Members of the Farm Financial Standards Council gathered in Kennewick, Washington, for their three-day annual conference. Check out our full summary, including photos, right here.
The audience was literally from coast to coast including individuals from Oregon, California and Nevada to New York state, Florida, and even Winnepeg, Manitoba. The day-long program covered topics including:
• Financial Management IS better decision-making
• Why financial recordkeep- ing is more than cash-basis accounting
• Understanding income statements, cash flows and owner equity
• Accrual transactions
• Using ratio analysis tools
•Financial Resources avail- able.
Presenters from the council were Paul Neiffer, CliftonLarsonAllen, Yakima, WA; Todd Doehring, Centrec Consulting, Savoy, IL; Dale Nordquist, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; and Nate Splett, Center for Farm Profitability, UW Extension, Madison, WI.
The group gathered as a general assembly to start and end the day’s program, but was split into two separate tracks during the day. All attending received a copy of the 2015 Financial Guidelines for Agriculture as part of their registration to attend.
The FFSC Membership Program is totally new! Please watch this site for developments as they come along.
Download the FFSC MembershipForm.
Check out the September 2014 issue of FFSC News. You can read about a council “membership” option, get details on a blog program at the Farm Futures website, and read about some of the great work being done by FFSC members.
Farm Credit East has an open position for a business consultant in Maine.
SUMMARY OF POSITION: This job provides high level consulting services for a fee to Farm Credit East clients in the areas of intergenerational transfer, estate/retirement planning, entity selection and implementation, business dissolution, profitability improvement and business planning/ management. This position is expected to have seasoned knowledge in various business management topics including farm taxation, the interpersonal skills to work in a consultative manner with farm business people and the drive to seek out and sell sufficient consulting engagements to meet billing goals. This position requires travel primarily within Maine with occasional training/meeting travel to other parts of the Northeast.
For more information, and to apply, download this position description position description.
The AICPA is holding its Agricultural Online Conference from May 7-May 9.
This comprehensive conference is dedicated to the needs of CPAs who work within the agriculture industry. Critical sessions that highlight the latest industry issues, economic trends and techniques used in the agricultural industry are the backbone of this conference. In one convenient location, you’ll hear from leading agriculture speakers who will provide you with the information you need to network, grow your business and your agriculture client base.
You can register here.
*Tax Section Members of the AICPA can also save an additional $100.
(This conference is being broadcast live from Austin, Texas- Central Time.)
Wed., May 7 – 1pm-6:30pm Central Time
Thurs., May 8 – 8:00am-5:40pm Central Time
Fri., May 9 – 8:00am-1:10pm Central Time
This conference will also cover:
· Tips and practice aids to allow a proactive approach with agriculture clients and to help you gain a competitive edge
· Tools to provide better service and greater value to your clients with a proactive approach
· Emerging trends and networking with peers who have a vested interest in the agriculture industry
· Crucial accounting and tax updates and expert advice you need to keep up with the rapidly changing agriculture industry
· Tips on how to keep your clients’ agribusiness on track with the latest technical know-how and updates on new standards
· Estate planning strategies for farmers
Get more information on the conference here.
Join your professional colleagues (and bring the family) as the Farm Financial Standards Council shakes Midwest dust off its boots and heads west to Billings, Montana for its 2014 Annual Conference. The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the activities of the council. Members and non-members alike are welcome!
Tuesday, July 29 – Thursday, July 31, 2014
Hilton Garden Inn, Billings
2465 Grant Road
Billings, MT 59102
Tuesday July 29
1:00 p.m. – Technical Committee Meeting
2:30 p.m. – Marketing Committee Meeting
4:00 p.m. – Finance Committee Meeting
6:00 p.m – Registration opens
6:30 p.m. – Welcome to Montana Opening reception
Wednesday, July 30
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast at leisure
8:30 a.m. – Opening welcome and remarks – Barbara Wheeling/Jim Kelm
8:45 a.m. – Oil in the Bakken – What the Excitement is All About
Scott Rickard, Ph.D., Director, Center for Applied Economic Research, Montana State University Billings.
The Bakken Formation is the largest domestic oil discover since Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay estimated at 503 billion (yes, BILLION) barrels. It has dramatically changed the landscape, culture and economy of the area. It stretches from northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. Scott will provide an overview of the scope of its impact.
9:45 a.m. – Refreshment break
10:00 a.m. — Succession Planning in the Agricultural Industry — Insights from a Certified Financial Planner
Lyle Hill, Certified Financial Planner, Waddell and Reed
Listen along as Lyle reviews some of the challenges facing the ‘retirement generation’ and the impacts farm transitions have on tax liabilities and financial reporting.
11:00 a.m. – FFSC Membership Program
Yes, the Council is considering opening itself for general membership. Be part of the discussion and help shape the Council’s future.
