Jayne and Tim are building on a legacy
Jayne and Tim Blair-Edie both come from farming families, so it seemed only natural they started working on their parents' farm as a young married couple over 15 years ago. By 2015 they’d taken over the lease on 1100 acres and also seized the opportunity to invest in a neighbouring 200 acres to supplement the property.
Time is their most valued asset
Now with three growing kids added to the family, Jayne’s part-time job as a local practice nurse, and a demanding sheep farm operation to run, time is always in short supply. Neither Jayne nor Tim are natural bookkeepers, and both would rather be doing the thousand other things on their list, but someone has to balance the books. So, it was with a huge sigh of relief that Jayne discovered how easy it is to use Xero and Figured when they made the switch earlier this year.
Melanie Tomlins, Jayne and Tim’s accountant at McCulloch and Partners, has had in-depth experience with a number of farm financial software platforms but says “The speed of Figured and its flexibility is great compared to other tools”. And, “When we give people a demo of their options they can immediately see that Figured is the winner...so many more benefits for the same price makes it hard to beat”.
After finding the previous farm finance platform painful and time-consuming, Jayne was immediately thrilled with Figured and Xero’s capability, telling Melanie, “Oh wow, this is really cool,” in the very first training session. Jayne says she loves how Xero and Figured talk to each other so she never has to manually enter data again, and certainly not twice! She says she only stuck with the old platform as long as she did as she’d gotten used to it and didn’t know anything else.
Switching was no sweat
Melanie says the process to bring new farmers on board to Figured is really simple. She likes to spend some time getting in the farm’s data and then makes sure her clients’ get some initial training.
Melanie says, “It’s only about an hour and a half to get started; to go over Xero, show how to do the GST, create a budget and complete their trackers, and then they’re ready to go.” She says clients like Jayne and Tim, “Really enjoy the planning tool, and with previous year’s data they can easily map out the budget for the coming year and adjust as they need to. It’s not set in stone”.
Of course, clients can come back with any questions anytime but she finds because it’s so simple there’s not a lot of follow up questions. And if it's out of hours she knows her clients can also access the Figured customer support team anytime through the app.
The future looks bright
Jayne says they are improving their farm all the time: between buying the neighbours block and changing feed to improve their stock productivity, to tree planting and improving access around the land. But she's proud to say their stock is improving every year, to the point where everyone coming on to the property comments on how healthy they look. They’re guided by the old adage, “if you look after your stock, they’ll look after you”.
Jayne says that although they can’t help things like the big storm they weathered last year, they will control what they can. Having a clear view of their numbers; their productivity and profitability is vital to getting control. And that’s where Figured comes in.
Jayne and Tim both get a real sense of satisfaction seeing their progress and meeting the goals they set for themselves. And they can much more easily track their progress now in Figured. They also surround themselves with great advisors. As well as Melanie, they love working with banker Annabel from ASB as they are now able to all access the same data, and work together on their plans for the farm through Figured.
The Blair-Edies have a clear goal to improve their farm and the land to leave it in even better shape for future generations. They hope one of their own might pick up where they leave off, although they also want their kids to be able to pursue their own dreams, whatever they may be.
With the right tools and support to help them, anything is possible for this smarter-farming family.