Ag consultants face the future, Growth Path Method C Accounting, FBS Discussion Group, webinar schedule, Where did my inactive group go?
Not rendering correctly? View this email as a web page here.

 FarmSMART                                             September 2014 

In this Issue:

Ag consultants face the future in St. Louis

The growth path to Method C accounting

FBS Discussion Group update

Trade show schedule

October free webinar schedule

Q&A:  Where did my inactive group go?


Visit our Website


Stay in Touch

Farm Management Software Blog Button  
View our profile on LinkedIn
Follow-up Links
Click here to learn about the Pork Profit Center Dashboard


Transition Time.
Any day now corn harvest will get in full swing.  As you're gearing up for the biggest crop in in history glean this high-value information from the September issue of FarmSmart: 
  • Ag consultants face the future in St. Louis.
  • The growth path to Method C accounting.
  • FBS Discussion Group update.
  • Trade show schedule.
  • October free webinar schedule.
  • Where did my inactive group go?                                                                                                                                                                                                                             SDG  

Ag Consultants Face the Future in St. Louis
Registrations are still available for the annual conference of
the American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC) which will be held Oct.19 - 21 in St. Louis.

"The overall theme of the conference will focus on looking ahead in ag practices as well as business planning," says Norman Brown, CAC, president of FBS Systems, Inc., and overall chairman of
the ASAC annual conference "With that in mind, we would be terribly remiss in overlooking one of the more important trends that is sweeping over the industry--Big Data

"As consultants we need to be sure we are in the loop on what is changing with client information needs and accessibility, particularly regarding issues such as data access and ownership," Brown explains. A panel of industry leaders will take part in a discussion during the conference. "Big Data: Cultivating Insight from the Cloud to the Client" will feature: John Jansen, director of sales at Climate Corporation; Dr. Terry Griffin, an independent consultant formerly of the University of Arkansas; and a user-producer. The discussion will be moderated by Robert Mehrle,Ph.D., CAC, Mid-South Ag Data, LLC. 

Featured Speakers

John Jansen, Climate Corporation.
Dr. Terry Griffin, Griffin Consulting.

Jeanne Bernick, Top Producer Magazine.
Stephen Nicholson, Rabo AgriFinance.
Bill Helming, Helming Consulting Services.
Dr. James McLaren, StrathKirn.
Joe Kluender, Farm Family Dynamics.
Michael Salisbury, Cooper Norman.
Johne Syverson, Transition Point.

 "There will also be discussion groups focusing on networking with producerssupervising client transitions, replicating your consulting business and managing effective communications with the next generation taking over the leadership roles on farms and ranches," Brown adds. "We'll also explore three different client networking models:  "peer groups," "board of directors," and the Family Farms Group

A really special activity will happen on Tuesday, October 21 for the luncheon, Brown explains. "We will be joined by members of the St. Louis Agri-Business Club who are moving their regular meeting to be with us at our conference hotel. This will be an absolutely great opportunity to meet and mingle with our colleagues from the St.  Louis area. Our guest speaker will be Jeanne Bernick, editor of Top Producer magazine."

All events are being held at the Embassy Suites St. Louis Airport.  The deadline to reserve the ASAC block is September 25th. 

A conference agenda and registration as well as an ASAC membership application are available on the ASAC Website.   The early registration discount ends on September 25th.

Accounting Method C:  The Path of Least Resistance (and Benefit)
In prior installments in this series, we covered the two key questionsin the Growth Path Accounting Decision Tree.  This month we begin tracing the accounting results from these decisions.

If your current accounting method is strictly cash and you're not interested in real-time inventories you've selected Accounting Method C (Cash Focus)
Selecting Method C.
What Does Method C 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. Pure cash accounting.  Your internal accounting records will exactly mirror your cash-basis Schedule F tax return.

3. No inventory tracking.  Most likely you're counting inventories once a year when you complete your lender's financial statement. Those inventory values are recorded in a separate form or spreadsheet, not through your accounting system.

4. You only need to see your accountant once or twice a year for tax planning/preparation.  You rely on your accountant to review and straighten out your cash records and transfer them to your tax return.

What are the benefits of Method C?

1. Fulfills the 
most critical accounting requirement:  tax records.

2. Little training or accounting expertise needed.

3. Will work with a "lowest common denominator" accounting program rather than more expensive and specialized ag accounting software.

4. Because of #3 this makes life easier for your tax accountant.

What are the downsides of Method C?

1. Cash accounting intentionally distorts measurement of farm profitability.

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

3. Little accounting control because no inventory control or reconciliation.

Most farmers "choose" Method C without walking through an elaborate decision tree.  It's simply the "path of least resistance."

Method C doesn't have to be the end of the road, though.  Just follow the Growth Path we'll describe in upcoming articles.
 FBS Discussion Group Update
Mike Boggs, CFO and Director of Professional Services.
During our 2014 User Conference, our customers expressed interest in implementing a peer group to communicate questions back and forth with other users of FBS software.  
I've done some research into the topic and asked the conference attendees if they would prefer a listserv or a forum option for a peer discussion group.  The overwhelming response was to use thelistserve, which "pushes out"  questions in an email format to all discussion group subscribers.  
Thirteen FBS users have already subscribed to this discussion group. Our goal is to have the listserv up and running with the initial 13 users by the end of this month.  Once we have this working properly, we will look at adding other FBS users to the group and expanding the number of groups we offer so we don't overwhelm any one group with too many emails
You can contact me by email at or phone 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
October Free Webinars
Oct.  6:  Smart Feeder User Defined Report by Period vs. Group
Oct. 13:  New Macro and ACH Features

Oct. 20:  Inter-company features
Oct. 27:  Docking Forms
All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CDT.   

To register, by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.

Q&A of the Month:  What Happens to Inactive Groups?
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.

 Q.  I need to reactivate a feeding group, but it's not on my Inactive list.   I can find historical data for the group so I know it's valid.  Where is it? 

A.  When you inactivate a feeding group it goes into an Inactive list based on the year the group was opened.  So if the group you are trying to find was opened in 2013 you need to log into input year 2013 and find it on the Inactive group list in order to reactivate it. 

1. Go to File | Change Company and change the Input/Edit Year to 2013.

 2. Go to Setup | Feeding | Inactive Groups.

 3. Highlight the group you want to reactivate and click on the Activate Group button.


Tip:  It's not necessary to inactivate groups (or crop projects) unless you're approaching the internal limit of 2,000 active groups/projects. Inactivating groups/projects removes them from the report "pick lists" that aid in selecting valid group/projects.  Use the Inactivate Groups or Projects function primarily to "unclutter" your pick lists, but wait until you're reasonably certain that you're done making changes to that group or project.


FBS Systems
Follow us on our blog