Farm Management Software Blog

"Partial" Farm CFOs and Margin Management

Posted by Norman Brown on Sat, Jan 26, 2013 @ 02:02 PM

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Farm Futures Magazine has recently taken the lead in covering farm financial management and accounting trends.

The December 2012 issue cover story, "Beyond Basic Bookkeeping," covers how a complex family farm in Oregon employs a part-time CFO to provide budgeting, projections and refinements to their accounting practices. 

They're not alone.  Many FBS users have grown to the scale and sophistication that they recognize the benefits of "in-sourcing" experienced financial and accounting professionals even though they can't yet justify a full-time, $150K Chief Financial Officer.

One professional who shares her financial and accounting expertise with several farmers even refers to herself as a "Drive-by CFO."

We prefer the term, "Virtual CFO," because our multiuser, cloud-accessed software platform allows the CFO to log onto and review clients' data 24/7 without the time and expense of constant on-site visits.

In the January 2013 issue Executive Editor Mike Wilson's column Finish Line asserts that it's "Time to Refocus on Margin Management."  Wilson reminds us "it's easy to make sloppy decisions when gross revenue is running at $1,100 per acre or more.  It's time to sober up and prepare your business for the possibility of $4.50 corn."

FBS user Curtis Hollis is quoted in the article saying, "We look at our costs, even when prices are good.  You have to keep costs down because sooner or later we're not going to have margins."

Tracking margins is what FBS Software does very well, and managing margins is the kind fo job a CFO does well.


Tags: cost accounting, accrual accounting, agricultural managerial accounting, farm software, ag software, agricultural software, farm accountant, FBS Systems, Farm CFO, Farm Margin Management