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Rob & Lucy Thorneycroft

2015 Wairarapa Farm Business of the Year, Tiraumea

  • Good financial management doesn’t happen by accident
  • Benchmark your property from year to year
  • Know your goals and how you’ll achieve them

Judges identified excellent financial performance as a strength of Wairarapa Sheep and Beef Farm Business of the Year winners Rob and Lucy Thorneycroft.

Having a good handle on their finances is no accident for the Tiraumea farmers, who use Cashmanager RURAL as a key tool in budgeting and monitoring their finances.

The couple, who farm at Benmore, a 632 hectare sheep and beef property, are focused on a high performing operation that revolves around a 75% sheep component with beef cattle to complement them. They aim to fatten all lambs, with a target of 17kg carcase weight.

The primary purpose of Cashmanager RURAL is it allows them to manage their own accounts, including doing their own GST returns.

“It’s great that it’s simple and quick to download transactions from bank statements and reconcile them to do GST returns. With it being in the cloud we can keep our accountant up to date with where we’re at,” Rob says.

“After scanning the ewes we set up the coming year’s budget and send it through to our accountant to look at and start planning around taxes to pay or if we want to put money aside for income equalisation. If we’re running a surplus we look at what investment opportunities there are on the farm.”

A surplus means they can look at spending on big ticket items like capital fertiliser and hill country development with new pasture species.

“We also send the budget to the bank manager. Good communication means if there is any shortfall at certain times of the year, like spring when the capital fert goes on, there are no surprises.”

Being able to update the budget as they progress through the year is a big plus. “We can see where we’re tracking and it gives us clarity around what the end result is going to be, before the actuals go in.”

The features of Cashmanager RURAL the Thorneycrofts use most are the profit and loss indicator and the Economic Farm Surplus summary reports.

“The other thing we like about it is for the end of year stock numbers it has a great stock reconciliation facility. It gives us a running total of what’s on-farm to work towards our wintering numbers.

“It also helps to monitor deaths and missing tallies, which come up in a nice spreadsheet.

“On the opening page it has this year’s average price performance per head and it’s nice to compare that from season to season and see how we’re tracking.”

Cashmanager RURAL also allows them to benchmark their own property from year to year.

They are fans of the courses run to help farmers extract best value from the product. “You need to know how to put all the information in correctly and then to utilise it. Going on the courses is a must have.

“It’s great how Cashmanager RURAL is living software, they’re always updating it and trying to improve it and make it more streamlined for farmers. It’s tailor made for farmers, which is a great thing because it makes it more user friendly and enjoyable to use.”

Rob and Lucy believe it’s very important to set themselves plans and goals – to know what they want to achieve.

“I like that saying, if you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you’ve got there? I think you’ve got to know where you are heading and how you’re going to get to those targets,” Lucy says.

“It sets in place stepping stones to success,” Rob agrees.

“It’s a key part of our business…I’d be happy to recommend Cashmanager RURAL to anyone.”

“It’s great how Cashmanager RURAL is living software, they’re always updating it and trying to improve it and make it more streamlined for farmers. It’s tailor-made for farmers, which is a great thing because it makes it more user friendly and enjoyable to use.”