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November 2017
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Dr. David Kohl

There's never a dull moment when Dr. David Kohl takes the podium.  We recently heard him address the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers in Savannah, Georgia.  Kohl, Professor Emeritus in the Agricultural and Applied Economics Department at Virginia Tech, identified practices and characteristics of businesses in the top forty percent of profitability.  Dr. Kohl's take-home ideas include:

  • The (cash-basis) Schedule F is the worst management practice ever!
  • Calculate profitability by field.
  • Monitor financials every two weeks with your CFO.
  • Many farmers have capitalized on technology, but it requires a higher level of talent
  • Too many people throw technology out there and expect it to be the cure

FBS proven solutions to Dr. Kohl's problems include:

  • Simultaneous cash and accrual reports.
  • Full cost absorption and accounting by field.
  • Training, consulting and "virtual controller" services.

This month the newsletter has changed to a more "mobile-friendly" format to accommodate the 48% of our readers who read FarmSmart on a smartphone or tablet.  Also we're covering these fresh stories:

  • High Tech Synergy for CPA Firms and Farm
  • FBS "Pork Powerhouses"
  • The Carthage System
  • Scott Henry speaker at Ag Data Conference
  • Andy Larson in Top Producer
  • 24/7 Webinars
  • Q&A Tips for installing Version 11.2.



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AgCompass and FBS Systems: High Tech Synergy for CPA Firms and Farms

A Fifteen Year Relationship of Providing Financial Software and Hosting Service

Specialists in hosting managerial accounting software such as FBS Systems, AgCompass can help improve your business productivity, mobility, file access, data collaboration, and security. If you need to share your FBS Systems data with business partners, advisers, or clients, our secure virtual desktop environment can provide increased flexibility at an affordable price. We manage all the software updates and data backups for you as well as provide one-on-one U.S. based support.

“We’ve partnered with AgCompass for 15 years,” says Norman Brown, President of FBS Systems. “It makes new user setup much quicker and easier and it facilitates technical support as well as “virtual controller” services for clients who need accounting assistance. It’s the ideal platform for family members and employees working remotely. Even companies with their own IT staff often choose AgCompass as a simpler and more economical alternative to maintaining their own network.”

Clients from a variety of businesses say that hosting their FBS Systems with AgCompass has many advantages, from improving access to technical support: 

Heidi Anderson, CPA
Heidi Anderson, CPA, uses FBS and AgCompass with a farm family that grows row crops in North Eastern Arkansas. They grow Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, and Rice and have been using FBS Systems on a virtual desktop since 2015.

"AgCompass hosts our FBS Systems software on their remote server. Anytime I have a technical issue, I'll call AgCompass and their support is phenomenal. Their staff is very timely and knowledgeable," says Anderson. "I also have a payroll system that talks to our FBS Systems Software and anytime I need an update AgCompass is very responsive. They do the update for me manually right after I call." 

Lepley Farms, LLC.
David Lepley at Lepley Farms, LLC has been an FBS Systems client since 1988 and started using AgCompass for software hosting in 1997. Lepley Farms, LLC includes 2,200 acres and has 1,000 head of cattle in Bellevue, Ohio.

"AgCompass hosts the FBS Systems software for us, handling backups and updates with FBS Systems automatically. If we have any issues we call either FBS Systems  or AgCompass and they work together to figure it out," says Lepley. "Hosting our FBS Systems software with AgCompass seems to work pretty flawlessly. We can get to the software from anywhere with an internet connection on any device. I even have it on my cell phone.”

LattaHarris, LLP
A CPA firm in Southeastern, Iowa, LattaHarris, started working with AgCompass in 2006, after an FBS user conference.  Several dozen of their clients, including farm operations of all sizes throughout the Midwest, are using AgCompass as their virtual desktop.

“With the shared environment, clients and our staff have easier access to their financial records and our staff can easily support them to maintain robust financial statements,” said John McNutt, a business consultant at LattaHarris. “With Ag Compass we help our clients reduce costs freeing up everyone to concentrate on adding value instead of moving files around.”

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The staff at AgCompass has deep roots in agriculture along with Midwestern values and many years of experience in IT. AgCompass knows security and data independence are important concerns for CPAs and Agribusinesses alike.

“With a virtual desktop, while data is technically in the cloud, unlike web-based applications, business data is securely stored in your own licensed software – like how it is stored on a personal computer," says Nick Chambers, Business Manager for AgCompass. “With the added advantage of storing your data in a world-class data center your financial records are less vulnerable to hardware failure but with more flexible access to the key people in your operation.”

