Business Manager

For downloads, guides, FAQs and ‘how-to ’ videos, click on the section you require below.


Business Manager

As normal with all program updates, if you experience any issues during the installation or when trying to access the program after installing, please run the install again and select ‘Repair’ during the install wizard. If you are still experiencing problems then please contact the Support team on 01594 545022

Updating your software

New Update February 2024 (V3.46) – This update should be installed today to make sure you are using the most up to date version.

This version available to download will ensure that you have the ability to grant authority with HMRC to enable VAT submissions.

Making Tax Digital for VAT – Grant Authority

Part of the process of getting ready for MTD involved granting authority to allow Business Manager to interact with HMRC.  This permission is only valid for 18 months so many of you will be coming up to the time when it needs renewing.

We recommend that you redo this by going to Setup – VAT – MTD Settings and then Connect to HMRC.  Log in using your Government Gateway login details and then Grant Authority. You will then be set for another 18 months. If you are submitting your VAT, please exit and reopen the program before closing the period. For more information please click here.

If you do not do this you may find that you receive an error message when you come to submit your MTD VAT figures that talks about ‘Refresh Token is invalid’ or ‘Missing data on current obligations’.

Grant Authority will sort this and allow you to make a successful submission.

Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Please note MTD submissions made after 1 October 2019 must be made using this software.

Submissions made from older versions may be rejected.

This version of the software incorporates mandatory anti-fraud updates required by HMRC for all MTD VAT submissions after 1 October 2019.

New users – For more information about Business Manager read the Getting started and Enhancement guides. These can be found under the Guides & manuals tab. You will also find answers and useful information under the FAQs tab.

Existing users – For more information about this update please read the Enhancement guide carefully before updating. Before you start the installation process check that your licence is up to date and that you have taken a backup of your data. You will also need to make sure the program has been closed.

Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows 11 operating systems only*

*Please note – Windows 7 and 8 and Windows Server 2008 and Server 2012 are no longer supported by Microsoft, and as such, pose a security risk. This version of Business Manager will not install onto machines still using these operating systems. Please contact Farmplan to discuss upgrading your PC if this is applicable.

Guides and manuals

Getting Started Guides



Restoring a backup

Click here for a printable document.

Sending data to my accountant

Third party web backup slots can be used to supply a backup of your data to an outside consultant/accountant who wishes to interrogate the data in their own version of Farmplan. For example, if your accountant wishes to have a copy of your data at the year end. Their computer will have a different licence so they will not normally be able to see your backups.

Click here for a printable document which details the use of third party slots.

Backing up data

Click here for a printable document

To backup your data click ‘File’ then ‘Backup’. There are 3 tab options:

Local Backup

This allows you to backup your data either on your computer or a removable device such as a memory stick.

  1. On the left hand side of the screen check that the correct business is displayed
  2. On the right hand side of the screen browse to the desired backup location. To expand the tree view click on the +
    (to create more folders right click on the folder and select the option to create a new folder)
  3. Highlight the desired folder click Backup Now
  4. Enter notes if desired (a date and time will be automatically added) then click OK.

Rotation of Backups

Keep a minimum of 2 backups at different stages in time on different sources. We suggest making sub-folders and use them to rotate your backups.
NEVER just rely on one backup – for example a single memory stick, which could get lost or broken.

Private Web Backups

This is the ability to back up your data to a remote web server across the internet. The backup can be restored to any computer with internet access regardless of its location, (providing it has been registered with your licence details and web access code – subject to your Farmplan licence agreement).

A password provides additional security.

NB – Farmplan do not have access to the password. If it is forgotten Farmplan will be unable to help.

You are provided with ten free Private Web slots which are available providing your support contract is up to date. (More slots are available – for more details please contact Farmplan on 01594 545000)

  1. On the left hand side of the screen check that the correct business is displayed
  2. Select the tab called Private Web Backups
  3. Highlight the slot that you wish to use
  4. Password (optional) – Other users can only access your private backups if they are using a computer with exactly the same licence details. However, if you wish, you can also password protect your backups. Put a tick in the box ‘Use Password’ and enter the password in both boxes
  5. Click on Backup Now
  6. Enter notes if desired and click Confirm
    NB – You are transferring data across the Internet so the time taken to make a backup will depend on the size of your data and the speed of your Internet connection.

Other Web Backups

This tab allows you to make Web backups which are available to Farmplan Support staff or authorised third party consultants.

Support Slot – you are allocated ONE free Support slot which can only be accessed by yourself or a member of Farmplan staff.

If you contact us with a query, we may ask you to backup a copy of your data to this slot so that we can restore it for investigation.

