Farming is made in inches. All those little gains during the year add up to your economic farm surplus at the end of the year, and Matt Wyeth is a man with his finger firmly on the pulse of the financial performance of his farm.
It’s no accident Matt and Lynley Wyeth’s business is performing exceptionally well and one of the key weapons in their toolbox is Cashmanager RURAL.
Matt has been using the software for about 15 years and it’s part of his daily routine to sit down with his breakfast and check his account.
“I’m a little bit of a freak, it’s my nature, I like to know my given place. When I walk outside in the morning I want to know where I am financially. It’s the tools you use to aid in making decisions when you’re standing out in the paddock. Cashmanager RURAL is one of the biggest tools I use…I’m quite competitive and it’s invaluable.
“It’s my scorecard. I want to know what my position is and where the cash is coming from.”
Matt is a big fan of planning to succeed. “Success doesn’t just happen, it’s got to be planned.”
Using the software allows him to revise his budget and knowing his fall-back position is a key indicator informing decision making.
“I’m constantly revising my budget from the information I get, be it stock weights, kill sheets or interest rates. I have a planned budget and put in my non-negotiable items, it could be debt repayment, how much we spend on repairs and maintenance or how much fertiliser. I then cut the cloth to fit as the season goes on and as I’m getting more market information on what my prices are going to be.”
Knowing where he stands means revising his budget daily so there are no surprises when he gets to the end of the year. “I don’t want to wait for the accountant to tell me how I did,” Matt says.
The Wyeths have set targets for their business and the software lets them monitor whether they’re on track to achieve them. They’re also able to benchmark against themselves and other operators, as well as analysing different parts of their business.
Specifically, Matt monitors the performance summary in Cashmanager RURAL, as well as the year-to-date comparison, farm equity and equity ratio (return on equity).
“There’s a lot of things you can’t control or influence as a farmer, but controlling your cash, you can do that.
“You have to have ownership of the direction of your business. If you don’t know where you stand financially through the season you’re throwing a dart. If you’re not budgeting you’re not planning for success.”
The Wyeths run a 1000ha sheep and beef breeding and finishing property on the western side of Masterton tucked up under the Tararua ranges.
The business tagline says it all “Where efficiency meets farming – putting the pride and passion back into farming”. They’re proud of what they do and what they produce.
The Wyeths run a successful business and have the awards to prove it, winning the Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year in 2005, the Ballance Farm Environment Award for the Greater Wellington region this year and three Glammies awards, which go to the tastiest lamb in the country.