Hedge Accounting Workshop, Summer Networking Opportunities, Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part V, Crop Input Applications.
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 FarmSMART                                                     May 2014 

In this Issue:

Hedge Accounting Workshop

Summer Networking Opportunities

Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part V

June Free Webinars

Q&A:  Crop Input Applications


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Click here to learn about the Pork Profit Center Dashboard
"Ground Control to Major Tom."   Last month we contemplated the "spaghetti works" required to control and communicate with a modern planter.
This month we get a glimpse of a typical tractor's "business end:  " five monitors and displays, including an iPAD.  While this technology is very cool (enough to impress a visiting airline pilot), the real business of farming isn't into gear until this production data is properly merged and aligned with a financial context.  In other words, until you have implemented accounting that monitors and evaluates production activity, you really don't have true "ground control."

In the May issue of FarmSmart we prepare for a big summer:
  • Hedge Accounting Workshop.
  • Summer networking opportunities.
  • Objections to Growth Path Accounting.
  • Consultant needed.
  • The June free webinar schedule.
  • Applying crop inputs.


Hedge Accounting Workshop Scheduled  For August 26
Agricultural producers who use commodity futures and options will have a unique opportunity to learn the best accounting practices at an intensive workshop held on August 26, 2014, one day prior to the FBS User Conference at the Stoney Creek Inn in Moline, Illinois
Paul Neifer
Paul Neiffer, CPA.
Led by Farm Journal Top Producer's "FarmCPA," Paul Neiffer, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, the session covers the fundamentals of accounting for hedges as documented in the 2014 edition of the Financial Guidelines for Agricultureas published by the Farm Financial Standards Council (FFSC).
The workshop will go beyond theory, though, as participants will have the opportunity to work though realistic crop and livestock case studies developed by the FFSC Technical Committee using FBS software. These case studies include examples of fair value and cash flow hedges as well as various options strategies and the resulting tax, accrual and management reports and analysis.
Anyone within a farming operation who "touches" commodities--ag accountantsmarketing specialists, controllers, CFOs and senior management--will benefit from from this hands-on training.
Registration is $250 for the first person, $150 for additional company representative.  Each student will receive a copy of the Financial Guidelines for Agriculture, a workbook, and FBS case study data setsRegister now to receive a 25% discount.  Plan to stay for the entire FBS User Conference, August 27-28, which will cover new technologies, cost benchmarks and best management practices from progressive operations across North America. 
To register for either the Hedge Accounting Workshop or full User Conference call 800.437.7638 / extension 2 or click on this link.
Reserve you hotel room at the Stoney Creek Inn by calling 800.659.2220and request the FBS room block.

Summer Networking Opportunities  

FBS will be represented at all of these educational and networking events.  We're looking forward to visiting with you!
   World Pork Expo  


Look us up at Varied Industries Building booth 132 from June 4-6 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa.
Sponsored by the National Pork Board, the Pork Management Conference is suited for CFOs, Controllers, Owners, Lenders, Growers, HR/Safety Directors, Accountants and Risk Managers and will be held in Tampa, Florida, June 17-20.  Click here for a brochure.
Managerial Accounting Workshop
Top Producer Magazine is once again teaming up with Texas A&M University to host its second Managerial Accounting workshop, July 7 to 8 at the Hilton Rosemont/O'Hare hotel in Chicago.  Farm business consultant Dick Wittman will lead farmers through the two-day course. To register for the event, contact Texas A&M's Danny Klinefelter at (979) 845-7171 or danklinefelter@tamu.edu.
Russell Consulting Group Conference
The Russell Consulting Group Summer Conference,held in Moline, Illinois, on July 30-31, will cover climate, big data, markets and Agriculture 3.0.  Call 877-333-6135 for more information.
 FBS User Conference
Lock in August 27-28 for FBS's annual networking and training seminar at River's Bend Conference Center in Moline, Illinois.  The theme this year is "Raising Your Farm to the Next Level," and we'll be presenting 2013 cost of production benchmarks from the nation's top crop and pork producers.


Prescription Farming for Your Financial Records Part V

Last month's installment of Growth Path Accounting covered the Step Two question, "What are your information goals?"  

Before we go into an in-depth comparison of the methods, we're pausing to answer potential objections to this "GPS" accounting implementation strategy. 

Astute readers will have detected two potential flaws in the Growth Path System. 

The first is that Growth Path Accounting does not attempt to "convert" anyone from cash to accrual or single entry to double entry (or vice versa).  In fact, it's possible to go through the first phase of Growth Path Accounting without gaining any noticeable improvement over the financial information delivered by the current accounting system.    

