Frequently Asked Questions
- We have a very small church - do you have anything especially for us?
We have recently introduced our Omega Church Lite edition, especially with churches like you in mind, for a much reduced price. There is an upper limit of 250 (active) records, but the full range of functions is retained. If your church grows and you find you need the full version of Omega Church, you can always upgrade.
Another possibility to consider, is whether our multi-database facility might suit your church or parish needs. If, for example, one minister, pastor or priest works across more than one church, and that person is the only one requiring access to that church's data, we can enable the ability to use one installation of Omega Church to manage more than one congregation's data.
If Omega Church Lite or our multi-database options sounds like it might be for you, contact us to discuss your needs further.
- I tried to download the demo but couldn't get it to work
Until recently, Omega Church demos required a user key number. Did you receive yours ok? Sometimes we found it was filtered out into people's junk mail folder. If you didn't, or you have had any other trouble downloading or using the demo, just contact us. Remember you can also request to have the demo sent by post if you prefer.
- Why haven't I heard of Omega Church software before now?
Omega Church software has been in existence now for over 10 years (see history of Omega Church), during which GCD Technologies have put lots of effort into improving, developing and updating it to ensure it is the high-quality software product it is today. Sales of Omega Church have spread throughout Northern Ireland mostly on a word-of-mouth basis - people recognise quality when they see it! However we now feel it is time to make sure churches further afield are aware of Omega and its many benefits. After all, why should Northern Ireland have all the fun?
- Do you provide training?
Yes. We offer group training sessions at GCD Technologies were any member of our Omega Team will deliver a training session for you and some of your colleagues (maximum 3). These are invoiced by the hour with the minimum length of an hour. For more information click here. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this option further.
- Can I print labels in Omega Church?
Yes you can print Labels in Omega Church, and they are highly customisable! There are 3 types of labels already set up, and you can modify what you want displayed on each. You can also create your own report using filters and sorting, choose the output type as Labels, and then choose whatever you want displayed on the labels. You can change the font size, font type or alignment for each row on the label.
- If I make a change in one part of Omega Church (e.g. date of birth), will it follow through to the others?
Yes, changes made in one part of Omega Church automatically follow through the whole system. Unlike some other church software programs, Omega uses one central database. This saves you all the hassle and potential error of having to make sure different databases are correctly "talking" to eachother, or, worse still, having to remember to update details (such as a new address or change of marital status) in several programs or spreadsheets!
- Can individuals be linked by family in the database?
In Omega Church the family is the main unit - even if it is a one-person family! Basically, you create families and then add individual members to it. The members are linked to the family. You can store more personal information on an individual compared to a family, such as marital status, employment status or date of birth. You can also add individuals to families, "marry" them, and assign them to roles such as parent or child. You can also move members between families. When you are viewing an individual in the Membership Section you can see other family members, and when viewing a family you can see all the individuals of the family.
- Will Omega Church provide accounts compliant with current charities legislation?
Omega Church provides the ability to record transactions in line with charities legislation, where every receipt or payment, as well as recording the bank account, also records the fund. As well as this, Omega Church provides several different charts of accounts categorised into a format suitable for use with current charities legislation, and a number of built in reports (such as the Statement of Financial Activities, Balance Sheet, Statement of Assets and Liabilities and so on) that allow your church to report on activities in a format compliant with current legislation.
- How many operators can I have?
You can create as many operators as you want to use Omega Church software, each with their own username and password. For each user you can set up permissions which will allow or deny them acess to any part of the program. On the standard network edition, our license is now site wide, allowing as many people as necessary to work on the program at the same time, within the network.
- Will Omega Church provide automatic gift aid claims?
Yes. As you record transactions in Omega Church, the software automatically builds up the transactions eligible for inclusion on a gift aid claim, meaning by the time you are ready to submit your claim, you simply go into the Gift Aid module, review the claim and click "Create Claim".
- Will Omega Church provide automatic bank reconciliation?
Yes. If you can download your bank statement into a CSV (Comma Separated Values) format (most banks provide a downloadable statement in this format) then you can upload this to Omega Church, which will then automatically "tick off" the transactions received based on this statement, saving you valuable time. Please note however, that this feature is only available for standing order income received from donors, and is not a feature for use in the accounts module, where the bank reconcile feature is not automatic.
- Can the information be accessed from home?
If you have Omega Church installed at the church on one PC, and have internet both at home and at the church, you can use Omega at home as long as you have left the church PC and the internet both turned on. You can use a free piece of software called logmein which will allow you to connect from your home PC and use Omega on the church PC. For more information on logmein visit LogMeIn. Logmein is not our Software and take no responsibility for it but recommend it for connecting to another PC.
