Eskdale based farmer Frank Martin moved from Cash Manager RURAL to the cloud-based Cash Manager Focus (Focus) package in December 2019 and his advice for other farmers considering the move is … just do it!
Frank says there is no need for concerns about the migration process plus Focus really is a step up in terms of innovative technology. “Moving from RURAL to Focus was a simple, self-explanatory process and, if you do have questions, the Support Team are right there to help.”
Frank, his brother Joe and son David Martin own and operate Martin Pastoral Ltd, with farms located in the Wairoa district. They run an Angus and Hereford cow herd and Romney ewes on a larger and steeper 2000h block and a smaller flat 170h block is used for winter finishing and summer cash and forage cropping.
Frank says he has always been an early adopter of new technology especially programmes that save time and money. “Back in 1987 I attended a weeklong Kellogg run course at Lincoln College and came home with a computer and a basic accounting package. It was very new technology then, but I was sold – could see the benefits from the start.”
From this early alliteration, Frank kept an eye on tech advances and moved to more sophisticated packages including Cash Manager RURAL. “We started using Apple in 2011 and kept pestering for access to an accounting package that didn’t involve the costs associated with a third party. I got the breakthrough we needed and moved to Focus which suits us down to the ground.
“I’m based at Eskdale (near Napier) while David is an hour and a half away up at Wairoa. The distance between us has caused frustration especially the regular travel and sometimes forgetting a vital piece of paper but moving to Focus has solved that issue completely. We can now talk and go through budgets and plans online without either of us leaving home.”
He says the pair need to know what each other is doing and, with four other staff working on the property, it’s important they work in sync, stay on the same page.
“We’re able to change tack on budgets and plans and talk to managers from the car or paddock using several devices. This direct communication ensures no surprises because we know what each other is doing or needs. Just this real-time information sharing alone has made a real difference for us as a team.”
But there have been several other unexpected bonuses which, according to Frank, have been a game changer. He says Focus’s new automated invoice scanning capability means there is no need to print out invoices.
“We don’t use much paper now because the information is saved securely online. I send invoices to the scanning address and it’s matched with receipts and saved for me – no more bits of paper to look for or large print outs. Our accountant has online access too so can check in if needed which saves a trip to town.”
As with all farming operations, Frank says items such as Stock Schedules, the weather or transport options can change from day to day, and being able to quickly tweak a budget or reschedule contractors helps keep the wheels turning smoothly.
“With our budget I just scan across online and change it while on we’re the phone with no download required or time wasted.”
That’s good service!