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This article is re-produced courtesy of the Agri Women’s Development Trust

For many farmers, the end of the financial year is fast-approaching.  Here are a few tips from Understanding Your Farm Business Facilitator and rural accounting specialist, Lawrence Field. This example is for a 30 June balance date.

  1. Stock Tallies: what is actually on farm at 30 June 2017? Plan for when you can get an accurate count – during stock movements, yarding, scanning or shearing.
  2. Stock Rec: using Cashmanager RURAL, another template or a paper stock reconciliation.
    Does Open + Birth + Purchase = Sales + Death + Closing for each stock class – e.g. rising one heifers, and for each stock type e.g. all sheep, all cattle, all deer?
  3. Financial records: Do you have a tidy folder (paper or electronic) of all invoices you have paid and all income you have received – bank statements, GST returns, loan documents, interest and dividend certificate, asset purchases etc.
  4. Does your accountant schedule when they would like you to bring in your records? If not, give them a call and work out when you want your accounts completed and therefore when you need to drop off your records.
  5. Have you completed your accountant’s questionnaire, either on paper or online? Make a note of any specific issues you would like to discuss. Specify that you would like a draft set of accounts and tax returns one week before you meet.  Note any significant changes, sales, purchases over the last year. Does your accountant have a copy of your business plan or goals?
  6. If your revised budget for this year indicates a large change either up or down from last year, contact your accountant now about any actions to take and any changes required to P3 (third provisional tax) due 28 July.
  7. Once you’ve digested your draft accounts, consider emailing your accountant before your meeting with questions you have and topics for discussion.  It gives them time to think about the issues.
  8. Ask your accountant “What can we do better next year with our coding or record keeping? How can we get the most value from you?”

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