Users in the News, Using Management Accounting to Evaluate Hedging Strategies, "One O'clock Webinars", Why Don't My Beginning Balances Balance?
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 FarmSMART                                               February 2013 

In this Issue:

FBS Users in the News

Using Management Accounting to Evaluate Hedging Strategies

March "One O'clock Webinars"

Q&A:  Why Don't My Beginning Balances Balance?


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Have We Lost Our Census?
  Census of Ag Logo

Although we're also in the "records business," we find it increasingly hard to comprehend the methodology and minutia inflicted on farmers every five years by the USDA's Census of Agriculture.   Do we really need to measure the elk, solar panels and ethnic diversity on our windmill farms? 

Only a bloated institution that considers decreases in its rate of growth as "cuts" would devise and reconcile Sections 6 and 26.  

Section 6:  Why do they try to line up value of sales (most likely from last year's crop) with production from the 2012 crop? 

Section 26:  What do they learn by accumulating 2012 production expenses without identifying how those costs are allocated to the crops produced in Section 6? 

We realize that most farmers couldn't/wouldn't be able to properly match production costs and sales with the correct crop and crop year (and we're thankful for one less intrusion from the USDA).  But what's the analytical value of this story problem where Tommy divides apples by oranges?  Probably on par with a cash-basis 1040 Schedule F? 

Back on the farm, growers are solving real problems with serious management tools as described in the Grain Gone AWOL story.  

Also this month:

  • More FBS users in the news.
  • Which accounts you need to track commodity hedges in our Best Practices section.   
  • Our free, weekly one o'clock webinar addresses timely and time-saving tips for getting more done in 2013.  
  • The Q&A of the Month explains how to automatically correctbeginning balances.  
  • We discuss connecting the three levels of farm management information in the Farm Management Software Blog. 


Bin sunset
Grain Gone AWOL
That's the true-life story in the Mid-February Farm Futures magazine of a truckload of corn mistakenly credited by an elevator to the wrong farmer. As farming operations expand and gain complexity these mistakes can become more frequent and are easily missed.
This article emphasizes the advantages of real-time inventory control integrated with mobile devices and ultimately accounting.  You'll read about FBS technology partner Conservis as well as long-time FBS user Vaughn Huey, Sandborn, Indiana.
You can meet representatives from both FBS and Conservis  on February 28-March 2,at the Commodity Classic, Kissimmee, FL, Booth 718.
More FBS Users in the News

 Congratulations to these FBS users and industry leaders:

  • Steve Cowser, reelected Chairman of the Board of 1st Farm Credit Services, Bloomington, IL.
  • Todd Dail president-elect of the Illinois Pork Producers. Todd and his wife Rebecca were featured in the February 2013 Successful Farming story, "Improving Working Capital" and are ahead of the experts advising higher levels of working capital.
  • Ian Harris, Ohio Pork Producers Council Manager of the Year Award. Ian works for Pork Champ, one of Ohio's largest pork producers

Also the Progressive Farmer Winter Issue covered South Dakota grower Bryan Jorgensen in the story "Westward Ho!"

Bar ChartUsing Management Accounting to Evaluate Hedging Strategies
Step 1: Ledger Accounts Used in Common Transactions 

In our last issue we described the two types of hedges: Fair Value and Cash Flow. This month we'll cover the ledger accounts used in common hedging transactions.

Ledger Accounts

  • Hedging Asset Account. You'll need one ledger account foreach segregated brokerage account. For example if you're maintaining a separate spread or speculative account in addition to the main hedging account set up a unique asset ledger account for each.
  •  Hedging Gain/Loss Income Account. Define one income account for each product or commodity that will be hedged, such as corn, wheat, soybeans, live cattle, lean hogs, soybean meal, etc. Note that this is an income account regardless of whether you expect to experience more losses than gains.
  • Commissions Expense Account.  Use this account to record trading commissions. Note that we'll cover accounts foroptions premiums in a later article.
  •  Other Comprehensive Income Equity Account. (Cash Flow Hedges only.) Set up one equity account for each product or commodity that will be hedged.
Hedging Ledger Accounts Tabel
Hedging Leger Accounts.

