By Nick Barraclough, Partner Success Manager UK & Ireland
One of the questions we’re sometimes asked is “Why do I need Figured when I have Xero already?” It’s a fair question and one we answer through describing the unique nature of farm accounting.
Our business started from the ground up as a cloud-first specialist agricultural tool. Figured starts where the standard financial packages end, and better reflects the specific accounting needs of farming. Adding Figured into the mix gives you clarity in three key areas, valuations, on farm profitability, and collaboration with advisors.
Farms purchase and grow an array of products throughout any given year, so understanding the value of inventory is key for decision making. Carry too much stock, and you could be depriving yourself of important cashflow. Not carrying enough can be expensive, since you’d be missing out on bulk savings and bring in timing risks.
Figured supports the nuances of farm inventory and valuation, covering stock management in a way that naturally flows through into the impact of inventory on enterprise gross margins. Whether you’re buying, growing, applying, or writing off, this needs to be done in a way that supports the other farm reporting requirements.
Livestock plays into this too. Investment in animals through rearing and growing costs should be reflected in both the farm’s balance sheet and profit and loss reports. And, you can link BCMS into the picture to make the livestock quantities automatic..
Driving on farm profitability
There’s already plenty of decisions to be made on the farm. Ensuring they’re profitable and remain that way is important.
Nearly half of financial management data is made up of non-cash movements, and trying to show these movements without a specialised agri-accounting platform can be confusing and time-consuming.
Leveraging enterprise trackers and supporting the season-level reporting through the use of a cost allocator reduces that burden significantly. Figured drives this through the creation of allocation rules, giving your farmers timely and higher quality management reports with their production data in sync with the finances.
Farm data shouldn’t be isolated and unavailable - the farming team (farmer, consultants, accountants, and advisors) working on the same set of numbers is more important now than ever before.
Business planning in agriculture requires a lot of detailed knowledge, and bringing that plan closer to the farm finances makes it easier for everyone to stay on track. Getting clients moving with Xero and Figured also opens up the possibility of using any of the other 1000+ ecosystem apps being used to support farming clients, such as Xero Expenses or HubDoc for scanning invoices.
Banks often require specific information as a part of their agri-loan lending too, like production information and 5 year projections. Figured’s scenario planning tool enables you to leverage financial data to make planning an even faster process.
There have been a number of exciting developments in Figured over the last few months, including updated livestock trackers, Statement of Position and our new BCMS integration for the UK market.