The second potential complaint arises from the fact that Growth Path users are limited to four seemingly-rigid choices in starting systems:  Methods A,B,C and ABC. 

Both of these criticisms need to be weighed against the objectives of Growth Path Accounting which are:

  1. To begin doing useful work on the computer as quickly as possible.  
  2. To learn advanced accounting skills at home at your own pace.  
  3. To provide for future expansion to integrated farm records.

You cannot get off to a "fast start" computerizing a job that you have never done by hand. Too many farm accounting programs are now collecting "digital dust" because their owners bit off more than they could chew by selecting a program that could do everything but demanded more detail and precision than anyone on the farm could provide. Growth Path Accounting compromises in this area by immediately producing useful information, regardless of the user's background or the method chosen.  

Finally, the key to success in Growth Path Accounting is in the ability of the accounting software to freely climb to more advanced levels as experience allows or needs dictate. Unfortunately, few programs have this capability.  If properly designed, though, the four initial accounting systems are more than adequate starting points from which to reach the unique goals of most farm businesses.   

In the next issue, we'll begin a detailed overview and comparison of these accounting systems.  

(For more information on Growth Path Accounting visit the Farm Management Software Blog.)
June Free Webinars
 June  2:  Applying Crop Inputs
June  9:  Landlord Reports
June 16:  ACH Module
June 23:  Crop Reports
June 30:  No Webinar
All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CDT.   

To register, e-mail support@fbssystems.com by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.
Consultant/Trainer Position Opening
If you have a strong background in accounting and/or finance, are willing to travel, and are passionate about agriculture we'd like to visit with you about a new position at FBS Systems.

Responsibilities include: 

To apply send your résumé in confidence to norm@fbssystems.com. 

Q&A of the Month--Crop Input Applications 
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

Q.   I've purchased my seed, fertilizer and chemicals into accounting for this year.   How do I get them out of inventory and applied to the fields?   

A.  FBS Crop Audit offers two alternatives for applying the inputs you that you already have in inventory.   

The first option is Crop General Input.  This screen allows you to apply individual products by date and field by selecting the following: 

General Crop Input

1. Entry Type:  Choose (C) to Plant Seed, (D) to Apply Chemicals  or (E) Apply Fertilizer   

2. Date:  Enter the date of the application.     

3. Center:   Select the crop production center from the drop-down list.  

4. Field/Project:  Select from the drop-down list of fields or projectsassigned to the production center.     

5. Number:  Choose the seed, chemical or fertilizer from the drop-down list.  

6. Acres:  Enter the number of acres on which this product wasapplied in the field.  

7. Purchased Quantity:  If you know the total amount of this product that was used in the field, record it here otherwise go to #8.   

8. Application Rate:  If you entered the purchased quantity in #7,application rate will already be calculated based on the formula:  (Purchased Quantity /Conversion Factor)/ Acres.  If you enter the rate here then purchased quantity will be calculated using the formula: (Application Rate X Acres)/Conversion Factor.    

9. Application Method:  If you've set up a  list of methods (i.e. "Broadcast," "VRT," "Pre-Emerge," etc.) select them here. 

10. Actual/Budget:   Selecting Actual will pull products from inventory at cost; Budget entries are not pulled from inventory.    

11. Comment:  Add any additional notations here such as field conditions.    

You can continue to enter as many rows or columns* of data for as many fields or entry types as you wish until you press the Save button, which closes the screen.  Note that the last row or column won't save unless you advance beyond it to a blank row or column.    

Input by Center/Field

 The second way to manually record applications is through Input by Center/Field.  It stores the same data elements as the General Crop Input; however it offers several advantages:

  • You can record every activity that occurs on a field during a day in a single, multi-line entry.  (The example below includes seed, insecticide, operations and employees.)
  • Besides saving time this screen also allows you to record more complex processes such as a split planter or tank mixes.
  • These complex entries can be memorized as "Macros" that permit repeated multi-line entries that store "target rates" and automatically adjust quantities applied to match varying field acres.

In addition to these manual application entries through Crop Audityou can also record seed, chemical or fertilizer applications directly through TransAction Plus accounting or import them electronically from Conservis and a wide variety of application monitors and mapping software.}   

* Tip:  To change your General Crop Input from rows to column by going to Utilities | Preferences and entering "Yes" on this line:

Preference to General Crop Input from rows to columns.



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