Contact FBS Systems at 1-800-437-7638 or visit their website ( to learn more about how FBS Systems software can take your operation to the next level.  No matter how big your agribusiness grows in size and complexity, FBS Systems software is robust enough to grow with you.

If you’re already a FBS Systems customer or considering FBS, contact AgCompass for a demo.   New clients receive the first month of hosting free. Call AgCompass at 844-424-2568 or email Nick Chambers at


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FBS Users in the News

Congratulations to these FBS Clients who made the Successful Farming 2017 "Pork Powerhouse" list:

  • Carthage System (175,000 sows)
  • Schwartz Farms (62,000 sows)
  • Wakefield Pork (52,400 sows)
  • Eichelberger Farms (46,000 sows)
  • Fine Swine (31,500 sows)
  • J.C. Howard Farms (27,000 sows)
  • Hord Livestock Company (26,000 sows)
  • Heimerl Farms (21,000 sows)
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Dr. Joe Connor, the Carthage System

 The Carthage System featured in October 2017 Successful Farming.

Learn how Dr. Joe Connor and his team are schooling the swine industry on their "campus."



Scott Henry, LongView Farms, a keynote speaker at the Ag Data Conference.

Scott Henry, LongView Farms

Scott Henry is Business Development Manager for LongView Farms in central Iowa. Henry is responsible for business growth, process management, and the implementation of precision technology – and is passionate about turning quality data into actionable decisions. They have vast experience with numerous data programs, and will share their data journey to better decisions and better ROI.

 Kansas Producer Andy Larson interviewed in the October 2017 Farm Journal Top Producer.

Top Producer asked "what are some of the steps you have taken to transition into a leadership role in your family operation?"

Andy Larson, Larson Farms

“I got an MBA and I saw some awfully high salaries, and here I was going back to making about $20,000 a year the first year I worked. It was an opportunity to make a living and work in the family business. I really craved responsibility. We run a 500-plus-head cow herd, and so that was kind of my initial responsibility. I think it’s very important when you come back to at least cede some of that responsibility to the next generation, No. 1. From an ownership standpoint, we restructured the business into an LLC. We started transferring shares into my account, and then over time, we’ve slowly worked my grandfather out of the business.” - Andy Larson, Larson FarmsGreen, Kan.

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We've switched to 100% recorded webinars so you can learn how to use your FBS Software 24 hours a day. 

Our first webinar is on installing the new Version 11.2.  You can view it from the Notification Window in your FBS Home Screen or clicking here.

Catch up on the webinars you've missed by watching them on the Webinar page of our website.


Q&A:  Installing Version 11.2

Sarah Dixon, FBS Sales and Support Coordinator

Q.  I just received my Version 11.2 CD.  Do you have any tips to make the upgrade process smoother?

A. The new version of FBS has started to go out to our customers.  VIP and Corporate clients should have the disks in hand by now.  Priority and Basic support clients will be receiving their copies soon.  Here are a some important things to keep in mind when installing this new version: 

  1. Make a data backup of all companies before installing.  (You should be making backups at least every week.) 
  2. If you are running on a multi-user network:
    • Make a backup of the FBS_CTRL.DLL and FBSUser.MDB  files (both found in the program directory).
    • Make sure everyone is out of FBS.
    • It's a good idea to do a complete shut down and reboot of the server before running the update
    • Install on the server first.
    • Then go to each local machine (work station) and run the update CD. 
      • On the screen asking which modules to install check only the box for Active X components.
      • Do not choose to create a new desktop icon (shortcut)--manually create a new desktop shortcut pointing back to FBSMAIN.EXE on the server.   (That's because the starting program has been changed from FBS.EXE to FBSMAIN.EXE.)
  3. If you're upgrading from Version 8.16 or prior:
    • FBS will make a data conversion the first time you go into the program.
    • If you're installing on a multi-user network your user file (FBSUser.mdb) will be rebuilt so it's a good idea to print out your user names and passwords so you can re-enter them. 
    • There's also an extra step to get into FBS the first time so please call support to help you with this process!
  4. When installing make sure you choose the directory (folder) where your FBS Software is currently installed.
  5. After installing test FBS to make sure you can get into the program.

As always if you have any questions or concerns please call FBS Technical Support at 800-437-7638 x 100 or email us at .  If you feel you will need help please schedule an appointment ahead of time to ensure there will be someone available to help you.  This is our busiest time of the year and we do tend to have several appointments scheduled each day so scheduling ahead of time allows us to give you our full attention,  You can also watch a video on Installing Version 11.2.

Schedule a Demo