Wednesday, July 28, 2010

User Conference Update

There's a lot happening as time draws near for the FBS 30th Anniversary User Conference, August 24-26 in Moline, Illinois.
  • Early bird 50% discounts end on Friday, July 30th.
  • Due to record enrollment, the Stoney Creek Inn sleeping rooms are now sold out, but rooms are still available at the neighboring Radisson John Deere Commons (309.764.1000). Call the FBS Sales Line (800.437.7638/Extension 1) for other nearby hotels.
  • Follow this link for agenda and registration information
  • You can choose any combination of days to fit your schedule and interests.
  • Substantial discounts for additional family members/business associates.
  • If you're experiencing a lot of growth in your operation, you won't want to miss the expert panel on "Do You Need a Controller/Are You Ready for a CFO?"
  • Financial consultant Moe Russell will be speaking on "Incorporating FBS Data Into Risk Management Decisions," and sharing crop operations benchmarks in a breakout session.
  • You'll be the first to see an exciting new technology from FBS and DTN.

Breakout sessions on Thursday, August 26th will cover some of the following options, but will be based on survey responses we receive this week.

Click here to take survey

Breakout Topic Options
(Final Schedule Based on Survey Responses)
  • Farm Accounting 101.
  • DTN Analysis Tools.
  • Cleaning Up Your Data.
  • Beginning Budgets.
  • Advanced Budgets and Monitoring.
  • Managerial Accounting Case Studies.
  • Crop Cost Benchmarks.
  • Smart Feeder User Defined Reports.
  • Consolidated/Production Cost Analysis.
  • Machinery Tracking and Unit Costs.
  • Synchronizing with Commodity & Ingredient Hedging (CIH) Margins.
  • Building Dashboards.
  • Understanding Report Generator.
  • New Tech Tools.
  • Precision Farming Interfaces.
  • Borrowing Base Calculations.
  • Payroll/Hired Labor Tracking Issues.
  • Accounting for Hedging Transactions.

Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn from the experts and exchange ideas with your peers at our biggest event of the year. Call 800.437.7638 /Extension1 to sign up today!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Farm Financial Standards Council Marks Milestone

FBS user, Kerry Knuth, (center) addressed his former TEPAP (The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers) instructor Dick Wittman (left) and TEPAP Director Danny Klinefelter (right) at the 20th anniversary meeting of the FFSC (Farm Financial Standards Council) in St. Louis on July 21-22, 2010. Klinefelter was a co-author of CFS (Coordinated Financial Statements) which FBS Systems computerized, and co-founder of the FFSC, which adopted many of the concepts prototyped through CFS to standardize financial reporting and analysis throughout American agriculture.

Knuth's presentation was entitled "Utilizing Management Accounting -- Benefits and Challenges" based on his experiences with FBS's E.CLIPSE Management Accounting in his Nebraska crop and custom farming operation. Knuth was first exposed to MA through management guru/TEPAP instructor Wittman, and his presentation was a case study in ways that the TEPAP program can change operations.

Through MA, Knuth is moving his business model from reactive to proactive. He shares, "We've been doing custom work since 2002, but never knew whether it's paying for itself or not. Keeping track of everything we do is very tough. But I don’t see myself as a farmer any more—rather the owner of a farm operation. I know there a lot of farmers who will continue with the way things are. Even if I didn’t love accounting, I have to track costs. "

Knuth's innovative use of a marketing brochure was featured in Mike Wilson's July/August Farm Futures column, "Farmer, market thyself."

The FBS User Conference will include two breakout sessions on management accounting:
1. A forum where producers can share their experiences, insights, decisions made and questions raised through all aspects of MA.
2. A kickoff for a machinery operations benchmarking group, coordinated by John McNutt and Moe Russell.

Another User Conference breakout session will cover accounting for hedging transactions based on the latest (pending) recommendations from the Farm Financial Standards Council Technical Committee and adapted to FBS to help better match gain/loss to specific groups/centers/time periods.

For more information or to register, click on:

Q&A of the Month--Reconciling With a Bank Statement

Q. What’s the best way to reconcile my checking accounts at the end of the month?

A. You can reconcile checks a couple of different ways depending on whether you clear your checks as you write them or clear them when the statement comes.

If you clear the checks as you write them the best report to run to reconcile is the Check Register/Check Reconciliation Report. This is straight-forward report asks for dates and account, but the biggest influence of what you get is the box that says “Date range uses check date.”
If you check the box it will show all checks written during the time period selected; any checks that fall outside the date range will either be reflected in the Beginning Balance or the Cleared After lines. This will give you a chronological list of cleared and un-cleared checks during the date range selected. If you choose not to check the box you will see just the checks that cleared during the date range, even though some these checks were likely written prior to the date range selected. Then at the bottom of the report you will see a list of all un-cleared checks. If you are clearing the checks as you write them then it really doesn't matter which way you run the report since the dates will be the same.

If you choose to wait until the account statement comes from your financial institution, then go to Input and select Clear Checks and Deposits and put in the date cleared for all checks and deposits on the statement. Now when you run the Check Register/Check Reconciliation Report you will see a difference in the two options for running the report. Either date range option can be used to reconcile your accounts, but running by Date Cleared (not checking the box) will give you all the transaction in the order you see them on your bank account statement along with a list of what still hasn't cleared. This makes it very easy to reconcile your statement.

Editor's note: Sarah Dixon, our Technical Service Manager and author of the Q&A section, will be demonstrating similar accounting processes in the "Farm Accounting 101" breakout session at the 2010 FBS User Conference in next month (see related articles).