Information stored in the cloud makes life easy when you’re equity managers and accountable to multiple parties, like Featherston dairy farmers Matt and Tracey Honeysett.
The couple, who took out the Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year for the Hawke’s Bay/Wairarapa region at this year’s New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, milk 1200 cows on 420 hectares near Featherston.
The property is 45% irrigated and The Honeysetts have a 10% shareholding as equity managers.
Back in 2009 they won the Farm Manager of the Year title for the same region and one of their prizes was a subscription to Cashmanager RURAL.
“The following year we went sharemilking and that’s when we started using it,” Matt says. “I think it was probably the most useful prize we won.”
Cashmanager RURAL is the most important financial tool the Honeysetts use and there are two key elements to their use of the product – budgeting and sharing information with the other farm owners.
“We use it for budgeting and revising those budgets, as well as budgeting for the season ahead. We revise the budget every month.
“Being part of an equity partnership, we have to be answerable to the other owners. They have access to Cashmanager RURAL and at the end of the month the big thing is revising the budget and doing a variance report.”
With all the information held in the cloud their accountant and bank can also access their information, meaning everyone is on the same page.
Monitoring finances is very important, especially when you’re accountable to others, which means being accurate and timely is paramount.
“We use Cashmanager RURAL for finances, but with dairy farming you record pretty much everything – I’m a bit of a numbers freak,” Matt says.
“We will do a budget for next season and you can see what sort of surplus there is and then make decisions. On this farm we’ve done massive amounts of capital development so we did budgets to look at how much we could cashflow and how much we had to borrow. Keeping track of cashflow is important.”
The capital development has clearly paid off, with production on the farm at just under 400,000kg of milk solids (MS) for this season, in just their second season on the property. Before they arrived the previous farm record was 330,000kg MS in a season.
The Honeysetts also use the software to do their own GST, for stock reconciliations and plan to use it for their payroll in the future.
The couple finds Cashmanager RURAL is a simple and easy product to use. “It’s easy to import transactions from the bank and there’s never any problem because it’s accurate. The other thing that’s useful is we have multiple businesses, with our own sharemilking company and also this equity partnership, and it allows us to keep track of both businesses.
“I don’t think there’s an equal to it (Cashmanager RURAL). It’s easy to use, easy to update and now that it’s in the cloud you can’t lose anything.”
Tracey also finds the product user friendly and great for GST. “It’s so compatible with the bank, which makes the month to month workings really easy. There is really good support as well, they’re really approachable and just a phone call away.
“I think it’s one of the most important aspects of our business, using it as a budgeting tool and having those figures on hand means we can keep track of where we are and helps with setting goals,” she says.
“In the dairy industry where things are changing all the time, like prices, you can adjust things and see where you can make savings or cut costs.”