we’re communicating with and learning from other accounting firms.
  • Some clients want to try new things and that gives us a chance for low-risk testing that can benefit clients with a lower tolerance for new things.
  • We have a dedicated research and development function and time to iterate and improve.
  • It’s a lot easier to convince someone of change with real stories of it’s ministry benefits and outcomes.


  • Every benefit you’ve thought of for pricing is magnified with our national scale and leverage.
  • Our tech team is not designed to just solve break/fix issues, it’s designed for innovation and they’re ex-accountants so they know how to design for impact.
  • The job of tech innovation and selection is never done, and the Church does not have the luxury of standing on the sidelines while others find ways to be more effective and efficient with technology.

There’s a good chance that if you don’t offer a solution to your parishes and schools they will go elsewhere and be overcharged, underserved, or both! Rolling the dice on building a team from the ground up or stretching your existing team too thin has an unmeasurably high dollar and opportunity cost. Let’s figure out today how we can build or supplement your team. We can even start with putting you on a tech platform to better be positioned for the future, so that you can be responsive and capitalize on the opportunity to get better information, faster!

Jonathan Boulos