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March 2019
Trade shows 2019

Dear Friend,

Thanks again to our customers and friends who stopped by the FBS Systems booth at the 2019 Iowa Pork Congress, National Farm Machinery Show and Commodity Classic.  We enjoyed visiting and answering your questions.

One of your best questions has been, "How is the software which I depend on today going to keep up with my needs in the future?"  Keep reading and you'll find out!

In this month's FarmSmart:

  • FBS Forms Mutual Agricultural Software Alliance.
  • Management Accounting Automation.
  • Trade Show Calendar.
  • Three Common Support Questions.                                                                                                                                               SDG
FBS Forms Mutual Agricultural Software Alliance

FBS Systems, Inc. (FBS) has formed the Mutual Agricultural Software Alliance (MASA), a closely-held limited liability company set up to own and continuously develop a production agricultural-oriented Enterprise Resource Planning system (Ag ERP).  MASA’s Ag ERP will link financial, production and other important information into a common database that will support the accounting and management needs of farm and ranches.

MASA’s unique vision is focused on three core strengths:


MASA is majority-owned and controlled by production agricultural firms who operate and manage farms and ranches.  These producer owners are leaders and innovators in crop and livestock production and will guide MASA’s software development to achieve current and future best industry practices.


MASA’s Ag ERP will be built from FBS’s current foundation of integrated financial and production agriculture software.  MASA will fund an accelerated re-coding of FBS’ current business logic into a modern, world-class, Ag ERP financial platform that will be ready-to-run in any scale of business that produces crops or livestock.


MASA intends to interactively work with allied organizations to develop applications that will integrate with the open MASA ERP database core.  CPA and Consulting firm LattaHarris, LLP, is also a founding member of MASA. 


FFSC Conference 2018
(Part 6) 

The following is a summary of a presentation entitled "Financial and Management Accounting Software--Developments, Implementation Challenges, and Integration Issues" made in July 2018  to the Farm Financial Standards Council Annual Conference in Champaign, Illinois.

Technical Tools of the Trade

Last month we touched on management accounting automation based on activity-based costing in which equipment and labor activity costs can be allocated to their cost objects (crop projects and groups of animals) based on "cost drivers" associated with those activities.

Here's how this can be automated:

  1. Labor, fuel and machine overhead costs are accumulated in cost centers for unique groups of employees and equipment. 
  2. Those costs are allocated to activities (i.e. planting, harvest, trucking).
  3. Meaningful units (acres, hours, miles, etc.) are tracked with each activity.  These become the cost drivers.  
  4. While we don't know the actual activity costs at the start of each production cycle we can make an estimate from past experience or Extension custom rate tables.  This "primes the pump" with a budget rate that will get us closer, but not precise in determining production costs.
  5. Once the crop is harvested and all the costs and units are known the system automatically adjusts the cost drivers and production costs to actual (netting out the "variance" between initial estimates and actual). This forms the "virtuous cycle" of continually adjusting activity costs based on real-time changes in dollars and units.

Virtuous Cycle

Next month we'll look at a harvesting case study presented at the Farm Financial Standards Conference.

2019 Show Schedule

We still have one big upcoming trade show in 2019.

Date Event Location Booth
June 5-7
World Pork Expo
Des Moines, IA V164

Q&A: Three Common Support Questions

Sarah 2019
Sarah Dixon, FBS Support Coordinator

Q1.  Is there any way to get the To Do List to not come up? 

A1.  Yes; when the To Do list pops up enter a Finish Date and press Save.  If all lines on the To Do list have a Finish Date it will no longer pop up.


To Do List

Q2.  Should I be concerned with the error message that pops up and tells me that AP and AR are installed but not set up

A2.  This isn’t really an error message. It's more of a reminder that you have installed the demo of Accounts Payable and/or Accounts Receivable but have not done the necessary setup to make those modules work.  This can happen unintentionally during the annual upgrade process by checking the AP or AR boxes.  If you do not wish to demo or purchase those modules then you just need to go to Utilities>Set preferences.  Find TA+ Disable AP and below that TA+ Disable AR and put a Y or Yes in the Value column and save.

AP-AR Disable

Q3.  My data is gone, completely gone and I did not click delete company! 

A3.  I've only had someone lose their data completely when their computer crashed and they didn't have a backup.  Nothing in FBS or on your computer will randomly delete your data. 

When I get this call the files are still somewhere on computer but FBS has lost the pointer information often due to a Microsoft update or a routine clearing of cached files.

You just need to click and open the correct folder on the right hand side of the screen where your data is saved.  Our recommended default data location is in a folder called Data underneath the program directory.

However, we have no way of knowing where each client has chosen to save their data.  So it's always good practice to write down the location if you choose not to store your FBS data in the default location.

Data folder

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