How cloud farming helps you make informed decisions

Clinton Miller
6 November 2022
5 min read

7 November 2022

Agribusinesses have always been subject to volatility but recent global factors such as COVID-19 supply chain disruptions, climate change policy and geopolitical instability has only increased the pressure the sector is under to be responsive to a rapidly changing business landscape.

The industry’s tried and tested processes have been subject to ever quickening evolutionary steps to meet the demands of this new business landscape. Manual methods of farm recordkeeping and accounting are now becoming increasingly archaic, with most farmers having internet access, web and app-based software programs are becoming widespread.

This is creating significant benefits for companies, such as real-time data, time efficiency, security, and accessibility.

The importance of cloud accounting in agribusiness

Technological advancements have led to improvements that are present in most sectors, including farming. Agribusinesses in New Zealand are therefore tapping into this technology to improve efficiency by producing more with fewer inputs. Innovations are also helping farmers make accurate decisions about sustainable farming.

This increased thirst for technology by New Zealand farmers is not slowing down anytime soon and it’s clear why; access to technology such as cloud accounting not only supports decision making and enhances productivity, but it also ensures agribusinesses stay competitive. In the past, it was not always possible to get such critical financial information on time or to reflect on the true financial viewpoint – but that’s all changed.

Farmers can use the cloud for record-keeping and to check that financial accounts are up to date. With on-demand access to data, farm financial management becomes much more agile.

Benefits of accessing real-time financial data

Traditional accounting packages are not always up to date. Therefore, key decision-makers don't have access to information that can be used in making business decisions. Here are some benefits of using cloud accounting to access on-demand financial data for your New Zealand agribusiness.

Faster and more reliable

Time is of the essence, and you don't have to wait for months to get the information you need. With real-time reporting, you get faster and more reliable information that helps you evaluate possible outcomes quickly and accurately via any device. It’s hard to take business action if you don't have relevant information. Better metrics on how your farm is performing allows for data-driven decisions on ways to minimise working costs and improve profitability.

Simpler and less time consuming

Accounting can be challenging for farmers but with cloud farming you can accurately track your finances on the go and filter your visibility, depending on the data you are looking for. This streamlined approach means you’ll spend less time in the office compiling statistics and more time focusing on growing your farming business.

Unlike traditional accounting, where projects are worked on manually and months could pass before you see any results, cloud accounting sees you spending less time trying to locate information because you can access data from one place. All data is saved and backed up, which means you don't have to start your records from scratch.

Ability to collaborate and share data

Farming in the cloud can boost collaboration among farming teams and departments, consultants, accountants, and bankers thanks to the shareability of data and the range of features available, which all point towards better business outcomes.

With the traditional approach, you had limited access to your accounts, therefore, collaboration was difficult. Your accountant had to send emails back and forth if they needed specific numbers. However, with cloud accounting, you can access the same data from any location. Collaboration is as easy as logging into the cloud accounting software.

Budgeting and scenario planning

With cloud farming, you can set a base budget and test various external impacts on your business without the need for complex spreadsheets. Therefore, the budgeting and planning process is within easy reach.

You can set up your budget quickly since real-time data financing gives you greater power. Cloud accounting allows you to view budgets and track your business' budget performance with actual budget comparisons. Accounting deals not only with income and expenditure but also with other areas of your business, like inventory farm management, forecasting, budgeting, payroll, and taxation. You can view your budgets and track your agribusiness budget performance.

Navigating change with Findex

Cloud farming is an excellent way for farming businesses to manage their finances, but it's not always smooth sailing. Some frustration when trying out a new product is inevitable. When you decide to go with cloud accounting, it’s important to have the right mix of products to get the most out of the software and that’s where we can help.

At Findex, we help make the process easier and support farmers by assessing their current software against their business needs, handling the setup, and providing the relevant training or facilitating the switch to a more suitable software bundle. Change might seem daunting at first, but knowing you have access to continued support can make all the difference.

Want to learn more? Our Partners combine accounting and business advisory skills with hands on experience and offer a unique breadth of services, including tax advisory, internal audit, risk insurance and wealth management to meet all your financial needs in one place. To see how we can help your agribusiness, get in touch with us today.

See our disclosure information on our website.

Sources

Acuity, Rural accountants busier than ever as farming clients brace for rising costs, August 2022

IbisWorld, Agribusiness in New Zealand Market Research Report, July 2022

Stuff, How technology is changing the face of our farming, December 2018

Author: Clinton Miller | Partner

With more than 25 years’ experience Clinton has an extensive accounting and business advisory background which enables him to assist clients to make better business decisions. He works closely with them to identify the real issues and offers down to earth cost-effective solutions to help them achieve their goals. Clinton’s skills enable him to deliver a wide range of business advice to clients with businesses of varying sizes across a wide range of industries including agriculture, retails, service industries, building, property development, and not for profit charities. A family background in farming has helped Clinton to work closely with clients in the agriculture industry especially when dealing with farm succession and business planning. He places importance on effectively operating as a team with clients, working through issues and identifying solutions that work for them.