  1. On the left hand side of the screen check that the correct business is displayed
  2. Select the tab called Other Web Backups
  3. Highlight the slot that you wish to use, the type should show as SUPPORT
  4. Password (optional) – Other users can only access your support backups if they are using a computer with exactly the same licence details – i.e other members of your organisation OR an employee of Farmplan. However, if you wish, you can also password protect your backups. Put a tick in the box ‘Use Password’ and enter the password in both boxes
  5. Click on Backup Now
  6. You may enter notes if desired. Don’t forget to tell any recipients the password if relevant

Third Party Slots – you are allocated ONE free Third Party slot which can be used to supply a backup of your data to an outside consultant/accountant who wishes to interrogate it , for example your accountant may wish to have a copy of your data at the year end. Their computer will have a different licence so they will not normally be able to see your backups.

To use this system you would make a backup to a third party slot and provide your accountant/consultant with your customer number and a third party access code – supplied by Farmplan. The third party user enters these to restore your data. You can also use passwords for additional security.

Click here  for a printable document which details the use of third party slots.

NB – To speed up the backup process select Tools / Options / General and tick the ‘Minimise backup size’ box.

Data entry

Intercompany transfer (export)

If you have more than one business using Business Manager and need to make intercompany transfers, then it is possible export an invoice (sales or purchase) from one business and import it as the opposite type into the second business to save entry time and ensure that no mistakes are made. Click here for more information.

VAT rates and the effect on the VAT return – Post January 2021

Partial exemption VAT

Click here for a printable document.

Input VAT only entry

Click here for a printable document.

Domestic reverse charge VAT for building and construction services

Domestic reverse charge VAT is applicable to the construction industry and comes into force on 1st March 2021.

Click here for a printable document.

Entering a deduction (contra entry)

Farmplan allows you to quickly enter a ‘contra’ entry. This type of entry refers to Invoice or Cash Analysis entries where a deduction and sales are entered on one invoice, for example where wheat has been sold but as part of one invoice you also have weighbridge charges, Levy etc., where the customer is invoicing your business on your behalf.

In the below video a Cash Analysis receipt is being entered for a sale of wheat for £5,620 which is allocated to Wheat Sales, no VAT (Zero rated). There is also a second line on the same invoice for £120 for Levy charges. This figure is entered as -£100 and allocated to Commissions/Levies code and -£20 to the VAT code. The balance of the receipt (£5,500) will be shown in the Amount box and will be posted to the customer ledger for the customer, in this case A. Rable.

To enter a Cash Analysis Payment or Receipt:

  • Click on Cash Analysis
  •  Select Cash Analysis Payment or Receipt
    1. Customer/Supplier – Select the customer (or supplier) from the drop down list. Use the ? to enter a new one.
    2. Transaction Details – Enter the receipt details e.g. date paid, bank account, type (e.g. cheque or direct credit/debit) and the total amount that will affect your bank account.
    3. Coding – Allocate the items on the invoice by selecting a Heading code from the drop down list.
    4. Description – Make sure that you enter a meaningful description so that you or your accountant can identify this at a later date.
    5. VAT – The program knows the default VAT rate from the Heading Code selected. If the ‘S’ (Standard) code is selected the program will automatically calculate the VAT at the current rate. You can change this if required.
  1. Totals – You can enter as many different lines as you need. When the Total Amount at the bottom of the screen equals the Amount you entered at the top, you have completed this entry.
  2. Entry Number – The program will generate an Entry Number (top left of the screen). We recommend that you write this on the invoice so that you and your accountant can cross reference it to the computer.
  3. Data Entry Templates – This is a very useful tool available within the data entry options that will speed up data entry and allow you to be consistent with your coding for similar entries.

Fuel scale charge

Click here for a printable document.

Missing automatic repeating transactions

If  automatic repeating transactions are not available for processing there are two possible causes.

  1. If this is the first time they have been processed in the current financial year ensure that the enterprises have been created for the new year.
  2. What is the end date for the automatic repeating transactions? This can be amended by clicking the ? under Edit from the repeating transactions screen.

Foreign Currency Transactions

Click here for a printable document on Foreign Currency Transactions

Cancelling an Inter Bank Transfer

If an Inter Bank Transfer has been entered in error we recommend that the amount is edited to zero.

NB It is possible to edit Inter Bank transfers at any time unless they have been ticked on the bank reconciliation.

Customers who are also a supplier

Click here for a printable document.

Hire purchase agreement

Click here for a printable document

Remove an unwanted invoice

To remove a surplus invoice from Business Manager there are two options.

It may be cancelled providing that it is in an open account period and has not been fully or partially cleared, by clicking the Cancel button. An equal and opposite entry will be automatically created which will clear the original entry ie cancelling an invoice will create, and clear down, a corresponding credit note. NB If the VAT period has been closed then any VAT adjustment will be placed in the earliest open VAT period.

If the original invoice is not in a closed VAT period then full editing is available. (If it is see above). Therefore the supplier can be overwritten, as well as the heading code, enterprise, description, amount, and VAT status.

Installation and logging on

Operating systems

All our desktop programs must be installed within a current Windows operating environment (Windows 10 and Windows 11). With your device running an up-to-date antivirus product.

