Throughout his farming career, Chris Engel has viewed Cash Manager as an essential tool.
The Carterton farmer and his wife, Jude, recently sold their dairy farm. Although they have retired, they retained their home and a small piece of land, so are still able to enjoy the rural outlook.
The couple bought the farm in 1982 and at that time used a MAF spreadsheet, posted backwards and forwards, for their budgeting.
They evolved as technology progressed, moving on to DOS Cash Manager, then to floppy disk for updates, and finally, online.
“It (Cash Manager) has been one of the most important tools of our farming operation. Without it, I couldn’t have kept an accurate measure of my farm’s day-to-day finances,” Chris says.
“To also be able to create (forecast) budgets for subsequent years, this was vital in retaining the confidence of our banking partners.”
Chris says this was particularly important during the downturn years.
“When the bank visited, I was able to easily provide them with an up-to-date actual budget, plus a forecast one. They commented that not many of their clients were able to provide this.”
Chris says Cash Manager was also good for completing GST returns. “I had three different accounts, two of them on six-monthly GST, and I was able to easily balance them and get accurate GST, making compliance simple.
“Now, with it being online, we can sit in the accountant’s office around the big screen and view our finances easily. He can do our annual financial returns at the click of a button too.
“I can see many other uses too, like importing bank statements and having an accurate stock reconciliation.”
Although the Engels have come to the end of their farming career, they have seen and embraced the full cycle of technology upgrades to Cash Manager. They are still using it to wind up their tax implications and GST, with selling large numbers of stock, and know it will be accurate.
Over the years, they have also purchased the program for young farmers, as a way of giving them a leg up.
“We know the benefit of using it and they’re starting off. It’s an expense, so we have bought the product for them, as we know how important it is.”
In summary, Chris says he has always viewed a farm financial software tool as an extremely important part of his business.
“There were two things I needed to know – if I was going to run out of money, and if I was going to run out of feed.”
Using two different programs for that information, Cash Manager provided the money piece of the puzzle, allowing Chris to forecast and make decisions with confidence.
“You can do the day-to-day work, but if you’re not doing the forecasting accurately, you will come under pressure. You can forecast and know when it’s going to happen, with money and feed. Those two things were essential, and give you the confidence to operate your business.”