Moving into a new financial year is a busy planning period for dairy farm businesses. Dairy Australia's farm business management team suggest six things farmers can do now to help set up for the year ahead.
1. Talk to the team
It's always a good idea to make sure that key people in the farm business are across the plans and how the farm owners see the coming year playing out for their business. Apart from themselves and the people within their business, the farmers need to think about those people who provide input into the decisions made and touch base with them.
The support 'team' might include family and friends, farming peers, discussion group members, consultants, banks, accountants, or other service providers and suppliers. They won't know what the farm owners are thinking unless they share it with them.
2. Log in to DairyBase
Understanding the business performance leads to better business decisions. Now is a good time to start pulling together the farm's physical and financial numbers for 2016/17. If not on DairyBase yet, register now at www.dairybase.com.au
It allows farmers to collect and securely store their farm's business performance data each year and will generate reports that allow farmers to analyse their farm's performance and track their cash, profit and wealth position over time.
It's a once-a-year job to enter the data - getting the numbers right is the key.
3. Check out Dairy Australia's Standard Chart of Accounts
Dairy Australia has developed a Standard Chart of Accounts for dairy farm businesses. It makes a lot of sense - use it to set up the accounts for the new financial year to get lined up with DairyBase and the way the industry talks about farm physical and financial business performance. Perhaps talk to an accountant or book-keeper about applying it to the business - it will allow farmers to better use the information gathered in their tax accounts for the management accounts that are reported in DairyBase.
4. Download Dairy Australia's Cash Management Planner
Managing cash flow is important, especially when things are tight. Dairy Australia has developed a simple cash-flow budgeting tool, which is available as an Excel file or as a PDF file that can be printed. It is available online at website www.dairybase.com.au
- click on the 'Farm Business Management' tab and scroll down.
5. Take stock
'Taking Stock' sessions are still available at no cost to dairyfarmers, including a follow-up Action Plan Review. More than 1000 farmers have done Taking Stock in the past 12 months with 98 per cent recommending it to other farmers. Book now with a Regional Development Program.
6.Register with the local Regional Development Program (RDP)
The RDPs will be rolling out farm business management and DairyBase training courses in the year ahead. They also manage Taking Stock and other programs and services.
[lastpar]Their contact details can be found inside the back cover of each edition of Australian Dairyfarmer (see page 90 in this edition) or online. Get in touch with them today about what's coming up in the region.
For more information and Regional Development Program contact details go to www.dairybase.com.au .