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March 2021
Flag Ship
"Live streaming" on the Mississippi.

Dear Friend,

Are you itchin' to finally "Zoom" away from those two-dimensional virtual meetings and get back to networking face-to-(unmasked?) face with your peers?  We're not promising the world will be totally back to normal as of September 6-8, but we are planning a fully "live stream" Ag Software Success Summit scenically located along America's main stream--the Mighty Mississippi.  Read the details below.

Also in this month's FarmSmart newsletter:

  • Version 11.5:  A "NextGen" International Enterprise.
  • New Dates and Location for the Ag Software Success Summit. 
  • 2021 Trade Show Calendar.
  • FBS Users in the News.
  • A/P Report Troubleshooting.   

FBS Logo FINAL-01-Horizontal

Version 11.5:  A "NextGen" International Enterprise
American ag accounting expertise teams with German engineering.

Nearly three years ago an ad hoc group of FBS "power users" began brainstorming on the "Next Generation" for their farm financial management software.  Throughout 2018, this diverse cross-section of American crop and livestock producers formed a consensus on the purpose and vision of what was to officially become the Mutual Agricultural Software Alliance (MASA), formed in March 2019.

MASA's Purpose:

MASA is a closely held limited liability company that is set up to own and continuously develop a production agricultural financial hub with an open architecture which will link financial, production and other important information into a common database that will support the accounting and management needs of farms and ranches.

MASA's Vision:

  • MASA is owned and controlled by production agricultural firms and agricultural accounting firms that support them.
  • The MASA financial hub with web integration is being built on the 40+ years of FBS Systems, Inc code development. 
  • MASA intends to interactively work with allied organizations to develop API (Application Programming Interface) based applications that will integrate with the MASA financial hub.

The project required three concurrent technical objectives that were prioritized in two phases

Objective 1:  Translate the 1.7 million lines of FBS business logic written in Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) to the latest Microsoft .NET language. To accomplish this daunting task, FBS and MASA contracted a German software firm with the engineering expertise to automate much of this process.  Performing this verbatim conversion allows the FBS team to test every translated .NET function and report output against the prior version VB logic.

Objective 2: Convert the complete FBS file structure to open SQL tables.  The FBS development team, lead by Dr. Martin Traviolia, has designed and coded these changes.  Most of the accounting and crop database formats in Version 11.5 were actually implemented in Version 11.4 so no major data conversion is required. 

Objective 3:  Create a synchronized, cloud-based SQL Server platform that can be shared with allied vendors through an open API and accessed by modern reporting and analysis tools like Microsoft Power BIMASA members are currently testing this feature with their accounting data as well as conducting API discussions with allied organizations.  (See flow chart below.)

V 11.5 API

Phase 1A:  Release the .NET version of TransAction Plus Accounting.  Objectives #1, #2, and #3 have been accomplished for all accounting functions within Version 11.5, and are now available to MASA members and soon to FBS customers. 

Phase 1B:  Release the .NET version of Smart Feeder, Crop Audit, and LifeCycle Budget (Versions 11.6-11.7) throughout the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

What's this mean for you?

For FBS customers and MASA members:

  • Long-term compatibility and sustainability for your software.
  • Your open access and control of your data.
  • Increased accounting report speed.

For MASA members:

  • Access to modern cloud reporting, analysis, and dashboard tools like PowerBI.
  • Gateway to APIs with your trusted advisors, technologies, and peers.

For those who aren't yet FBS customers or MASA members:

  • The "NextGen" financial management platform you've been waiting for with the ag knowledge, integration, flexibility, and capacity to grow with your business.
  • Ownership and control of your data.
  • Your choice of on-premise or cloud access.

Click here for more information on MASA.

Click here for more information on FBS.

New Dates and Location for the Ag Software Success Summit

 Hyatt Place East Moline overlooks the mighty Mississippi.
 The Bend XPO--a brand-new event space--to host the 2021 Summit.

 The annual FBS/MASA Ag Software Success Summit is returning to the "real" world this year at a new time and location.

The conference begins on Tuesday, September 7th , for MASA members only and Wednesday, September 8 through Thursday, September 9th for FBS customers and the general public.

This year we'll be in all new facilities:  the East Moline, Illinois, Hyatt Place and the Bend XPO Conference Center, both overlooking the Mississippi River.  We'll also stream the meeting as we did in 2020, but "onsite" attendees will enjoy unique networking opportunities, including a Mississippi prime rib riverboat cruise

So mark your calendar for the second week in September and watch for email updates.

 2021Trade Show Calendar 

FBS and MASA will participating in and supporting these "live" events in 2021.

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

Danny Murphy

Congratulations to Danny Murphy, winner of the Southern Region Conservation Legacy Award recognized in the Mid-February 2021 Farm Journal.  Visit the farm of this Mississippi "Soil Whisperer" in this clip from the AgDay TV show.  Danny has also served 10 years on the American Soybean Association Board of Directors and its President in 2013.

Q&A: A/P Troubleshooting

Q.  When I run the Accounts Payable Detail Report by option 7 to see if I have any errors there are entries that are in orange, but not at the top of the page. However, those entries appear to be fine, so why are they in orange?

Sarah 2019

Sarah Dixon, FBS Support Coordinator

A.  The orange lines on the A/P (or A/R) Detail Report Option 7 (Invoices with Payments) can mean a couple of things.

  1. If the lines that are in orange are at the very top of the report they are payments without an invoice. That means that at some point an A/P entry was paid but after being paid something on the original invoice was changed (such as the Invoice Number, Vendor, or Description) or even deleted. In the example below the Description in the payment was edited from the Invoice Number (that's automatically assigned ) to a comment ("PAID EARLY") which breaks the link in the payment back to the invoice.
    AP Error

    To fix those payments you need to study the check or deposit record to determine which invoices were paid as well as note the Check Date and Cleared Date. Then the easiest solution is to delete the check and repay the A/P with the correct Date and Cleared Date.
  2. Lines that are orange but appear somewhere in the body of the report are invoices with issues. These are usually that the invoice has been open longer than the Cash Look Back Months Preference setting (Utilities>Set Preferences).

    AR Error

    In this example payment for this invoice was over the 6 month Cash Look Back period.  Changing the Look Back Months to 12 will correct this error.

    Cash Lookback Preference

    Note that Look Back Months can be set between 6 and 72, but for Accounts Receivable or "internal" Accounts Payable we recommend no more than a 12 month setting and either writing them off or converting them to Notes Payable or Receivable if their age exceeds a year.
  3. Tip:  If you've corrected entries, but they are still in orange, rerun the A/P or A/R Detail Report Option 7 again to re-index invoices and payments.
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