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A blueprint for Farming

One of our objectives this year was to make some progress on Xero for Farming. Today we’re releasing a Farming Integration guide that provides a blueprint for seamless farming and accounting software. We have a number of providers with solutions in progress.

Farm solutions have traditionally included farm management and accounting. They are also traditionally disconnected from other software. The farmer works away on forecasts, livestock and fertilizer planning on their software while the accountant in town often processes bank transactions from the bank statements – the same work being done twice.

We’re solving this problem by helping farm solution providers use our API to connect the farm management side of their business to accounting in Xero. Here’s our thinking:

How Xero works with farming

If you’re an accountant with farming clients, or if you develop farming solutions, you can see the detail behind this diagram along with a roadmap in our farming integration guide.

If you work in or around the farming industry, here’s what these connections mean for you:

For farmers

  • Fully-integrated solution for managing your farm(s)
  • Real-time, accurate farming and business information online
  • Reduced compliance costs
  • Easily share information and collaborate with key stakeholders: financial advisors, banks, off-farm shareholders, rural advisors
  • Power of Xero for the farming sector: direct bank feeds, multi-user, expense management, access from anywhere on any device
  • Many rural feeds and specialised farming add-ons coming available to ease the collection or input of farm data
  • A platform for ongoing innovation that will unlock investment from numerous new technology suppliers
  • In time access to rural benchmarking information

For accountants and rural advisors

  • Efficient basic farm compliance for all rural clients from shoebox up to corporate farms
  • Better collaboration with clients
  • Greater farm performance reporting
  • Significantly reduced costs to serve

For farming solution providers

  • Platform allows providers to focus on what they are passionate about: improving farm performance
  • Access to Xero’s channels to market, especially the accountants’ network
  • Platform for integrated multi-vendor solutions that integrate for access to real-time financial data
  • Benefit from the network effectives of the small business cloud ecosystem

Rural suppliers

  • Cost savings by providing at scale EDI for invoicing and ordering
  • Loyalty opportunities
  • New payment opportunities
  • Better connections with rural customers

Rural banks

  • Accurate and real time information to assist with lending management
  • Ability to more cost effectively work alongside farming customers and provider more frequent advice

Two big New Zealand players have made some major progress to integrate their farm solutions with Xero – MyFarm and Cashmanager RURAL. Here’s what they had to say:

“We are excited to have built great software so Xero can do great things for farmers and their advisors. The product is in beta testing and we are looking forward to unveiling it at Xerocon in February” Andrew Watters, Director, MyFarm

“Our online strategy is all about making the sharing of data a natural part of our applications to ensure farmers and accountants don’t have to enter data twice. The development path XERO has outlined shows great promise for simplifying the process.” Brian Eccles, Director, Cashmanager RURAL

We’re aiming to demo and launch farming Add-on partners who are ready to go live at Xerocon NZ in February.

Thank you to the teams at BDO, CRS, Ballance, MyFarm, FarmIQ, Winstanley Kerridge and numerous other Xero partners for helping us pull this together.

Agribusiness is a key sector in all Xero markets, so we are excited to finally be a part of helping the sector grow. If you want to know more, get in touch at farming@xero.com.

 

Read more about Accountants

 

9 comments

Gayle Buchanan
25 October 2013 #

How exciting for the farming industries (nice one team) will enjoy this seeing this in Feb14

Jerry Zhao
25 October 2013 #

great timing! My client will love this. Doing in Excel for now… :S

Matthew Woolnough
29 October 2013 #

sorry but this falls short of being of any real interest to farmers, this is farming for accountants with little engagement from the farmer. if anyone can knows how to develop add ons please feel free to contact me as our firm has a great interest in developing a useful farming add on.

Ronan Quirke
30 October 2013 #

@Matthew I think we are on the same page. We are setting out the stall as to how we see farming, apps and accounting come together, we now want to do all we can to encourage innovation in the space – we want to see some great add-ons too.

I see you have posted in our developer community – expect an email from the developer relations team shortly also, we will see what we can do to help out.

Gina Rattrie
30 October 2013 #

Will there be any bank feeds from Fonterra, RD1 etc? That would make Xero alot easier for farmers to use. Great to see all of this progress going ahead

Sheree
30 October 2013 #

I’m in my first year of organic farming and beekeeping. This development just sold me on Xero. I’ve been researching options and hoping that Xero would be moving forward with a farming accounting system.

Ben Richmond
5 November 2013 #

@Gina Rattrie
We currently have feeds in place for CRT, Rabobank and are in discussions with the other major suppliers on getting the feeds direct into the product. Receipt Bank one of our add-on partners is also beta testing a rural feed solution which handles all rural feeds farming feeds. They are hoping to have this live near the end of the year.

angela
11 March 2014 #

Hi Ben, please can you send me a farming chart of accounts if its ready!
thanks

Ben Richmond
14 March 2014 #

@angela Thanks for the message- email me on farming@xero.com and I can send you all the info.

Cheers
Ben

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