Upgrades Delivered to Your Door, What the Ag Consultants Learned, Accounting Method A: The "High Road", Failure to Launch?, Run-time Error 53
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 FarmSMART                                                  October 2014 

In this Issue:

Upgrades Delivered to Your Door

What the Ag Consultants Learned

Accounting Method A:  The "High Road"

Failure to Launch?

2014-15 Trade Show Schedule

November Free Webinars

Q&A:  Run-time Error 53



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 Ah...the colors of October:  gold and burgundy leaves, green and yellow (and red) equipment and beige bean dust. 

We hope your harvest is going smoothly, you take time to enjoy the beauty of creation and you can steal a few minutes to catch up on tech news on your mobile devices.
A lot's happening in the ag computing world: 
  • FBS releases new upgrades.
  • What the ag consultants just learned.
  • The growth path to Method A accounting.
  • Are you experiencing a failure to launch?
  • Trade show schedule.
  • November free webinar schedule.
  • I just got quarantined!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               SDG  
Upgrades Delivered to Your Door
Shipments of the 2015 FBS SeRVware upgrades (Versions 8.15 and 10.4) have begun this month to FBS Corporate and VIP clients.  The CDs include over 100 user-requested improvements to FBS integrated software modules.  
We'll be covering some of the major new features in upcoming FarmSmart issues.  In the meantime you can download a slide show from the 2014 FBS User Conference for an overview.

 Software improvements are delivered to FBS users through two processes:  Weekly updates downloaded over the Internet and annualupgrades mailed out on CDs.   Users on Corporate and VIP service agreements receive their upgrades in October, Priority service plans in November and Basic plans in December each year.

We recommend installing your upgrade as soon as it arrives so you can continue receiving weekly updates.  Instructions in the packet will help you decide which of the two version options is right for you.

Clients logging in through the AgCompass cloud will automatically receive their upgrades. 

What the Ag Consultants Learned
The Mt. Rushmore" of past ASAC presidents gather in St. Louis.
Professionals from 17 states gathered in St. Louis on October 19-20 for the annual conference of the American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC).  If you missed the action you can view these presentations on the ASAC website.
The 2015 Officers and Directors are:
Norman Brown, FBS Systems - President
Erin Pirro, Farm Credit East - President-Elect
Julie Strain, Red Wing Software - Vice President/Secretary
Carol Starkie, Farm Credit East - Chief Financial Officer
Russell Morgan, Morgan Ag Consulting Svcs - Immediate Past President
Kurt Ehnle, Ferguson Group (Peoria) - Director
Roy FergusonFerguson Group (Peoria) - Director
Jame Kastanek, Total Agribusiness Systems - Director
Gary Snider, Farm Credit East - Director
Ib Hagsten, Hagsten Enterprises Intl. - Communique' Editor
You can learn more about ASAC and download a membership applications on their website.

Accounting Method A:  The "High Road"
In prior installments in this series, we covered the two key questions in the Growth Path Accounting Decision Tree.  This month we continue tracing the accounting results from these decisions.
 If your current accounting method is strictly accrual, you're using professional accounting oversight and you're not concerned with real-time inventories and/or managerial (cost accounting you've already selected Accounting Method A (Accrual Focus).  

What Does Method A look like?
1. No integration with production information.  If you're tracking field or livestock performance records, they'll be isolated in separate, unconnected databases (or sheets of paper).

2. Limited cash accounting.  Producing a cash-basis Schedule F tax return will likely require meticulous external adjustments.

3. Partial inventory tracking.   Even if your accounting system includes an inventory module it's likely not easily adaptable to the detail and dynamics of agricultural inventories so you probably will also rely on separate forms or spreadsheets.

4. "Mainstream" GAAP accounting that reliably reports historical financial activity at the expense of farm management detail.  
What are the benefits of Method A?

