Each and every client is different, and as such, will have different requirements for their agricultural firm. However, one thing they all need at some point is bookkeeping services - all the way from smallholders up to large agribusinesses.
Over the last 35 years as an accountant, I have been indebted to many farm bookkeepers. In fact, I have actually lost count of how many times I have said that their pay should be double that of the best tractor drivers for the work they do.
Often, a freelance bookkeeper will provide a vital sounding board for stressed, under-pressure business owners on their regular visits. Without a calming, organised bookkeeper, you’re almost guaranteed to be significantly more stressed than you actually need to be.
Sometimes, we will see the spouse or child of a business owner, or a parent, staying on to adopt the bookkeeping task themselves, with many of the older generation having picked up computer packages since the 1980s.
Throughout my long career in agriculture, I have seen the best husband and wife farming businesses develop a very understanding relationship over the years, with the phrase “I’m not coming out until I’ve reconciled the bank!” being a common shout in many farming households across the country.
Ultimately, the accuracy of your books will mean that your accountancy bills are lower as a result. If your businesses’ books are all in order as they should be, this then allows us to spend more of our time tax planning and advising - which is far more value for money.
So I just simply want to say this - thank you. Thank you to all of the wonderful farm bookkeepers that I have encountered throughout the first 35 years of my career in the industry, and I look forward to meeting a few more talented bookkeepers in the future too.
My only wish is that today’s colleges offered a few more courses to help prepare people for this invaluable service to our great industry - as it really couldn’t be such a success without them.