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February 2021
Road to work

Dear Friend,

The groundhog saw his shadow on February 2nd and has been "sheltering in place" while binging on "Ice Road Trucker, Midwest Edition."

While you wait for your world to thaw, read these hot articles:

  • AgCompass Points to Enhanced Security and Support.
  • 2021 Trade Show "Survivors." 
  • FBS Users in the News.
  • Redefining the Dollars & Sense of Farm Business Management.
  • A/P Aging Report.   


Points to Enhanced Security and Support 


Nick Chambers, Business Development Manager

Editors note:  AgCompass provides cloud hosting services for many FBS customers and is also a MASA member.
At AgCompass, we are excited to announce that we will migrate all server connections to strictly VPN in 2021. Security has been a top priority for us at AgCompass since our start nearly 25 years ago; and one that requires flexibility as technology continues to evolve. Connection through a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an easy-to-use connection that is widely regarded as the most secure option. If you are running your FBS software on AgCompass, watch for more information soon.

We are also excited to formally announce our partnership with Bales Technology, a managed IT firm. Owner, John Bales, provides a wealth of expertise and experience in a variety of managed IT solutions from cybersecurity to help desk services. Bales Technology is also a licensed Office 365 reseller providing custom installation and support.

Through our partnership with Bales Technology and our ongoing focus on security, we look forward to several security and product upgrades in 2021 for AgCompass clients.

Trade Show

2021Trade Show "Survivors" 

Nearly all the 2020-2021 winter farm shows and conferences were cancelled or "virtualized;" however, there's good news for this summer.  Mark these events on your calendars.

Show Date Location
wpx-logo June 9-11 Des Moines, IA
FFBoot Camp 2021 Farm Futures Ag Finance Boot Camp June 15 Coralville, IA
FFSummit 2021

Farm Futures Business Summit
June 16-17

Coralville, IA

FBS/MASA Users in the News

The December 2020 Top Producer Magazine featured a farm family that partners with Legan Livestock and Grain in "The Long View--Purposeful transition guides and Indiana father-son team." 

Redefining the Dollars & Sense of Farm Business Management

Farm Innovations January 2021 issue includes the story, "Redefining the Dollars & Sense of Farm Business Management" that incorporates the wise comments by some top "forward thinkers:"

Being willing to invest in good management information and software is the changing dynamic.  And the larger, more sophisticated farms are saying, "I value information and I'm willing to invest in it."

It's not the cost of the software.  The real cost is the human cost, of learning it, sitting at the desk and conscientious entering the data that needs to be entered--getting total buy-in from the team.  You can't have people in management saying, "I'm all for this," but the people who are driving tractors and hauling inputs aren't invested in the importance of data management."

Dick Wittman, farmer, financial consultant, and FBS conference speaker.
Dick Wittman

There has been a movement to more business-oriented farms.  Farms that are growing, using not just their own capital but borrowed money, will have to hold themselves to a higher standard.

Ultimately though, people who use data are going to be the winners.  And while there's a ton of data out there, using it has been somewhat disappointing.

We're right on the edge of a much more data-oriented equipment management regime, where we start keeping data on our equipment in terms of exactly how we're using it.  At the end of the year, we'll be able to crunch numbers and get pretty precise in terms of our asset utilization and our costs to operate things, then dial into our capacity needs.

Brian Watkins, Ohio grower, MASA member, and CropZilla Software founder.
Brian Watkins 3

Q&A: A/P Aging Report

Q. When I run the Accounts Payable Aging Report and check "Use all payments" my Total Due doesn't match my ledger balance.  How do I fix it?

Sarah 2019

Sarah Dixon, FBS Support Coordinator

A. There are several reasons your amounts don’t match:

  1. If you have some old A/P’s out there that were never paid, the system will drop them off out of the A/P Aging Report once they exceed your Cash Look Back Months Preference, which is typically 12-24 months, so get those old invoices cleaned up or extend your Look Back Months.
    Cash look back months
  2. You could have also posted an A/P entry to a non-A/P vendor.  You do receive a warning when you enter these types of entries; however, if the warning is ignored then the A/P "module" reports will not pick up the entry, but all other accounting reports will!  To track issues like this I run a TA+ User Defined Report for the A/P ledger account and time period corresponding to the A/P Aging Report. Click on the Recap by Vendor tab at the top of the report and start comparing it to the A/P Aging Report. 

    Recap by vendor

    Punctuation matters, so check consistency or lack of commas or periods in the vendor name. To edit a vendor, drill down to the entry and click on the use vendor name box and select from the popup vendor list.
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