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Thank you to farming bookkeepers

| Mark Chatterton | 10 October 2023

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.

The power of the farm secretary

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.

An invaluable service to the industry

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.

If you need support or guidance for your agricultural business, get in touch with our team today.


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