A missing piece of the farm accountancy puzzle has fallen into place with the launch of Figured - an online farm financial package launched at the recent Xero conference.
As a former partner in a rural accounting firm, and a farmer, David Marshall felt for a long time there had to be a more efficient way of managing farm finances.
Working with farm investment company MyFarm, which is responsible for managing more than 50 farms, Marshall says he became increasingly frustrated at not having the right financial information at his fingertips.
“We were trying to communicate how well the farms were running or if there were issues looming but we seemed to be reporting different results, using different systems and getting different answers.”
Enter Carl McDonald, also an accountant, farmer and part of the MyFarm team.
Not only did he share their frustrations, he also understood what was technically possible through the ‘cloud’.
The pair, backed by MyFarm and two silent investors, partnered up with Wellington based software development company Hashbang and set about developing New Zealand’s first complete farm livestock reporting, cash planning and rolling forecasting tool, in real time.
After successful trials with MyFarm dairy and sheep and beef farms, the value for any farming operation, big or small, became apparent. It was time to talk to Xero. Marshall says Figured needed what Xero had as its platform and likewise, Xero were encouraging farming add-on partners.
“We were providing the final piece of the puzzle.”
Figured project director Duncan Anderson says it will give accountants the opportunity to play a significant role in the financial management of the farming business because both parties will know everything about the financial position of the business – in real time and at any time.
Anderson says there is already overseas interest in the product and there are no barriers to international use.