Content supplied by Xero
Online accounting software company Xero announced today its new ‘Farming in the Cloud’ solution, which brings real-time, single ledger reporting to the farm for the first time, will be ready to go to market mid-year 2014.
The solution allows farmers and their accountants, banks and rural service companies to work together from the same set of online, real-time data, and will provide one centralised home for key accounting and farm management tools.
Key to the solution is a growing eco-system of farming software partners that are fully integrated with Xero’s beautifully simple online platform, and has the potential to be a major boost for farmers and a major boost for the country.
“Farming is the backbone of our nation,” said Ben Richmond CA, Xero Sales and Product Lead New Zealand, who leads Xero’s rural strategy. “When the rural sector does well, New Zealand does well, and Xero is committed to working with farmers, their advisors and stakeholders to lift the future of farming productivity together.
“There’s a huge appetite for greater collaboration with industry stakeholders and by working together from the same set of data, the accounting role becomes less about compliance, and more about exploring opportunities for greater profitability.”
Key farming software partner Figured.com has been instrumental in delivering farming specific tools to complement Xero’s accounting expertise, and will launch in conjunction with Farming in the Cloud at Xerocon 2014.
“With seamless information between all parties and no need to transfer data, everyone’s focus is on adding value rather than gathering information,” said Duncan Anderson, Project Director, Figured.com.
“Just as you don’t need a tractor for every implement in the shed, Figured means you no longer need separate ‘engines’ for your financial management. It can now all be done using our complete livestock reporting and farm budgeting tools combined with all the proven functionality and simplicity of Xero.
“Ultimately, this means better teamwork between farmer and accountant, better organisation, better decision-making and better farming.”
Xero is also delighted to announce that leading agricultural provider PGG Wrightson has come on board to add to its growing network of farming partners.
“We’re really proud to be partnering with Xero in this exciting new initiative and leading the field in creating better services for the rural sector,” said Shannon Galloway, PGG Wrightson General Manager Marketing.
“Farming is a challenging and complex business and we’re always looking for ways to assist our customers in managing their businesses more efficiently. Our relationship with Xero provides a number of opportunities to help simplify and speed up the monthly accounting process, and we look forward to working with Xero to extend this to create further value for
Other farming software partners include iAgri and Aghub whose existing online farm management software programmes are currently being integrated with Farming in the Cloud, with more partners to be announced soon.
“Running such large businesses, as many farmers do, with limited financial management resource, the beauty of this product is that it allows for far greater oversight of cashflow management and makes forecasting much simpler,” said Mr Richmond.
“It also allows for greater collaboration with key stakeholders, such as accountants and banks, so that they may act as true rural advisors, monitoring farm performance, providing relevant, real-time financial advice and ultimately working together to achieve the best possible results.”
Xero is working closely with Vodafone to launch Farming in the Cloud. Vodafone is contracted to deliver the Government’s five year Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) which will provide greater coverage and better speeds, improving connectivity in the rural sector. Three years through roll out, the RBI has now covered 180,000 of the 250,000 targeted addresses.
“The time is right in the rural sector for the launch of Xero’s Farming in the Cloud solution and we’re excited to be able to offer this functionality as we continue to look for new ways to bring efficiencies to farmers and their businesses. With a single integrated ledger for collaboration with your accountant, your bank and your suppliers, a major gap in the market has been filled,” Mr Richmond said.
“As access and the adoption of the technology continues to accelerate, together we can use the power of the cloud to increase efficiency and productivity, actively innovating to lift the future of farming.”