User Conference dates, Pork dashboard launches, Opportunity Accounting, Virtual controller
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 FarmSMART                                              February 2016 

In this Issue:

FBS 2016 User Conference

Pork Dashboard Launched

How Opportunity Accounting Transformed Agriculture

Assessing Need for a "Virtual Controller"

March Webinars

Trade Show Calendar

Q&A:  Print More of Your Report 

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Not that we're complaining--but we haven't "experienced" winter around here since around Christmas. That's permitted our "traveling team" to venture freely to client meetings and trade shows and has allowed our "home team" to really hunker down and "crank out code."  As a result we're scheduling two big software releases this quarter.  Read about an exciting "cloud" dashboard for pork producers below, and stay tuned for a "Big Easy" announcement for crop growers next month.

Also in this month's FarmSmart:

  • FBS 2016 User Conference on the calendar.
  • Pork dashboard launched into the cloud.
  • How "Opportunity Accounting" transformed agriculture.
  • Assessing need for a "virtual controller."
  • March free webinar schedule.
  • Link to recorded webinars.
  • Trade show schedule.
  • How to print more of your report.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             SDG

 FBS 2016 User Conference On Calendar

While late summer seems a long way off, it's not too soon to plan for the most productive and profitable event of the year:  the 2016 FBS User Conference.   Note that we've moved up the dates one week to August 23 and 24 (to avoid cutting into attendance at the Farm Progress Show!).  The location is still the same:  the rustic Stoney Creek Inn on the banks of the Mississippi River in Moline, Illinois.

In upcoming issues of FarmSmart we'll offer a preview of the topics to be covered as well as a link for early registrations and hotel reservations.


Pork Dashboard Launched Into the Cloud

Dashboard works with any mobile device or pc.

FBS Systems has just introduced dashboard software that provides pork producers real-time “cloud” access to production, financial and sales performance.  The Pork Profit CenterTM  uses a graphical interface to present finishing closeout data, sales load weight distributions and trends employing statistical process control (SPC) charts.  Data is automatically uploaded from FBS’s TransAction Plus accounting and Smart Feeder production records to a secure website and can be accessed through any pc or mobile device.

The Pork Profit Center is an ideal tool to help production and marketing teams monitor performance and hit their targets.  For example, reports and graphs display cumulative death loss, feed budget compliance and standard deviation and sales weight ranges for each truckload of market hogs.  Custom database reports can also be created, saved and shared.

The dashboard “broadcasts” a comprehensive, confidential and current view of a pork operation’s key performance indicators based on FBS's exclusive integrated production financial database.

Pork Profit Center is offered on a subscription basis to any FBS customer using TransAction Plus and Smart Feeder.  (Packer Interface also recommended.)  Call 800.437.7638 /Extension 2 to schedule a demonstration.



How "Opportunity Accounting" Transformed Agriculture

Last month we launched a new series entitled “Opportunity Accounting” to help you better understand, evaluate and control  what’s happening within your business.

Over the past hundred years North American agriculture has transformed from a diversified to specialized production model.  The hen house, milk cow and moldboard-plowed corn-oats-meadow rotation have been replaced by fence row-to-fence row mono culture, site-specific management and concentrated animal feeding operations.  We’re where we are today due to a nearly infinite series of decisions that evaluated the trade offs between maintaining/expanding/eliminating enterprises and in sourcing/outsourcing services.

The pork industry provides an instructive example of that transition:

  • 1900-1970: mostly outdoor, single-site farrow-to-finish consuming raised grain
  • 1970-2000: controlled-environment, single-site farrow-to-finish with on-site feed mill
  • 2000-present: large-scale, bio-secure, independently owned/managed, multi-site boar stud, breeding and finishing serviced by a central feed mill

This was accomplished not by a top-down, corporate edict but through a process of trial-and-error experiments that demonstrated that costs and risks could be reduced by adopting what appeared to be counter-intuitive strategies (transitioning pork production from single-site to geographically-dispersed business segments).   Production models that initially appeared ideal on paper (mega-growth at a single site) proved to be less efficient and profitable when the accounting results were tallied.

In situations like this the economic opportunity costs of adopting (or not adopting) a new practice are unknown because either a) not enough experiments have been run to predict the response or b) the results are too dependent on the unique variables within an operation.

Fortunately, American agriculture is constantly reinventing itself thanks to an endless parade of innovators probing the boundaries of production and efficiency and turning conventional wisdom on its head.  Opportunities manifest themselves through countless inventions, networking, borrowing ideas from other industries and leveraging knowledge.

What does this, though, have to do with accounting software?  We’re going to illustrate in upcoming issues how intimate, real-time knowledge of the unique strengths, weaknesses, threats and, yes, opportunities within your operation will help you accelerate innovation toward the most profitable directions. 


Assessing Need for a "Virtual Controller"
Mike Boggs, FBS Professional Services Director

Do you have a need for a Virtual Controller?  And what exactly is a Virtual Controller?  Here are some questions to consider:

1) Is your office staffed appropriately?  Are you shorthanded most of the time?
2) Based on the staff you have, can you get everything accomplished in a day, week, month or are you always behind?
3) Are you getting all of the reports you would like to see out of FBS?
4) Do you need help getting through the end of the year?  Do you need help getting information gathered for your CPA?
5) Do you have a need for additional modules but have resisted because you don't have the expertise to run those modules?
6) Are all of your costs flowing through your financial statements as you planned?
7) Are you preparing monthly or quarterly financial statements? Why not?

If you are having issues with any of these topics, maybe it's time you think about adding a "partial person" to your staff to resolve these problems.  Our goal at FBS is to enhance your use of our software so you get the most information possible for your operation.

FBS currently has four Virtual Controller clients who use our services to various degrees.  

If this is something you would like to discuss further, please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience.  Contact or call 800.437.7638 / Extension 111.

 Read a companion article on on this subject:  "CFO for Hire," featuring LattaHarris financial consultant John McNutt in the February 2016 edition of The Progressive Farmer.

March Free Webinars



March  7:  Using ACH.
March 14:  Contract Module.
March 21: Import modules: packers, feed mills,TA+ and more.
March 28: LifeCycle Budget.

All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CST.   

To register, e-mail by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.
NEW:  Catch up on the webinars you've missed by watching them on the Webinar page of our website.

Trade Show Schedule
Event Location Dates Booth #
Morial Convention Center
New Orleans, Louisiana 
 March 3-5 1006 
worldporklogo.jpg Iowa State Fairgrounds
Des Moines, Iowa
June 8-10 TBD
Click on the event logo to go to that organization's website.

Q&A of the Month: How to Print More of Your Report
Sarah Dixon, FBS Sales and Support Coordinator

Q.  Is there a way for me to get more of my report to print?

A.  Yes!  There are a couple ways to change the the portion of our report that's printed.




At the bottom of the report you can click on the Range button, then select the rows and columns you want to print by clicking the appropriate cells on the report after choosing the first/last line or column radio button.  To fit more columns in the system check Calculate font size.  Rows and columns outside the current print area will be displayed in light blue.


Another option is to click the Printer Setup button, then change either the Font size, Gap between columns or Page orientation to landscape.

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