Falling behind on the bookkeeping and then having to catch up has got to be my least favorite part of running a business. For small farms the daily needs of crops are the highest priority but with the vagaries of the weather and the unexpected, bookkeeping will often fall by the wayside. But small farm margins are thin and so maintaining up-to-date bookkeeping is critical to sustainable operations. When that doesn’t happen a whole new and treacherous level of risk occurs. Here at Fantastic Farm Enterprises we know a farmer’s time is precious. A free online bookkeeping application that automatically follows along as they work could sure help.
Time for Bookkeeping
Twenty one percent of small businesses fail in their first year of operation and 50% fail in five years.1 Of those failures, 82% are due to poor cash flow management.2 Not tracking cash flow leads to insufficient owner-knowledge of the day-to-day and long-term financial status of the business.
How can farmers find the time and overcome the drudgery of keeping the books up-to-date? Or, overcome the very real possibility that they may have no background in bookkeeping or accounting? Isn’t having accounting skills and the motivation to stay on top of the bookkeeping necessary to translate a business’s revenues into a profitable business? Well, maybe not! With a couple of the many online bookkeeping applications available, farmers will find the learning curve low and many tasks automated. With winter upon us and a new tax year approaching there is never a better time to get started with one of them.
Online Bookkeeping Applications
My favorite online bookkeeping applications are Wave Apps and QuickBooks. However, Wave is free and super easy to use. Because it's free Wave has no affiliate program so I’m not getting paid to mention them here, I just really like their service. The best time-saving feature is that you can connect your online banking and credit card accounts. Doing so will automatically import transactions as they settle, so that all you have to do is categorize them. This feature also makes reconciling your accounts quick and easy. Wave also gives you the ability to email invoices and to receive payments online for a per transaction fee. If you need it, there is also a payroll option for a monthly fee.
Time is the one thing farmers need the most of, have the least of and at the end of the day always wish they had more of. Automating several important bookkeeping tasks using online applications can give you the time to focus what's important, farming! If you think Wave could be useful to your farming operation, there are many YouTube videos available to help you get started, I’ve watched a few and this 15 minute one is pretty good.