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Leading change in the agri industry: Fieldays 2017

Posted 4 months ago in Advisors by Paul Churchman
Posted by Paul Churchman

“Life is full of disruptions, but it’s how we deal with them that determines our success.”

That’s the key message I took away from today’s dedicated focus by Xero on dozens of rural sector accountants and bookkeepers at Fieldays 2017. Many of our partners work with customers who export globally, and they’re keen to do the best they can to help them be as competitive as they can internationally.

With free coffee flowing from the barista bar at the Xero stand, partners were welcomed to Fieldays by Craig Hudson, Xero’s Country Manager, and myself before setting off to take in the sights and sounds of Fieldays.

It was great to get the group in front of Conor English, Agribusiness New Zealand chairman and former Federated Farmers chief executive (also, brother to the Prime Minister Bill English), who spoke to us about being prepared for change and disruption in the agriculture industry as technology becomes more and more embraced in the sector.

No matter the size of the company, most business owners (especially in the rural and agriculture sector) talk about wanting to be more efficient and productive so they can keep on top of trends and changes in their industry, but few really know how to make or embrace improvements to their working day.

But that’s where dedicated partners like ours come in. They’re the financial whizzes, the brains that help decipher the numbers behind a business. Farmers didn’t go to university to learn good financial management – accountants and bookkeepers did. They’ve got the knowledge and the power to help people run a business more smoothly, which is why I think it’s so important that accountants and bookkeepers today move towards becoming advisors to those small businesses, rather than just “number crunchers.”

The days of a farmer or small business dropping off a box of receipts to their accountant every month or so should be dead and buried. There’s no excuse for it in today’s age of technology, now that farmers and businesses can send and reconcile invoices from their mobile phone while they’re out in the field!

I’ve got a lot of hope and confidence in those accountants and bookkeepers today who’re embracing this move to advisory services. They’re the ones who’ll add most value to a business, and help them to grow and prosper and continue to boost our economy at the same time.

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