At nearly 140 years old, Marlborough’s Caythorpe Family Estate has had to remain ahead of the game to stay relevant and successful in a changing landscape.

The farm was established in 1880 on 50 hectares of land and was home to red clover and cereal crops before Lincoln ewes were introduced in 1891.

In 2019, the farm has grown to 190 hectares in size and has diversified to include sheep and beef farming, a cherry orchard and vineyards.

Murray Bishell and his sons Scott and Simon are fourth and fifth generation farmers at Caythorpe and have been working alongside WK Advisors and Accountants to streamline their administrative processes while diversifying their operations.

WK Manager, Kim Marshall, says the team has been proactive in modernising their work.

“What I love about working with Caythorpe is, they are really industry leaders, not laggers, so we suggest something to them and they’re straight on board,” she says.

WK has worked closely with Caythorpe on digitising their accounts process, enabling them more time to get into the physical work on the farm.

“With Scott, it was, ‘hey I’m bogged down in the admin work, I want to get out on the farm and do that side of it’, so it was what we could do for his business to get him back out there,” Kim says.

“We moved to Figured and Xero and it allows Scott much more time to be out on the farm.”

Scott says he recommends WK as an accountant to anyone looking to start a new business without hesitation.

“We’ve gone from a paper-based accounting system,  now we’re fully electronic … paying my invoices, what used to be a four or five-hour job I can now do in under 15 minutes,” Scott says.

As a multi-generational family, with Scott and Simon’s own children, the sixth generation now on the farm, governance and succession matters represent important challenges for Caythorpe and a key part of the relationship with WK moving forward…

“Family businesses like this bring their own intricacies to a governance structure so it’s about understanding that as well and moving forth with a new generation,” WK director Vaughan Harris says.