Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part III, Financial Dashboard In Your Future?, Microsoft to "Pull the Plug" on XP, Patronage Dividend In Stock and Cash.
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 FarmSMART                                                     March 2014 

In this Issue:

2014 Educational Events

Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part III

Is There a Financial Dashboard In Your Future?

Microsoft  to "Pull the Plug" on XP on 4.8.14

April Free Webinars 

Q&A:  Patronage Dividend In Stock and Cash

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Click here to learn about the Pork Profit Center Dashboard
A few of the FBS users and friends captured on the "trade show trail cam" between Louisville and San Antonio.

Thanks again for checking in at our exhibits at the National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic this winter.  We caught up on what was going on in your operation, and you got a first-hand update on our software as well as exposure to the Conservis mobile-cloud solution that connects with FBS software.

In the March issue of FarmSmart: 
  • More opportunities to network and learn coming up this year.  Read about the AICPA Ag Conference and the FBS User Conference below.
  • Discover Step One in Growth Path Accounting.
  • Is there a financial dashboard in your future?
  • RIP XP and how that affects you.
  • The April free webinar schedule.
  • How to properly record that co-op stock.


2014 Educational Events  

American Institute of CPAs Agricultural Conference, May 7-9,Austin, Texas

Topics include hedge accounting, financial ratios, entity planningand family farm management processes lead by Farm Financial Standards Council members Jeff Bushey,  Paul Neiffer, Todd Doerhing and Dick Wittman. FBS will be represented as well.

Click here to view the conference program and register.

General Session 2
FBS User Conference, August 27-28, Moline, Illinois

Mark your calendars and prepare to join us for this
annual networking and training seminar. 

If you're interested in participating in an intensive, hands-on Hedge Accounting workshop
preceding the main conference on August 26, email

Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part III  

 Surveys of farm computer users reveal that they believe that accounting is their computer's most important function.  Unfortunately, selection of the right farm accounting system has been a hit-and-miss exercise.Growth Path Accounting, introduced in the FarmSmart  newsletter way back in 1985 and updated for 2014, provides the farm manager with step-by-step procedures for selecting and maintaining his accounting system. 

The Growth Path concept assumes that: 

  1. Farmers have varying levels of accounting experience and time available for bookkeeping.  
  2. Each farmer's information goals are as unique and constantly changing as his farm business.
  3. Farmer-accessible education and training are both scarce and expensive.

The first phase in Growth Path Accounting (GPA) is the determination of a starting system. To do that, you only need to answer two questions: 

  1. Where are you now?
  2. What are your information goals?

Using this profile, GPA uses a "decision tree" to prescribe one of three growth paths leading to varying levels of practices and controls.   


 Step One: Where Are You Now?

 To begin, you must review your past experience with accounting. The first "branch" in the decision tree simplifies this by asking Question One: "Is your current accounting method cash or accrual?" 

You know you are currently cash if:

  1. You are using accounting software which records only checks and deposits to a checking account.  
  2. Income and expense information is primarily used for tax reporting on the cash basis.  
  3. Inventories, production records and financial analysis are maintained outside of your accounting system
  4. Your balance sheet calculates net worth by subtracting liabilities from assets and values inventories at market value.

You're likely accrual if you're following all of these practices: 

  1. You're recording double-entry transactions so that debits always equal credits and your balance sheet proves that assets equal liabilities plus owner equity.
  2. You post expense transactions through accounts payable and revenue through accounts receivable.
  3. You accrue expenses like interest and taxes when they areincurred rather than when they are paid.
  4. You're valuing inventories at cost or lower of cost or marketbasis. 
  5. Costs flow through raw materials, work in process andfinished goods on the balance sheet and are not recognized on the income statement until they are sold.

Note that these are not hard and fast definitions but rather a shorthand process for categorizing your current accounting methodology. Exceptions to the rule may also exist:

  • Cash systems may use external software (like Finpack and AFRA) to make year-end accrual adjustments.
  • Accrual systems may be able to generate cash-basis financial reports.
  • Just because your accounting system can do accrual accounting doesn't guarantee that you're doing it properly.

Which brings us to Question Two: "Who oversees your accounting process?" 

If you already employ an on-site controller or CFO or you contract with a "virtual" accounting professional who oversees your monthly accounting processes then you have more capacity to move to the next level in your growth path than if either you or a family member withlimited accounting training and time availability is trying to accomplish this on your own.  However, if your operation already includes a family member trained (and tasked) in accounting you've (potentially) got the best of both worlds.    

 Next month we'll address Step Two: What are your information goals?

 (For more information on Growth Path Accounting visit the Farm Management Software Blog.)

Is There a Financial Dashboard
In Your Future?    
That's the question raised in a March Farm Futures article that reports on dashboard development by FBS Systems and Conservis and benefits for progressive producers.

Microsoft  to "Pull the Plug" on XP on 4.8.14   

 If you're one of the one-in-five computer users still runningMicrosoft XP you'll be on your own and vulnerable to attack beginning April 8th, 2014.  

That's because Microsoft will be dropping support, upgrades and, most critically, security patches to its venerable operating system (which has reached 90 years old in "dog years").   

Click here to review your options on the Microsoft website:    

The current versions of  FBS (8.14 / 10.3) support all Windows versions from XP through 8.1. 

April Free Webinars
April 7:  Understanding Cost/Profit Centers
April 14: Using Overhead Allocations
April 21: FBS Hot Keys
April 28: What is LifeCycle Budget?
All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CDT.   

To register, e-mail by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.
Q&A of the Month--Patronage Dividend In Stock and Cash 
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

 Q.    I received a patronage dividend in both stock and cash from my cooperative. How do I account for that in FBS?

A.  This can all be accomplished with a two-line deposit to your bank account. The amount of the deposit will be for the net cash value that you received. The first line will be to an income account for stock and dividends and the gross value of the cash plus stock.  The second line will go to your asset account for value of the stock received. See the example below where mycash value is $500 and my stock value is $500. My ledger account 380 is an income account and ledger account 185 is an asset account.   


 Tip: set up an S Center for each class of stock and record the number of shares you receive each year.Also, if you receive a stock certificate, scan it attach it to your deposit using the FBS Scanner Interface.


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