Ed Whiting isn’t one to shy away from technology. In fact, running three farms means technology is crucial to keep them all going. The chicken sheds on his poultry farm are computer controlled, so food and water levels can be checked instantly, and shed temperatures and humidity can be automatically set and monitored.
As the owner of Airport Farm, Ed is acutely aware of how technical innovation can help with the success of his business. Using the latest technology, he’s made work more efficient and has had substantial success in calf rates and reduced his animal health costs.
But when it came to managing his finances, Ed wasn’t making the best use of Xero – his cloud-based accounting software – and Figured – his farm management system.
He was tracking his development expenditure and progress using spreadsheets, which not only took up a lot of his time but also opened the business up to potential data inaccuracies and even profit loss.
With multiple revenue streams to manage and a huge capital development project, Ed became overwhelmed with the amount of information coming in. So, he hired an administrator to keep things on track.
Using Xero to process their day-to-day transactions and generate GST returns made life easier, but they still weren’t using Xero to its full capacity – and they were barely using Figured at all.
Getting up to date with Xero and Figured
Working with Amanda Burling, his accountant at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in Taranaki, Ed was shown what his business could achieve by using the true functionality of both Xero and Figured together.
“Seeing Ed’s reaction when we explained it all was priceless,” says Amanda. “All of his issues would be solved without the need to have a spreadsheet tracking everything in the background.”
Figured has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the agricultural industry. And with multi-farm functionality, Ed can either budget per farm or on a consolidated basis, and the software includes production tracking, real-time budgeting and planning, as well as various reporting options.
Once he had been set up correctly on both Figured and Xero, Ed and Amanda were able to get accurate real-time information that meant they could easily access and identify how his capital development project was tracking.
And Amanda was able to see that Ed was going to be short on funding to complete the project. With an updated forecast and access to actual spend-to-date reports, Ed and Amanda were able to clearly see overspends, under budgeting, and what the shortfall was going to be.
“With all this information available, it meant that obtaining additional funding was relatively straightforward,” says Amanda.
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