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Cash Manager Focus is the simple, effective farm financial management tool Melissa Bradley has been looking for.

The Central Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer had previously used Cashmanager RURAL, but switched to a different product promoted by a coaching system she joined.

After three years Melissa wanted better control and visibility of their finances, and decided to give Focus a go.

She and her husband live at Onga Onga, where they lease her husband’s family’s sheep and beef farm. The farm is a sheep and beef finishing property and has dairy grazers.

Melissa also travels to Dannevirke three days a week to work on her family property, tucked under the Ruahine Range. The farm is a sheep and beef breeding property, with summer trading.

She does the bookwork for both businesses, using Focus. “I wanted something simple, easy and effective, and that I could use to communicate clearly with interested parties, like the bank and accountant.

“I wanted to be able to compare actuals, make plans for different scenarios and update budgets quickly.”

She likes the automated bank feeds, which has encouraged her to break her bookwork down into smaller, more manageable time slots – perfect for a busy working mum.

“You can put the potatoes on and code your bank statement, which I actually do now because everything is just there. Having the Farmlands feed makes it easy too.”

Melissa has been using Focus for about four months and she says it has given her time and business clarity.

“I like to be able to quickly see where we are and make changes, and be able to communicate those changes with other people.”

Using a tool like Focus is valuable to their business. “We need to know where we are and where we’re going, because things change all the time. It’s also being able to communicate quickly to take advantage of any opportunities that come up. Because we are so busy it needs to be a simple and effective tool to get the job done.”

So far, Melissa has used Focus for GST and compliance and says she is only just scratching the surface of what she could do with the program. The next step is to start budgeting using the program.

“When it came to looking for a new product it blew me away how many different software packages there are now. But I had confidence to select a product from CRS Software because they had never let me down in the past in terms of support.”

And the support has improved even more since she last used Cashmanager RURAL, three years ago. “It’s even better, you have live chats and remote fixes now. It’s flexible for the business and any issues can be fixed quickly.”

Melissa says Focus is logical to follow and has a modern look. “I’m a visual person and I like how it’s all there in front of you. I really like the bank feeds and I love the coding rules and that you can code your Farmlands statement.

“I did shop around before choosing Focus, but there’s no other software I can see that deals with livestock as well as it does. I’ve gone from having no control to being free to do my bookwork the way it suits me.”

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