From now to the new year discussions with accountants will be on assessing progress against plans and forecast budgets and taking steps to put farmers, their business and their cashflows in the best position.
To get the most out of discussions with a chartered accountant, farmers should take the lead and be prepared to cover the following topics.
Review and planning
- Assess progress against plans and forecast budgets. Take stock of how the season is progressing by working with up-to-date information. This will identify opportunities and ensure timely decisions are made.
- Work through ‘what if’ situations and run marginal cost:benefit calculations – this allows for more timely and informed decisions.
- Consider options for the 2017/18 season. Discuss the viability of different decisions for next season – how they fit with your goals, how the numbers stack up and, if you need to, plan for expansion or potential exit.
- Look ahead. A chartered accountant can help you decide when to start paying back Fonterra loans, where applicable, by considering how this fits into cashflows for 2017/18.
- With the milk price having significant swings between tax years, careful planning can result in both significant delays of tax payments as well as permanent tax savings. There are simple and effective mechanisms to assist in managing tax affairs and your chartered accountant is the right person to help develop and monitor a plan.
- The significant drop of livestock herd scheme tax values has created opportunities. A chartered accountant will review your medium to long term plans to see if you are on the most suitable scheme, and consider if now is the right time to change, with minimal tax cost.
- Find out about the pros and cons of integrating an accounting software programme into your business. For many it is a natural and stress free next step, allowing more open and timely communication and real time reporting; but it is important to work through what you need from the software and when and how it will be used.
This article was originally published in Inside Dairy October 2016