Cashmanager RURAL online gives Westpac senior agribusiness manager, Shaun Crofskey, the ability to get a real time view of how his clients are tracking, at any time.
Shaun’s first introduction to the product was about 12 years ago when he and his wife purchased their own property. “As a result we needed to do some financial monitoring, and Cashmanager was the product of choice for me. I have always spoken highly of Cashmanager.
“My clients are the biggest advocates and Cashmanager is a fantastic tool.”
The move to an online product has been a huge step forward, he says, and enables online access in real time.
“It gives me the ability to go in at any stage and get an update of where they’re at. Having an understanding of the programme, through my own personal experience, and being able to relay that for bank reporting is good as well.”
The reports Shaun uses most are the revised budget versus actuals to date and the trend report. “The trend report is good for showing the last four to five years of costs, and it’s interesting to see where clients have cut costs and made savings.”
He also likes the ability to double click on each category and gain a greater understanding of a business.
“It’s all about information and it’s great to know that your clients know what they are doing. The benefit for the clients using it is they know where they’re at. If they’re going to run into deficit or need money for capital expenses, we know in advance and can put a plan in place. There are no surprises – nobody likes surprises,” he says.
“Knowledge is power and it gives the clients credibility with the bank as well. Anyone who does financial monitoring, we look at that favourably, it makes them a strong connection.”
Shaun says the product makes GST a piece of cake for clients and the forecasting is also a powerful tool, as well as the ability to alter stock recs and see the resulting change in cashflow.
“I’ve taught clients from age 20 to 65 how to use it, it’s very easy to use and that’s a great thing.”
One of Shaun’s clients is South Auckland dairy farming couple, Olin and Anna Greenan, who use Cashmanager RURAL for their financial monitoring.
Time is precious for Olin, and using Cashmanager RURAL online means his bank manager is able to get a real-time view of what’s going on in his business quickly and easily.
Olin and his wife Anna are 50/50 sharemilking 480 cows in South Auckland and find that online has eliminated a lot of wasted time, for both them and bank manager Shaun Crofskey.
“Traditionally there was a visit (from the bank manager) and about 10 pages of paper to look at, it was a lot of idle time wasted getting up to speed. Now, before we even have a phone conversation Shaun has his finger on the pulse as much as we do. We can get right down to the nitty gritty.”
Olin says the shared access creates honesty and accountability with the bank. “There’s nothing to hide and we have to be on top of our game.
“It increases the integrity, and understanding of the bank and the insight they have into your business, warts and all – I think that’s healthy. We get challenged more and it creates extra focus for us.”
This helicopter view of the whole business helps when the bank is evaluating a proposal or making a decision about the business, he says.
It is also useful from a strategic planning point of view, including weighing up what to do with loans, as all the information needed is readily available.
“It does enhance the client-banker relationship, it is more intimate, as they have a better insight into your business and less precious time in used up in the process.”