Accounting in the cloud coming soon for farmers

More than a few Marlborough farmers attended the 2014 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays in Waikato last week. Fieldays is a great opportunity for farmers to take some time off the farm, catch up with suppliers and reps, hear about the latest in farming innovations and relax.

Greg Newman

More than a few Marlborough farmers attended the 2014 New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays in Waikato last week.

Fieldays is a great opportunity for farmers to take some time off the farm, catch up with suppliers and reps, hear about the latest in farming innovations and relax.

One of the not-so-sexy services unveiled there last week, was the cloud-based accounting software Figured on Farm.

I know your mind started to wander at the first mention of accounting, but just bear with me, because the software is expected to be a bit of a game changer for farm accounting.

Figured on Farm has been designed to work with the cloud-based accounting software Xero.  While many of our commercial and small business clients have successfully switched to Xero, only a very few of our farming clients are using it, simply because we know farmers have a different business models and set of requirements.

I’ve been trialling a development version of Figured on Farms for the past month or so. It has been challenging but it is exciting to be involved in the development of this new software which looks set to be a bit of a ground breaker for farming accounting.

We are one of the few accounting firms in the country to have received the opportunity to “play” with this new software, and even in these early stages, I can tell it has some really useful features that will be enormously beneficial for our agricultural-based clients.

As we know, farmers generally run on a cash-based accounting system. Farmers are more concerned about the here-and-now, rather than end-of-year statements. Figured on Farming looks set to solve the issue of farmers’ end-of-year accounts looking completely different to their cash position, by delivering real-time cash, budgeting and stock on hand positions, which will be integrated with profit and loss.

The reporting and compliance process will also be fulfilled with far greater efficiency, allowing us to keep the bank managers and IRD happy, but with less time spent on the books.

Other benefits include:

● Farmers, accountants and advisors are all on the same page.

● A true picture of profit achieved at any time.

● Immediate feedback on financial results of recent farming decisions.

● Documents and invoices are stored in the cloud saving time on chasing documents.

● Useful farm management measures such as $/ha, $/Kg Milk Solids and $/Stock Unit.

It may not be the most exciting development you heard about at Field Days last week, but we hope you get the chance to check it out.

The Winstanley Kerridge agri-business team are continuing to familiarise themselves with Figured on Farming, and welcome you to contact us with any queries about the software.

Greg Newman is a Winstanley Kerridge associate and agri-business specialist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3mqdgk11g4