Finance is an essential part of every business, but it can quickly get confusing. In this section, you can find advice on how to improve how you manage your finances.
Why should you keep track of your finances?
It is easy to avoid talking about money, but having an understanding of our farm’s finances is essential. An awareness of our finances, coupled with small changes, could increase our income, reduce stress and protect ourselves and our farms in the future.
Financial management is all about the acquisition and use of financial resources and the protection of equity capital from various sources of risk. There are a number of activities that contribute to this, including maintaining financial records, implementing control systems, analysing whole-farm profitability, investment analysis and capital acquisition. These are tasks that fall outside the interest and expertise of many farmers and therefore it is important that you have the right support to help you.
There are many experienced accountants, financial advisors and software packages available to assist you, but it is important that you have a good understanding of the key measures that inform you of the financial status of your farm. Become friends with your financial advisor and your financial statements! Benchmarking and budgeting information can also help strengthen your financial management and manage cashflow.
The average level of debt across all farms in 2017/18 was around £227,500. For those of us experiencing financial hardship, it is important to remember that you are not alone. 17% of farms potentially face financial difficulties and do not have the ability to pay off their short-term debt. Don’t bury your head, help is available. R.A.B.I. and FCN are great places to start.