October 31, 2022|
No matter what your background is, you probably know from experience that having the best tools possible is part of getting the job done right.
A farmer may take pride in a new tractor or even cutting-edge GIS technology, but those tools may look different when it comes to agriculture associations. Successfully supporting farmers and advocating for agriculture policy may come down to having effective software solutions.
That’s why it’s not enough to find an accounting solution that works for your agriculture association — to fulfill your association’s mission, the best solution is required. Truly outstanding accounting software does more than show account balances and process transactions. It positions your association for more effective decision-making.
The same is true for farms themselves. Even if accounting software isn’t as exciting as a new tractor, it can even affect how a farm runs — whether it succeeds or fails. It will need to support effective decision-making and scale with the farm.
But what is the best farm accounting software choice for farmers and the agriculture associations that support them? Let’s look at some of the options and determining factors.
Generally speaking, accounting software is a tool to automate your accounting processes. Like most AgTech, it improves efficiency, sustainability and profitability.
Some farm accounting software solutions allow you to generate analytical reports and make better-informed decisions. They also enable asset tracking, payment processing, time tracking for association employees, inventory management, expense reports, income statements and more.
Utilizing software makes it easy to build a financial history of your operations. Tracking your progress makes it easier to get a clear picture of what practices and purchases have worked best for your operations to help guide future farm operations.
Having a complete, accurate set of books makes tax filing much easier and will help tremendously if you are audited. Utilizing software for your bookkeeping also reduces the chance of mathematical errors which are often red flags to the IRS for an audit.
In the business world, more and more companies of all sizes are turning to the cloud for software and storage solutions. Utilizing cloud technology provides data security, cost savings and efficiency, while improving collaboration and productivity.
As cybercrime and data breaches are continuously in the news, you may find it difficult to believe cloud technology is secure. However, cloud service providers understand that to sell their service, they have to utilize the best security measures available and follow all security guidance. This leads to another advantage, automatically updated software.
Cloud service providers regularly update all cloud-based software to the latest versions to maintain their security. This is an added benefit to the user at no additional cost. With software such as QuickBooks Desktop, you have to keep it and your security measures upgraded yourself.
Additional savings are found using cloud-based software as the cloud service provider generally allows you to pay for the amount of space you need. As your business grows, you can easily purchase more space. Conversely, if you store your data, you will have to invest in hard drives and other such hardware to accommodate and protect your data.
In addition to the benefits mentioned already, one of the cloud-based software’s key features is that it provides freedom for farmers. Unlike many business owners, farmers are usually away from the office. This makes the need for mobile accounting and remote access to financial information even more important.
From a connected device such as a smartphone or tablet, cloud-based software provides real-time access to financial management data. This allows a farmer to synchronize transactions by connecting bank and credit card accounts. They can also scan or take pictures of receipts, invoices or other important documents to save into transactions immediately.
Whether operating a single farm or leasing multiple locations, cloud-based accounting solutions allow employees to make rapid decisions from any location. Those decisions can be based on actual costs and cash-based balance sheets for improved farm management.
By utilizing cloud-based accounting software, farmers are also secure in knowing their financial records are safe. Recent natural disasters such as tornados, wildfires, and floods show how risky it is to keep a business’ financial information on hardware that can easily be lost forever or stolen.
So how do you decide which software will best meet your accounting needs? First, you need to decide exactly what you want your software to do. Also, consider whether you prefer an industry-specific software option.
If you are looking strictly for cloud-based accounting software, you may consider something like QuickBooks Online or Sage Intacct. With software such as these, you can monitor the performance of your farm from a connected device.
Perhaps you’re ready to take advantage of all the tools that cloud-based accounting software can provide. Download our free agriculture association playbook to get started.
At enSYNC, we want to empower associations and nonprofits to make well-educated decisions. If you want our industry knowledge (and other free guides) sent directly to your inbox, fill out the form below.