Debbie and Arthur Win are big fans of Cash Manager Focus and say they haven’t looked back since moving from Cash Manager RURAL to Focus in November last year.
Debbie says she loves Focus because it’s so straightforward – you open the programme and it goes straight to your dashboard and it’s easy to find your way around from there.”
The couple run 130 head of Angus cattle and 2000 Romney on rolling hill country in Dovedale about 30kms from Wakefield. Debbie says they have not escaped the drought and had to start feeding out baleage to keep their breeding ewes in good condition leading into tupping, although recent mild weather has meant the grass is still growing so they are able to conserve the rest of their feed.
Debbie says they like to know where their money is going to be used so keep a close eye on expenditure and expected expenditure which allows them to put money aside for the big bills.
“Focus allows me to do this easily by identifying what goes where. For example, I use three bank accounts, and in the past, I couldn’t tell which account was involved in relation to transactions without having to search around. Focus has that information up front – the software identifies which account payments are being made to or from and this saves so much time.”
She says being able to scroll across financials in one continuous line also makes budgeting and planning easy to create and follow. “I don’t have to keep closing in and out of the programme so it’s much easier to look ahead and see where we’re at.”
Debbie says their accountant also uses Cash Manager Focus and, while she doesn’t need to share information right now, it’s good to know that facility is available. “If needed the accountant or bank manager could access our accounts without the need to drive into town which could be handy in the future.
Automatic bank updates are another favourite – “no more looking for bits of paper to match items such as Farmlands transactions because it’s all done for you. I hope meat companies come on board and provide automatic downloads as well – that’d be the icing on the cake!
“I also like the way you can personalise the books by using your own code details – this has made a big difference. We use several agriseed and animal nutrition products and I can code them by name to identify which is which rather than relying on provided codes which really do not apply to all farming situations.”
Debbie also says knowing that backup is just a click away is great. “I was constantly asking questions when I first started, and the support staff answered very quickly. They also check up to see if you have managed to fix your problem, they even reply without judgement when I have made silly mistakes!!”
She says ultimately Focus has been designed for farmers by farmers, so it makes sense to our sector. “We are farmers not bookkeepers – having a software management tool that makes sense to us as a group of users is so helpful. The farm management system we use has to align and support the business we run, and Focus does just that.
“When I do catch up with neighbours, we discuss our families and the weather and ask how is it all going. Which accounting package you use is not really a topic that naturally arises, but I recommend Cash Manager Focus and the benefits it delivers to farmers.
I reckon they could do a tee-shirt that says …’Cash Manager Focus – Give It A Go!’”