In the Office

All topics about the business of farming


  • Anna : @Pet-Cow Our accountant also has access to our database, it is really helpful for when I have a query and at the end of the financial year too. I have given them 'Read' access only but I know others give their accountant's 'Write' access and they find that beneficial. If you decide to give your accountant access. here's a helpful guide on how to do it: Access to Cashmanager Rural

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  • Annie : Closing A Financial Year Follow this link to our Help Centre to find all the info you will need to close a financial year... https://community.crssoftware.co.nz/topic/162/how-do-i-close-a-financial-year *in your Cashmanager database you can have two financial years open at any time, so if you already have two open you will need to close off the oldest one in order to open your next year

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  • Deanne : @RuaFarm Hi, sounds like you need to open the 2018 financial year, to allow transactions from June onward to come into your transaction screen. Check out the following link, for details on how to open the new financial year https://community.crssoftware.co.nz/topic/168/how-do-i-create-a-new-financial-year

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  • Jo : Hi @RuaFarm MBIE have some really great resources all for when an employee leaves your business, including checklists! They've also got a whole section on employing and managing staff. It looks like a great little website with helpful resources.

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  • Jo : Hi @ilovefarming Please feel free to contact our Helpdesk at any time. It's what the team at CRS are here for; no question is too silly. You can phone the team on 0800 888 080 number between 8.45am - 7pm weekdays. Or try Live Chat, 8.45am - 9pm weekdays, while you're logged into the Help Centre or community forum. In the meantime, have a look at this helpful topic that explains why your livestock age at balance date (the end of your financial year), and how best to code stock transactions in your Cashmanager database. Cheers Jo

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  • Rebecca Harper : I recently wrote about our progression (we started leasing and are now in an equity partnership):

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  • Rebecca Harper : We've created a new succession guide that will help people get started - this resource is free to download from the CRS Software website, you can get it here: Farm Succession - Getting Started - Cashmanager RURAL

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  • becgreaves : I've also signed up for the AWDT protecting your team programme - really interested to see what we will get out of it. I have done all our health and safety stuff myself, after attending a B+LNZ workshop (as mentioned earlier). I have also done a number of training courses - quad bike, chainsaw and tractors through Summit Safety, which is based in Pongaroa. I am doing a First Aid course, also through Summit Safety, next week.

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  • Leanne : I believe its most import to be given your Contract and allowed at least a couple of days to have a 2nd or third pair of eyes or legal representative go over it, special if you are moving from a manager to contractor or sharemilker as there may be added parts to the contract that may or may not know how they can affect you and if you don’t understand you may be caught off guard.

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  • Anna : Not wishing to confuse you further, but it could be worth talking to your accountant about how to code it? I'm pretty sure you can claim the gst when you purchase the item (i.e. the items will show up as being purchased and you can just code them to their relevent code) and then code the 'Portion not yet due for payment' part to deferred expenses, as it acts like a credit. I hope that makes sense - but it really is probably best to talk to your accountant who can explain it better!

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  • Anna : Hi Mickael, I hope your research project is going well so far! I think you may find that contract milkers prices vary in accordance with how large their farm-related expenses are, and their level of experience/skill and thus it may be important to take that into account when considering the differences over years/between regions? As far as I'm aware, contract milker's allocated price is worked out like this: Total budgeted expenses for the season + appropriate management fee/profit = total income required. Divide this by the budgeted milk solids for the season. So for example, a contract milker receiving $1.20/kgMS may have higher overhead costs and therefore may make the same profit as one who receives $1.10/kgMS but who has less overhead costs (in this example they both produce the same amount of milk solids). Here's a good article which goes into a little more detail about the upsides and pitfalls of contract milking: Farmers Weekly | I hope that makes sense? All the best!

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  • Michugonnet : Hi everybody, I am a French PhD candidate in Geography, and I would appreciate some help... I conduct a research project looking at the transformations of dairy farming in New Zealand over the last 30 years. The rise of contract milking has been an important part of this, and I would like to know how the price paid to contract milkers fluctuated over the years. So if you were contract milking during past seasons, could you please take 5 minutes to answer this short survey http://questionnaire.simplesurvey.com/Engine/Default.aspx?surveyID=9a64ff77-f491-496e-b15c-f536f2dd6f71&lang=EN ? That would be very helpful for me. Please note that this is completely anonymous. If you want to get a copy of my work once finished (end of 2017), please e-mail me at hugonnet.mickael@gmail.com. I thank you very much for your help. NB : Sorry for my englsih, it is not my native language. Mickaël.