Processes for Common Cash/Tax Transactions

  • Margin calls
    1. Record a check (or journal entry for a wire transfer) to the Hedging Asset Account.
    2. As a result you will debit the Hedging Asset Accountand credit the Bank Asset Account.
    3. This transaction will update the correct balances for the Hedging and Bank Accounts on the Balance Sheet withno effect to your Income Statement.
  • New position
    1. Record a cash/tax journal entry.
    2. Debit the Commission Expense Account (increase) and credit the Hedging Asset Account (decrease).
    3. As a result you will update the Hedging Asset Account balance on your Balance Sheet and record the Commission Expense Account on your Income Statement.
  • Withdraw funds
    1. Record a deposit from the Hedging Asset.
    2. As a result you will debit the Bank Asset Account andcredit the Hedging Asset Account on your Balance Sheet with no effect on your Income Statement.
  • Close out a trade
    1. Record a cash/tax journal entry.
    2. For gains, debit the Hedging Asset Account (increase), debit the Commission Expense Account (increase), and credit the Hedging Gain/Loss Account (increase).
    3. For losses, debit the Hedging Gain/Loss Account (decrease), debit the Commission Expense Account (increase), and credit the Hedging Asset Account (decrease).
    4. As a result you will update the Hedging Asset Account balance on your Balance Sheet and record the Hedging Gain/Loss and Commission Expense Accounts on yourCash/Tax Income Statement.

We'll cover the transactions required for financial reporting of Fair Value and Cash Flow hedges next month.

March "One O'clock Webinars"
Check Setup, March 4.Webinar Computer
Invoice Setup, March 11.
TransAction Plus User Defined Report, March 18.
Two Ways to Clear Checks and Deposits, March 25.
All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CST.  To register, e-mail by 12:00 pm CST on the day of the webinar.
Q&A of the Month--Why Don't My Beginning Balances Balance?
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

Q.  Why aren't my beginning accounting balances correct?

A. When clients call in with this question the majority of the time the issue is one oftwo things: either they have been editing entries from the previous year or they have forgotten to calculate retained earnings. 

FBS allows you to go back in to earlier years and make new entries and edit old ones. This is one of the great things about the program-it allows you that flexibility! With this flexibility comes with responsibilities, though, and your responsibility is to remember if you've made changes in previous years that affect accounting you must recreate beginning balances from that year forward.  

You can recreate beginning balances at any time by going to Utilities | Create Beginning Balances. 

So if you had an uncleared check from 2011 and decide to void it today (February 2013) you can do that; however, but you'll need to log into the input year 2012 and recreate beginning balances and then log into input year 2013 and also recreate beginning balances to pull those changes in 2011 forward to 2013.

You can also just log into input year 2013 and roll beginning balances forward for multiple years by using the settings below: 

Recreate Beginning Balances
This setting rolls changes made in calendar years 2010-2012 forward to 2013.

 If you don't want the option to go into previous years or would like to prevent others in the office from going into previous years you can purchase our High Security Module and close the time period and thus close prior years.  

If beginning balances have been rolled correctly but the Balance Sheet or Trial Balance are still incorrect I usually find that clients have forgotten to calculate retained earnings. This only applies to those clients whose fiscal year coincides with the calendar year. 

To calculate retained earnings go to Input | General | Accounting | Calculate Retained Earnings and select the ledger account for retained earnings and which month your fiscal year begins and then click Calculate. This is a step you only need to do once a year and so it is very easy to forget about. 

Calculate Retained Earnings

 Calculate Retained Earnings on the Accounting Input Menu.

If you have done both of these steps but still feel your beginning balances are not correct our support team will be happy to assist you in finding the error so please don't hesitate to call or email us!



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