- Can you transfer data from my existing church software/Excel spreadheet/Access database?
Yes, we offer a data import into Omega free of charge. This relies on you matching your existing data to our data import template, but this is very easy to do. As a rule, we do not import financial data. If you are interested in bringing your existing data into Omega, just let us know when ordering.
- What are the pricing options?
Omega has three different pricing options, depending on your church's needs. The Single Site license is £519, the Multi Site license is £769 and the Network license is £1099. All sterling prices already include VATat 15%. For full information on pricing, and what each version offers, click here
- What do I get in the support package?
Omega Church's support package offers great value, providing you online, email and telephone support for any query or issue. You also get unlimited program updates, with 2-3 updates usually released each year. As well as this, you receive a discount off a single Omega training session each time you renew your support contract. If you sign up to support when you purchase Omega Church, the first 3 months of support is free. For full details of Omega Church's support package, click here.
- Is the tax rate for gift aid claims customisable?
Yes. As the tax rate changes (as it did recently from 22% to 20%) you can make this change using Omega's configuration options.
- Will Omega run on Apple Mac?
Omega Church does not run natively on an Apple Mac, that is it is a Windows only product. However, you can run Omega through virtualization programs such as Parallels. This has been tested and works very well, with seamless performance within the Mac OS.
- If we sign up to support, would it be ok to opt out after a couple of years?
Yes you can opt of support although it is important to stress that you won't receive free upgrades to the software nor will you be able to get critical support should anything happen to your data. That's not something that happens too often but most people like to have the insurance! And of course support lets you call us about operational questions and queries too. Click here for more information about Omega Church's support package.
- How is backup handled?
For the Single and Multi User Editions of Omega Church, backups are handled using our very simple Backup tool. This saves a single backup file to a location of your choice. You will be prompted to back up the data every time you exit the program.
The Network Edition stores all data on a central database, and includes an automatic backup facility. However, you have the option to use your own backup tools as a further backup precaution.
- What about confidentiality? Can I keep parts of the system private from other users, such as pastoral or financial information?
You have the facility to grant or deny access to different parts of the program for different users. We take security and permissions very serously with Omega as we know how important your data is, and how some information should only be viewed by certain people. Setting up permissions is straightforward but ensures your data is secure.
- What about data security and protection from hackers?
The database software (see technical information) employed allows for much greater security of personal information than most of our competitors. Data is encrypted and cannot be accessed without a password embedded in the software itself. We can also recommend security measures to further protect your hard drive, allowing you full confidence that your data is safe and secure.
- When we go ahead with a purchase, do we get Omega Church on a disc or is it downloadable?
We will send you a disc with the software on it regardless, although we can provide you with a download link in the first instance if you prefer. If purchasing the network version, however, we will install the software for you, as it requires more complicated configuration. This installation will occur remotely.
- What computer specifications are required to run Omega?
Omega doesn't require a powerful computer, indeed any laptop or desktop purchased within the last 4-5 years should run Omega with no problems. For full technical requirements click here
- How are updates managed?
Updates to Omega Church are usually released 2-3 times per year and will be available on this website. When a new update is released we endeavor to contact you via email, and for major releases we will inform by post.
- Will Omega provide reports of over- and under-18s?
Yes, Omega's powerful yet easy to use reporting facility allows you to run reports on age and dates of birth.
- What is the difference between the multi user and network version of Omega?
The Multi User Edition of Omega Church allows you to have the program installed on as many computers as required, for example one on the church PC, one on the minister's home PC, one on the treasurer's home PC and so on. Each installation will be in a different geographical location, and we can offer advice on the best way to handle the data transfer between computers.
The Network Edition of Omega Church allows you have to have Omega installed on a local area network within one location. The data is stored on a central database, allowing for simultaneous access by each user on the network. The Network Edition is perhaps best suited for larger churches with a permanent church office, but churches of various sizes already use the Network Edition - it depends on your individual church's needs. We can offer advice on the best version of Omega for your church - just contact us
- Several people would need to access different parts of Omega Church. Can I install it on more than one computer? Do I need the Multi User or Network Edition?
Yes Omega Church can be installed on more than one computer in either the multi-user or network edition. Network is advisable if you want to connect several computers within one building, and allows for simultaneous access. Multi-user would be more appropriate if, for example, you wanted it installed on the church pc and also on the minister's and/or treasurer's home pc.