Managing YPTC records with YPTC Business Manager

Joanne and Christopher Rooke run a family farming business in Newton on Ouse in York, currently farming c350 acres of mixed arable and beef.

“We used to employ a farm secretary who produced the books for us, however this was all done by hand. Each year the accounts were sent to the accountants and I was often inundated with queries about activity that had happened many months before, I didn’t have enough information or had to spend hours finding additional paperwork. As a result I felt I needed to understand the operations day-to-day more fully and be more involved in the farms accounts.

We looked closely at our costs and realised that by moving to a farm management software package, we could do more ourselves and reduce the cost of our accountant producing our farm accounts, which equated to £2.5k each year.”

Joanne was introduced to Farmplan’s Business Manager software by a local farm secretary who had used the software for many years.

“We now use Business Manager on farm and have a much more detailed and quality record keeping process as a result. I can separate debtors and creditors, check records against our bank and find errors and omissions quickly which is a great help. I can also add extra information for the accountant which again saves us time at the end of the year. I am confident that as I have put data into the system throughout the year I can spot any errors and deal with them quickly.”

Joanne has been using Business Manager for just over 12 months, she adds, “I have just completed our first year with Business Manager, we run two businesses on the software, the farm and YPTC. The YPTC is an assessment centre for City and Guilds. Whilst this is a simple set up it has allowed me to work with the system continuously and have a much better understanding of inputting data and reporting on our figures.”

“We complete our VAT returns easily with the software, at the end of the quarter I close down the VAT and the system produces the complete VAT return, it couldn’t be simpler.”

There are a range of tools and features available in Business Manager to help you improve your farm financial management, Joanne adds, “I like to look at the financials in particular profit and loss; I can then see how we have done this year. I use the supplier information to check what we are spending and where and if potential savings can be made. I like to compare commonly bought products to ensure there is not a massive movement in cost, for example sprays. Now into the second year of data, I am comparing last year’s costs with this year’s, we should see a reduction in costs, and I like to see if this is reality.

“It is also good to see how the cattle prices are moving batch on batch and see trends of highs and lows, over the farming calendar. I am now looking ahead and want to use more of the software functionality to manage individual enterprises and enhance our accounts management.”

One of the key benefits of Business Manager is the ability to analyse and report on specific areas of the business. Joanne manages two businesses with the software and finds this functionality straightforward. “Thinking about how we manage the YPTC records, my inputting balances back to the bank, so it works extremely accurately. What also works well for me is being able to use the data to report the trends back to the committee. Plus I now know much more finite details of the debtor position, Profit / Loss and any potential exposure in terms of debtors, which is invaluable.”

“I understand why many farmers and rural business owners may be reluctant to move to electronic records, it does feel strange not handing over a paper cashbook to the accountants. However I am confident that my records are saved and backed up correctly and I can provide the accountant with the necessary files. In terms of the benefits we have realised by using Business Manager, the VAT data is fantastic and saves loads of time and I know my profitability now, so I am aware how the business has performed and don’t have to wait for the bad news from the accountants. We have creditor management information at the push of a button, and lastly I find the software and reporting functionality enables me to focus the mind on cost savings and keep a close eye on our spending.”

I find the software and reporting functionality enables me to focus the mind on cost savings and keep a close eye on our spending.

Joanne Rooke, Owner

The VAT data is fantastic and saves loads of time and I know my profitability now, so I am aware how the business has performed.

Joanne Rooke, Owner

Saved £2,500 per year on reduced accountants fees alone.

Joanne Rooke, Owner

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