Management informationRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 19 January, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 10:35am in Agriculture 6 comments Add your own

I've always intended that the smallholding be at least self-financing in revenue terms. We've been happy to invest in capital items such as fencing and equipment durng the establishment of the smallholding but we're now hoping that it can support itself and even return a small profit.

Although I keep records of income and expenditure for the business overall, I've never looked at each enterprise to see how it performs. But 2014 is going to be the year of the "improved management information". I've ordered a proper calculator - not on my phone or computer, but a "proper" desk one - and I've got all the invoices out for 2012/13 and since it's a miserable day, I'me going to spend the afternoon working through them.

Some things, like hay and molassed licks, are used for both sheep and cattle, so I'll have to decide how to apportion them - probably on a LSU basis but there's no such issue with poultry or pigs.

So, going to bed the field shelter then get started. See you on the other side :-)



Sunday 19 January, 2014 at 12:30pm

Go you! Will be very interested to hear what you report.


Sunday 19 January, 2014 at 2:08pm

I moved all our records on Sage Instant 20mths ago and now allocate each expense against an expense type (feed, vets, bedding, fencing, etc) but make sure enough info is entered to split out feed costs per species at the end of the year. It's been quite enlightening ! Excluding asset allowances and some structural repairs/modifications we justify keeping the rabble! It's quite a frightening report so have a dram to hand :-) Jules


Sunday 19 January, 2014 at 3:02pm

Is Sage Instant easy? Our accountant wanted us to use Quickbooks (I think) but it was way too complicated for me. We have a wee piece of software that our previous accountant gave us but it's TOO simple and I can't add categories so I end up going through the invoices with a calculator (I always plan to set up a spreadsheet at the start of the year but never get round to it and baulk at the double inputting).

In 2012-13, the laying hens made a profit of £760 - about £2/hour of my time lol. Going to do 2013-14 now, but the Scratchers' coats are on very shaky nails.


Sunday 19 January, 2014 at 8:26pm

Just been looking at our figures, too. Pigs were at least paying their way - until we had to redo their fencing and build new sties. They will take a couple of years to pay that back, I think.

Our flock of 8 breeding sheep look like taking several years to break even......

We're only in our 3rd year here, so there's hope yet!


Sunday 19 January, 2014 at 9:03pm

Sage is easy - very obvious. I know I'm an accountant but really it is ! Bank payment, bank receipt, cash payment etc ....really would struggle to get that wrong. Happy to help anyone setup a working account structure at "smallholder trading terms" :-)


Monday 20 January, 2014 at 12:42pm

It will be really interesting to see how it works out Rosemary. I did similar last year using a XLS spread sheet from Cornell High it found on the internet, see link (http://nebeginningfarmers.org/files/2012/04/HT_Cornell_Account_Book_monthly-1nyhir8.xls) . It was quite easy to use and modify for my needs,I put down all my fencing and other long term cost over a five year period and charged myself cost price for everything we personally used. The only thing I didn’t bother accounting for was my time as I consider the smallholding my hobby, pastime, gym all rolled into one.

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