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Taihape sheep, beef and deer farmer John Gilbert likes the automations in Cash Manager Focus, providing up-to-date information about exactly what is happening in his business, in real time.

John was one of 23 farmers and rural professionals who acted as Beta testers for Cash Manager Focus, the next generation of Cashmanager RURAL.

The Cash Manager Focus Beta Project was developed to test the functionality and practicality of the new software.

“We switched internet provider about 12 months ago and that provided an opportunity to go online,” he says.

John was recommended as a Beta tester by his daughter, who is an associate accountant, mainly because he is an iPad user. “That was a driver. I’ve always said if I could switch it all to Apple, I would be happy.

“The big thing when I went to online was getting the automated bank feeds – that was huge. Online bank feeds have sped up the process and the new Focus product will be another step forward, because it will be constantly updated. As soon as you turn it on you know exactly where you are, that’s a big driver for me.

“It gives a real-time snapshot of the business, real-time balances right now – I think that should be a key thing for everyone.”

John didn’t find the new product too different to what he was already using. “Every time we have a software upgrade we have to learn new tricks. It will take time to get used to, but software these days is so much easier than it used to be. It (Focus) is not drastically different and all the key features are still there.

“It’s good to see the company (CRS Software) is going forward. It’s early days, but I think it was a worthwhile exercise being a tester. It was interesting to get a feel for the program and the help side was great, I actually enjoyed it.”

Hastings orchardist Derek Barnes is so impressed by Cash Manager Focus, he can’t wait to move over to the new product.

Derek has been using Cashmanager for at least 15 years and, being a Mac user, is most excited about the new software’s compatibility with Apple devices.
He is not a fan of Windows and had issues using a program to integrate the software with his Mac, a laborious process. When he heard there was a new product being developed, he put his hand up to test it.

“I found it (Cash Manager Focus) much easier to work with, more logical, faster and I used to have problems with the screen jumping around with Windows.

“The layout is a lot easier to access and I like the larger font. It’s very logical, the progression through the various phases.”

While Derek says the new product is different, it’s a good different. “Much improved.”

Previously, his son has done the budgeting. Now, Derek plans to do this himself. “I found it so much easier to use the budgeting format. I also use it for GST purposes and the accountant has access,” he says.

“I can’t wait to get on to the new version. I will be on to it as soon as possible…I’m really pleased it’s here because it will make a big difference to the way I do things, and give me greater ability to do budgeting myself, which I previously found difficult because of the Windows issues.

“Dealing with the team while the trial was on went very smoothly. I came up with a few suggestions I see have been implemented, so it was worthwhile being involved.”

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