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Getting “farming in the cloud” all Figured out

Posted 4 months ago in Small business by Paul Churchman
Posted by Paul Churchman

Fieldays is always such a fantastic time of the year. Not just for farmers or other businesses in agriculture, but also the financial team behind them that support them to do what they do best.

As Xero’s new New Zealand Head of Agribusiness, I’m looking forward to working closer than ever with our top rural accounting and banking partners to help them better support businesses like yours. Whether you’re a new or existing Xero user, Fieldays is a great chance to meet us and learn more about Xero’s ecosystem of advisors, tools, and advice to help you get the best of your business’ finances.

The Xero stand at Fieldays 2017

Agri and farming business owners are typically the type to be “do everything” people, from managing their staff, maintenance on their machinery, and dealing with suppliers and other business relationships. Small business owners also tend to look after their financial accounts on top of all of their other responsibilities and tasks. But with financial management seen as the less glamorous side of the business, it can easily be pushed to one side and chucked on the “to do later” list.

However, there is a more efficient way to make accounting less complex. Four years ago, Xero teamed up with farming technology partner Figured to bring our idea of “Farming in the Cloud” to rural businesses. Our whole aim is to achieve more data flow, rather than more data entry. Using the power of cloud to connect the people and organisations that make up a farming team – the banker, accountant, farmer, and farm consultant – we allowed them the ability to work from a single, online ledger, and connect to an ecosystem of online tools and apps that support a business to do their best work.

This year we’re also launching our new agri reporting template. For accountants working with agriculture clients, these templates are Special Purpose Financial Reporting compliant and are in the layout prescribed by the Rural Advisory Committee. They’re going to make reporting so much easier and more understandable for farmers and accountants alike, and I’m confident they’re going to be considered the benchmark for agri reporting in New Zealand.

It’s also important for bankers to proactively come up with ways to support farmers and agriculture businesses, which is why I think the commitment shown by organisations like ASB and BNZ to fund farmers on software like Figured is a great example of collaborative support.

In the end it is planning, thorough budgets, reliable information, that are key ingredients for good farm management. Now, with Xero and Figured, you can do more than just manage your finances, and gain a better understanding of your data to help you plan ahead and succeed in business.

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