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  • Annie : For us... Any invoices we need to send out for the previous month I email out before the 10th, for payment by the 20th. All the invoices that arrive get tucked away through the month. Generally around the 17th (once most of them are in) I sort through them all and leave them out for James to look through (this can take a few days and a bit of nagging... ). If there are any discrepancies or mistakes then I will get them sorted then pay them all on the 19th or 20th. I use the Wagebook in Cashmanager so filing the PAYE is easy as I can import the IR348 directly in to myIR and then set up the payment online. Generally in the first few days of a new month I will import the previous months transactions (into Cashmanager) and code them all. (Although now that we have Bank Feeds set up I sometimes code transactions mid month as they come in, which is quite good as it seems like less of a big job!). I then file all the invoices away, but in A-Z dividers, oldest- newest... that makes more sense for me for some reason... When GST is due I file that through myIR, nice and simple. Generally after a GST period I update my revised view, re-look at the budget and make any necessary changes. I then email a newsletter and updated reports to our equity partners. My go-to reports are Performance Summary, Stock Reconcilliation, Cashflow and expanded Cashflow Detail.

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  • Anna : Hmmm ok so is 16 hours the way to go? I can't help but wonder about the effects on the people (it's kind of like long-term shift work isn't it, it can play havoc with your body clock) but I know some people who did it all last season and it worked well - they felt they had a bit more free time. Interestingly, DairyNZ research says that "Milking cows three times every two days (~16 hour milking interval) will not reduce milk production unless dry matter intake is also reduced" I presume that's in comparison to a 2AD milk production level? I would have expected a small drop in production (as theoretically, the more frequently a cow is milked, the more milk they produce). Does anyone else do 16hr milkings? Either all season or at the end of the season?

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  • Anna : Yes absolutely agree with the phone, we very rarely use our landline for social reasons! And we also constantly have work-related things happening, whether it's staff coming in for a planning meeting or the consultant or the various reps.... I think I will have to find the time to write something to IRD.... wish me luck!

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  • Anna : Whilst I'm not a sheep and beef farmer, as an employer I fully agree with @duynie, attitude is key! I know of several situations where an employer has actually chosen a person with less experience over someone with more, as the less experienced person had a better 'can-do', positive attitude and showed real desire to learn and get ahead.

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  • Annie : We are involved in two equity partnerships. The most recent partnership is still in it's first financial year. We were fortunate that we had friends who were keen to be involved (and also manage the property) and the bank put us in touch with the other two parties. I do the budgeting and admin for the partnership and my husband has an overseeing role within the business. For us, a good relationship with the Bank and networking was invaluable in finding our partners and also having a good reputation meant that people were keen to be involved. We looked at quite a few farms, and put offers in on two others before securing the property. It was a real journey to get it going. Lots of meetings, reports, budgets, emails etc. We made sure we used a good lawyer and have clear processes in place, for example if anyone wants money out. Our initial budgets were all very conservative, with the thinking that it is better to under-promise and over-deliver, rather than the other way around. I think it's important to have goals set (particularly around repaying debt vs taking $ out) and understand what each partner wants out of the deal... hunting access, learn about farming, keep a horse, regular drive around... whatever it may be. One of our main focuses (and I think one of the keys to a successful partnership) is communication. The partners put in a lot of money so I think it's really important to keep everyone in the loop, give them some value. I do an update roughly every 2 months with updated budget and reports and also a newsletter, which is laid out like the front page of a newspaper. The newsletter is basically an update with what has been going on, with an explanation of why certain decisions have been made, a word from the farm manager, a Health and Safety update and any other info of interest. I also normally put in a photo or something to liven it up. The non-farming partners seem to enjoy getting this. The reports are great but the newsletter is a bit easier to digest, especially for people without a farming background. We also keep in touch with the other partners through phone and email in between. It's made clear that they can ring any time if they have any queries. I think it's also really important to build a relationship with the other partners and have a bit of fun! Get together for a meal, a catch up at duck shooting etc.

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  • Frankie : Thanks @racheljoblin . It has come to light that as a couple we need to get out in the community and make the most of each opportunity that comes our way. Education plays a huge role in this also, I have completed a Massey Diploma in Agriculture but still wanting to develop my knowledge further- there are a great number of seminars and courses running in our area and we need to utilize these.

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