"Doing the books" doesn't have to be overwhelming

Farmers, as a rule, like to farm. They like to put seed in the ground, watch it grow, and harvest it, or raise livestock and put up feed. Some farmers like to do other things: work in the shop, attend conferences, or maybe serve on boards. Somewhat more rare, though, are farmers that like to do books. For all those farmers that do not find accounting stimulating, crunching numbers are keeping accounts in line can be down-right painful.

Dean Klippenstine is a partner and business advisor with MNP, and what he likes to do for farmers is break down the accounting into bite-sized pieces so that farmers don’t feel so overwhelmed by the task. He gave a presentation at CropConnect at Winnipeg, Man., and also stopped by the RealAgriculture mobile studio to share some of his thoughts.

Klippenstine says accountants have the luxury of experience. “You may only work in your own internal farm, but we see 400 (sets of books) every year,” he says. Because of this experience they can help farmers avoid some pitfalls they may otherwise fall prey to.

Farmers should view their financial information in the light of a few important numbers in order to make it easier to understand, according to Klippenstine. He says farmers should have some simple rules of thumb and understanding because then it’s not as scary. When something is better understood, farmers are more willing to discuss it, rather than the default which is too often to stick their head in the sand, he says.

Watch the entire interview with MNP’s Dean Klippenstine and RealAgriculture’s Dale Leftwich below.

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