Managing the Farm Finances
The financial performance of a farm is a key indicator of how well the farm is operating. It’s vitally important to know the financial position for your farm business and it’s only when you regularly review and manage financial reports that you are in a true position to plan for the future. As a starting point information to have would include:
- Annual cash flow analysis which includes budgets and a budgetary plan for the future.
- A breakdown of all assets and liabilities of the farm business and farm household.
- It can be a very useful exercise to look at the previous year’s performance and then make comparisons.
Help with improving financial management – The farm accountant can provide an indication of financial performance. They can also make recommendations or refer you for more specialist advice. Your accountant or farm business consultant can help you to analyse your business and has useful tools available to help you keep records and provide guidance on managing finances.
It’s important when reviewing your financial situation or developing a farm business plan that you take into consideration unexpected situations such as animal death, crop failure/disease, machinery breakages/purchaces and succession planning.
Training and up skilling on financial recording – There are a range of programmes being offered to help develop skills in farm or general business financial management:
- The Business of Farming – This programme is focused on building resilience and sustainability; be that in financial, technical, business, or family matters. This will involve a series of activities to be held across Northern Ireland to include seminars, small group workshops and confidential one-to-one support from a team of mentors who have a wealth of experience in the agricultural sector to include financial and technical expertise.
- The Prince’s Countryside Fund Farm Resilience Programme – These interactive workshops will help to secure a viable and resilient future for farm businesses, by equipping them with the information and confidence to help them progress.
- CAFRE Farm Family Key Skills (FFKS) programme – Offers workshops to help Northern Ireland farmers with their business decision making in the key areas of Animal Health, Business Planning, Health & Safety and ICT. For more information please visit www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-family-key-skills or call 0800 028 4291
For more information on our programmes or to speak with someone about your financial options please call our free support line on 0800 138 1678 – where we can offer confidential and non-judgemental support to your farm business.