August 24, 2022 by Candice McKay

Why farm businesses should move into the cloud

Over the past 10 years, we have seen a great deal of consolidation among agribusinesses. As these businesses grow and accumulate debt, doing the bookkeeping and accounting at the kitchen table is no longer viable. By introducing cloud-based accounting, these businesses are better positioned to address complex reporting requirements.

Why move into the cloud?

When gathering your reporting ⁠–⁠ whether for your bank or company management ⁠–⁠ the efficiencies in cloud-based apps accelerate the process. The cloud allows advisors to work with businesses on their books, capturing data updates in real time and anticipating future developments. With the increasing cost of inputs and the increased volatility of the market, the cloud offers a critical sense of where your business is at any given moment, enabling you to make more informed decisions. Cloud accounting also introduces a great deal of automation, saving producers time and allowing them to focus on running their operations, while their accounting needs are addressed in the background.

Access data from anywhere

Unlike companies based in a single office, farm businesses are often spread all over the province or country. Traditionally, businesses that operate in this way still have their accounting system based in a single location, which can make it difficult for those in other locations to access or update business records. With cloud accounting, all you need are the company passwords and an internet connection to access and submit data any time from anywhere.

Prepare for the future

One of the benefits of getting current on the cloud is you can start looking toward the future. We do a lot of cash forecasting for clients, considering what their business and cash flows might look like in the months ahead. This allows them to project cash balances and limits, so they can start talking to the bank early about any cash injection that might be required, rather than to risk not having the necessary funds.

More than a feeling

If your business doesn’t use cloud accounting, you end up making key decisions based on a gut feeling. While those decisions are often correct, they will be far more reliable if they line up with hard data. In this market, you need to move quickly. Limited time opportunities often appear without warning, and if you have a chance to sell grain or contract grain at a certain price, you should be able to make that decision quickly, knowing exactly where you are with your organization and what that will look like going forward.

Embrace change

In agriculture, there is some hesitancy about embracing cloud accounting technology, but these same businesses often welcome other recent technologies, including auto steering, GPS and cameras in barns. Once farm clients accept cloud technology, we find they are virtually unanimous in their enthusiasm.

Meet the Author

Candice McKay Candice McKay
Calgary, Alberta
D (403) 750-7676
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