Current living trends continue to demonstrate that versatile individuals continue to get ahead in many ways. Likewise, modern farmers need to not only be growers/producers but also professional business managers. And, just like any other business owner, having clarity regarding your farm’s accounting is crucial to your overall financial success.
Farm accounting begins with proper bookkeeping.
While many generic accounting options such as a spreadsheet or a physical book can meet a farm’s record keeping needs, an accounting software is more ideal as it saves a lot of time, money and effort due to process automation. A software would also offer valuable insight necessary for decision making and generally give a glimpse of how a business is performing financially, therefore helping with the making of future budgets.
Today is as good as any day for agribusinesses to consider using a software, especially now that development of farm accounting software has become its own niche in the technology industry.
Software companies have realized that accounting for a farm is much different than accounting for a construction company or a retail store. In that sense, a farm accounting software is designed with farmers in mind and can provide features, functionalities, benefits, and reports specific to the farming industry. For instance, while a manufacturing company may buy many pieces of raw materials to create finished goods in a set amount of time, farmers buy seeds, fertilizer, and tools to help their products grow, the same produce can only be harvested after a long period of time. Farming business becomes more seasonal in that aspect, and the ideal accounting software ought to take those situations into account.
Benefits of using a Farm Accounting Software
- Simple and fast data entry capabilities
- Improved accuracy due to reduction of human errors such as transposition of figures and incorrect or incomplete recording of transactions
- Better decision making due to automation of in-depth financial reports and analysis like cash flows, balance sheet, profit and loss and aging reports
- Improved productivity by reduction of approval processes
- Automation of tasks and processes such as invoicing, calculating VAT, filing taxes, and payrolls.
- Integration with other systems, such as online banking and e-filing for secure data storage
With this in mind, you must be wondering where to start and which farm accounting software to go for.
Below are examples of off-the-shelf, farm-specific accounting software that would be ideal for your agribusiness;
Farm Biz and Ultra Farm Accounting
Farm Biz is an entry level accounting software package that is specifically developed for farm businesses. It has a specially designed chart of accounts for your farming business’ needs.
And how great is this! The software does not require complex bookkeeping or accounting experience to operate.
It is a desktop-based farm accounting software, meaning you do not have to have an internet connection to use it; just ensure to have a good backup protocol in place to protect you from accidental data loss.
Getting the Farm Biz software requires a one-time purchase price of about Ksh. 27,000 with no monthly maintenance charges, making it the most cost-effective and easy to use accounting solution for your farming business.
If you need more robust features than those included in Farm Biz, their sister product; Ultra Farm Accounting, is a good next-step-up option. Ultra Farm Accounting integrates Payroll, Invoicing, Cheque Writing, Enterprise Analysis, and Perpetual Inventory. It also includes customized reporting like Aged Accounts Receivable, Cash Flows, Crop Break-even, Livestock Analysis, Balance Sheet with supporting schedules, Schedule F for your tax return filing, and more. Purchase price for this is software is a one-off fee of about Ksh. 60,000.