Noon — Luncheon
1:00 p.m. – What’s Available Online and How We Can Access It – an Interactive Presentation
Todd Doehring, Centrec Consulting, and Dale Nordquist, Center for Farm Financial Management lead discussion and interactive research into what IS available online.
3:00 p.m. – Refreshment Break
3:30 p.m. – An Overview of Section IV Revisions
Barb Wheeling, Ph.D., Dean, College of Business, Montana State University, Billings
5:30 p.m. – Depart for an evening at ZOO Montana for an evening of outdoor dining and quiet strolls through the 70-acre wildlife park located in Billings.
9:00 p.m. – Return to Hotel
Thursday, July 31
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast at Leisure
8:00 a.m. – Committee Reports
9:30 a.m. – Refreshment break
9:45 a.m. – Bylaws Committee Report
10:30 a.m. – Business Meeting
11:30 a.m. — Adjournment
Over 80 farmers and land owners from as far away as Washington, D.C. and Upstate New York attended the 2014 Farm Futures Ag Finance Boot Camp held in St. Louis on February 20. Addressing the group were officers and board members of the Farm Financial Standards Council. Topics during the day-long event included the role of financial record keeping, the basics of understanding balance sheets and income statements, using ag accounting in decision-making, and an open panel forum on key issues. The program was hosted by Farm Futures magazine and was sponsored by John Deere, Farm Credit, and the Council.
Farm Futures magazine will partner with the Farm Financial Standards Council to hold a one-day seminar on farm financial management on Jan. 6 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. The meeting is designed for all farmers who want to boost skills that can lead to better farm management decisions.
“Many farmers tell us they struggle to understand the numbers behind their business,” says Mike Wilson, Farm Futures editor. “Our most recent farmer survey shows farmers with the best business skills are three times as likely to run high-profit farms.”
The learning event comes at a crucial time for U.S. agriculture, as lower grain prices, farm bill uncertainties and high input costs squeeze profits.
“The Ag Finance Boot Camp is ideal for farmers who want to become better managers and navigate the volatility so common in farming,” says Wilson. “Great business management starts with a broad understanding of dollars and cents.”
The sessions will be taught by professionals affiliated with the Farm Financial Standards Council.
“I am excited that we have this opportunity to work directly and hands-on with a group of farmers and ranchers from across the country,” says Jim Keirn, Ag consultant and FFSC president. “While we hope those at the Boot Camp will get great information from what our members present, we also look at this as a way to get some real feedback on the materials we’ve prepared and the way they are being used.”
Topics for the boot camp include:
• Why financial recordkeeping for agriculture is more than cash-basis accounting
• Real-life application of the basic principles of ag accounting, including standardization of definitions, measures, ratios, benchmarking and analysis methods
• How to improve the financial condition of your operation through sound financial analysis and improved financial decision-making skills
• Understanding balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, liquidity and profitability measures
A panel discussion will focus on key financial topics for farmers and ranchers, such as financial literacy required to do accrual-based accounting; accounting on the farm vs. outside services; training available for accounting software and financial management; and how to use recordkeeping to improve borrowing power.
Attendees will be given a link to download their choice of either the “Financial Guidelines for Agriculture” or the “Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture,” provided by the Farm Financial Standards Council. The “Financial Guidelines” document will be the January 2014 edition, which includes a new, extensive section on hedging.
The Ag Finance Boot Camp costs $100 when participants register by Dec. 1; the cost rises to $150 per person after Dec. 1. Farm Futures has arranged for a special room rate of $85 per night at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. For convenience, the boot camp takes place a day before the Farm Futures Business Summit, Jan. 7-8, at the same hotel.
The boot camp is sponsored by John Deere and Farm Credit Services. To see the agenda and register, click here. Farm Futures is a Penton/Farm Progress publication.
Jim Kelm was elected president of the Farm Financial Standards Council during the organization’s annual conference. Kelm is principal of Kelm Management/Dairy Business Consulting, based in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Kelm has been a member of the Council since 2002 and previously served as secretary/treasurer and vice president. He is a University of Minnesota graduate and served as a farm business management instructor at Riverland Community College prior to establishing his consulting business.
Barbara Wheeling, dean of Business and Professional Accounting at Montana State University – Billings, Billings, Montana, was elected vice president of the Council. She has been a member of the Council’s board of directors since 2007 and previously served as the organization’s secretary/treasurer.
Paul G. Neiffer, CPA, was elected secretary/treasurer of the Council. A principal with the AgriBusiness Group of CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, Yakima, Washington, Neifffer is a graduate of the University of Washington. In addition to his work with CLA, he authors a monthly column for Top Producer magazine called “The Farmer CPA.”
See more details of the conference here.