For more information about our recommended computer specs and advice on computer security click here.

Please contact Farmplan’s Hardware team if you have any further queries on 01594 545033 or email


Licencing Farmplan software

Your software can be licenced by going to File and selecting Licence.

You will be given a new screen where you will have your details entered. Providing your Web Access Code has been entered, you can click Get Key followed by Register. 

Your licence will then be updated. To allow Farmplan to update using this method you will need to be connected to the internet.

If you do not have a Web Access Code or internet connection please contact Farmplan.


Import into the bank

A module is available which allows you to create payment files which can be imported into the following banks. (If your bank is not listed please contact software support for further information.) This can be accessed by going to Tools > Electronic Payments.

Making Tax Digital

Re-activate the connection for MTD VAT (grant authority)

There may be some instances where you will need to re-grant authority for your software to interact with HMRC, these include:

  • If you have moved to a new machine or done a Windows update
  • Renewing your authority due to only being valid for 18 months
  • You are receiving an error message that talks about ‘Refresh Token is Invalid’ or ‘Missing data on current obligations’

If any of the above apply please click here for more information.

Issues with HMRC that are affecting Making Tax Digital for VAT

Click here to check for information on availability and any issues affecting Making Tax Digital for VAT.

Combining figures before submitting to HMRC

Click here for some frequently asked questions about combining figures before submitting to HMRC.

Self Assessment for Income Tax

MTD for VAT is the first stage of a longer term view by HMRC to make all tax records digital and available to them.  This will be extended to include all income and expenditure details for income tax purposes.  Initially this was intended to be launched in 2020 but development is currently on hold.

Potentially there will be 4 submissions a year with income and expenditure details followed by a 5th one at the year end with the accountant’s adjustments.  However, the full details are not yet known of exactly how this will be implemented.


Reporting on a leap year

To allow your reports to run on the 29th February please go to Tools and Options and tick the option to Include 29th February.

Customising a Sales Invoice

Click here for a printable document.

Reports showing rows with no values or finished codes

If your reports are showing entries with no values and you would like to save paper and shorten the report you can change your settings.

To do this go to Tools then Options and select the Reporting tab. You will then need to select whether you wish to see rows with no values and finished codes or not, leaving them unticked means you are not seeing them.

Crop financial information

Click here for a printable document which shows how to manage crop information, from using the crop growing valuation function to selling the product, including how this affects the financial reports.

Investigating when Trial Balance is out of balance

Click here for a printable document.


My program is showing Demonstration Data, how do I access my data?

If your program is showing Demonstration Data you will need to go to File > Select Business within the program and click the drop down arrow (shown below in red) and select your own business before pressing Ok. This will then take you into your business.

If your data is on a Network please ensure you have access to the data location from outside the program.


Change of year end

The financial year in Business Manager cannot be be amended once the business is setup.   

Therefore, to amend your year end, this would mean setting up a new dataset and using your old dataset on a “read only” basis, i.e. keeping it for historical purposes.

You can do this yourself via a utility in the program, however this does involve tidying up your data first. Should you wish to go down that route this checklist will help.

Another option is that Farmplan can complete this work for you, however there is a charge for this service.

The third option is Farmplan Business Cloud software which might be a good fit for your business and now may be a good time to move over. This has a bank feed and other time saving features as we discussed, please see more information on Business Cloud software here – Business Cloud – Farmplan.

If you do decide to move to Business Cloud please be aware that this would be a fresh start, i.e. you can’t copy over your data from Business Manager to Business Cloud. However, suppliers and customers can be transferred, and we offer training and e-learning courses to assist with the setup.

Click here for a printable document which provides more information and a checklist.


The exact procedure at year end will differ for each business, however please see below for an overview along with some suggested reports.

  • New year – The new year can be opened before the previous one is closed. This is done in Setup > Open/Close Account Periods. It is likely that enterprises will then need to be created, this is done in Setup > Enterprises > Setup Enterprises.
  • Period 13 – The last day of the financial year is referred to as Period 13, this is often used for accountants adjustments only.
  • Bank reconciliation – Ensure that all banks are fully reconciled.
  • Stock – Ensure any stock values are correct.
  • Update date –Before sourcing reports for the completed financial year ensure that this date is set for the last day of the required financial year. This can be done by clicking the update icon from the home page or from within the report library:
  • Year end reports – The reports that are required will vary between businesses however we suggest the following which are in Reports > Report Library:
  1. Audit Trails – Items Listing by Heading Code
  2. Audit Trails – Heading Code Items Audit
  3. Trial Balance – Extended Trial Balance Detailed
  4. Balance Sheet – Movements – Detailed
  5. Banks – Reconciliation Report
  6. Suppliers/Customers – Supplier Balances and Customer Balances
  7. Assets – Building Plant and Machinery Detailed

Click here for a printable document which gives information about successfully completing a financial year-end.


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