Minnesota Farmer


30 days: Hitting the books after the harvest
November 25, 2013, 10:11 am
Filed under: Fall, Farm, harvest, history | Tags: , , , , , ,

While I’ve been in the field there has not been much time for bookwork.  Now that the year is drawing to a close it is time to hit the books.  Bankers and the IRS need to know how we are doing.  Accurate bookkeeping will help to keep the wolf away from the door.

UnknownI remember the days when my dad used to sit at the kitchen table and add up the income and expenses from the last year as tax time approached.  Piles of paper and a long adding machine tape later he would send in his check to the IRS.  Today it is different, hard work and an adding machine will not keep the IRS or your banker happy.  They need inventories, expense reports and income reports.  You need to know your accounts payable and accounts receivable.  In short, your accounting must look like it came from a business, not a way of life.

UnknownBack in the 1980’s I bought my first computer.  It wasn’t much, but it helped me stay ahead of the banker.  Those were some hard years and you needed to know where you were financially before the banker shut you down.Unknown-1Today my computer is a bit newer but the need is still the same, stay on top of our financials.  We’ve had a few good years and knowing your financial condition is even more important now than it was 30 years ago.

Even small farmers can have hundreds of thousands of dollars of bills and income, many farm groups deal in the millions of dollars.  Farmers handle massive amounts of grain and livestock with the hope that just a few pennies from each animal or bushel will stay at home.  Less than ten cents of the money you pay for that box of cereal or loaf of bread makes it back to the farm.  We have to make the most of every penny we can hold on to.

So on this the 23rd day of the 30 day challenge, you can find me hitting the books with piles of paper around me.  Some things do not change.

Michael

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