1. Can produce accrual financial statements that accurately compute profitability.

2. Anyone with an accounting background can understand the reports.

3. Will work with an "off-the-shelf" accounting program rather than more expensive and specialized ag accounting software. 

4. Doesn't require that your controller or bookkeeper understand agriculture 

What are the downsides of Method A?

1. Hard to monitor cash tax position because of the timing differences in cash and accrual transactions.

2. No unit cost analysis by commodity, crop year, farm, field or group.

3. Restricted accounting control because of the challenges of inventory control or reconciliation.

4. Requires formal accounting training to maintain.

Many larger farmers choose Method A strictly on the advice of their CPA, controller or CFO because it's what these professionals are already comfortable with. 

Method A, while highly-sophisticated, may not take you to your ultimate destination.  Be prepared to follow the Growth Path we'll describe in upcoming articles.

 Failure to Launch?
Mike Boggs, CFO and Director of Professional Services.
Have you purchased Transaction Plus and other modules, but lack the time or experience to get the program up and running?  You'll be happy to know that you're not alone.  FBS understands there may be some frustration experienced by users after purchasing the software so they've expanded their organization to address these issues.  
I'm happy to be the newest addition to the FBS family, and I'm here to help you get up and running.  I've been a Controller for over 12 years and also a Financial Analyst for 8 years.  I'd like the opportunity to apply those years of accounting experience to your organization.  If you're having problems getting up and running, please give me a call and let me help you get started.  Call soon and ask us about your "Failure to Launch" consulting discount.
You can contact me by email at mike@fbssystems.com or by phone at 800.437.7638/extension 111.
2014-15 Trade Show Schedule
Catch up with the latest developments in FBS Software at these upcoming trade shows: 
Booth #
ASMFRA AgroNomics (Farm Managers) Oct. 30 - Nov. 1 Marriott Starr Pass
Minnesota Pork Congress Jan. 21-22 Minneapolis Convention Center
Iowa Pork Congress Jan. 28-29 Iowa Events Center,  Des Moines
Illinois Pork Conference Feb. 3-4 Peoria Civic Centers
National Farm Machinery Show Feb. 11-14 Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville
Commodity Classic Feb. 26-28 Phoenix Convention Center
World Pork Expo June 3-5 Iowa State Fairgrounds Des Moines
November Free Webinars

Nov.  3:  FBS Utilities Menu 
Nov. 10:  FBS Basics--checks and deposits
Nov: 17:  FBS Basics--budget
Nov. 24:  Finding your entries
All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CST.   

To register, e-mailsupport@fbssystems.com by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.

Q&A of the Month:  Run-time Error 53
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

 Q. This I just experienced Run Time Error 53 (File Not Found). 

 A. This error has been occurring more frequently with our FBS users.  The message indicates that a critical program file is no longer in the FBS program directory.  The most likely cause it is that it's been quarantined by your virus protection software.  Fortunately, there's a quick fix if you are prepared.   

Above all, don't be alarmed; it doesn't mean that your computer is actually infected with a virus. Virus protection programs often view vertical-market software like FBS as an "unknown publisher" and therefore a potential threat so they "quarantine" the executable files that are necessary for FBS to run.  In effect, these programs "shoot first and ask questions later." 

 If this occurs follow these three steps:

  1. Replace the file.  Often the virus protection software will allow you to restore a quarantined file and mark it as safe. Otherwise this can be done with your latest FBS installation CD.  Just follow the steps you did to install the update previously and the file will be put back into the FBS program directory.
  2. Configure your virus protection software so that it does not quarantine the file again.  If you are not sure how to do that then please call your virus protection software customer support number, and they can walk you through the process.
  3. Download updates from FBS.  Since you installed older program files from the Install CD you need to re-update your program files through FBS to make sure you are running the most current version of the files.  So go to Utilities |Check for Updates and run the updates. 

You have now replaced the missing file, prevented it from happening again and insured you are running the most current version of FBS.  The entire process should only take a few minutes depending on how long it takes you to configure your virus protection software.



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