Cashmanager RURAL’s integration with other software providers is a huge selling point for sheep and beef farmers Mike and Liz McCreary.
The couple, who farm at Kumenga Farm in south Wairarapa, in a 50/50 partnership with Mike’s parents, also have a contracting business, McCreary Machinery, and they use Cashmanager RURAL in both businesses.
Technology is a key tool for them and they use FarmIQ to capture stock information, like lamb weights, Farmax for physical farm information, like pasture covers, and Cashmanager RURAL for their financial planning and compliance.
The fact that all three programmes can integrate and feed into one another is a huge selling point for them.
“Integration is the way forward…What’s really ticking the boxes is Cashmanager linking to other programmes, that’s huge for us,” Mike says.
Currently Liz revises their budget monthly and the plan is to get the budget live, with the FarmIQ kill sheet data feeding into it automatically.
FarmIQ captures data from the EID tags on stock, like weights, and that information feeds into Farmax. This information can then be used to update cash flow through Cashmanager in terms of predicted stock flow. It is this collaboration between all three programmes that gives them a big picture view of what is happening.
“You picture, your stock going off to the works, the stock rec and the money automatically feed into Cashmanager, that’s huge, especially when you have big numbers,” Mike says.
“It’s all well and good to do a scenario in Farmax, but how does it actually play out? Farmax scenarios are a calculated judgement call but the reality is what you did in physical hard cash. Cashmanager is ground truth, it is real.”
They have also been part of the FarmIQ and Scan my Bills pilots and Liz likes that the company is constantly innovating.
“We like the fact they’re growing and trying new things and ways to make it easier for us.”
The couple has always used Cashmanager for coding transactions and invoicing, with their accountant taking responsibility for GST and running BankLink into Cashmanager.
They realised they could save money, and own their numbers, by doing it themselves and further utilising Cashmanager.
“We had no credibility to what we were saying – it was all in Mike’s head. We decided to use Cashmanager and it’s gone from strength to strength,” Liz says. “As a business, we never owned our budget before. Now we can, and that’s pretty important.”
“It’s a lot easier to see how we are tracking and what we are doing. Now we have evidence when we go to the accountant or bank manager. We can explain where we are heading,” Mike adds.
They make particular use of the variance report, as it allows them to clearly see where they have varied from budget. This helps them explain to their governance team or accountant where the variances are in the budget, and why they have happened.
“It gives us a trigger point to start a conversation when we are talking budgets, and it’s right there in front of us.”
Operating a purely finishing farm, markets can be volatile and using Cashmanager also enables them to quickly assess their position when markets change. “It’s vital to keep that up-to-date.”
Liz says Cashmanager uses language that everyone can understand and their advice for new users is to keep it simple to begin with, which enables you to grow faster into using the programme.
They say the back-up and support from the customer service team is huge. “We have never been left treading water and their enthusiasm to learn with us is great,” she says.