CPAs bring a specific skill-set to the agriculture table, and those who have a deep understanding of farm accounting understand what helps a farmer thrive. These trusted advisors can scrutinize data from a farm management system (FMS) to ensure that growers are empowered to make the best decisions for their unique operations.
Record breaking fertilizer costs. Rising concerns over inflation. Dramatic changes in the supply chain. These factors tell us that now is the time when CPAs and other trusted advisors can really show the value they bring and positively influence the outcomes of a growing season.
Reports indicate that prices for fertilizer more than doubled in 2021, and cost concerns and availability of inputs are leaving farmers to ask questions such as:
- Should I shift production to less fertilizer-intensive crops?
- What will a reduction in fertilizer application have on my harvests?
- How will potential increases or decreases in commodity prices affect my bottom line?
- Do my land rental agreements still make sense (and money)?
The answers to these questions have significant implications for the grower. With a farm management system (FMS) like Conservis, farmers are able to easily plug in those numbers and see how they impact potential expenses and revenue. Organizing the data and deciding what to do with that information is where the trusted advisor fits into the picture. With access to a grower’s FMS data, creating different “what if” scenarios allows the CPAs to provide additional/valuable support by organizing and analyzing the data. This fine-tuning of fiscal planning optimizes outcomes.
Access to big data is key
Farmers only have so much time in the day. Becoming a data scientist isn’t probably high on their lists of goals for the year. However, working with a trusted advisor who understands the agriculture landscape can save them time, energy, and money.
At Conservis we have seen how processes such as FSA reporting goes from a couple of people working a couple of days to gather all the details to one person producing the data in just a couple of hours. The benefits of developing a strong relationship between farmers and trusted advisors go far beyond this process. When growers utilize platforms like Conservis, and share the data with their advisors, these benefits materialize quickly for both parties.
Deeper insights from trusted advisors means better advice for farmers
With deeper insights into the financial data, trusted advisors are able to offer more comprehensive advice, utilize real-time data, and demonstrate their expertise. In addition, those CPAs who work with many growers are able to share observations about the best practices of particular farm clients that allow those operations to excel. Growers receive better advice and can plan more effectively for the future. This is a win-win for trusted advisors and growers.
Trust in Food research also shows that “there is ample opportunity for agriculture stakeholders to collaboratively design solutions.” This same discussion of collaboration between farmers and trusted advisors also highlights the value of a grower’s ability to efficiently share data with advisors and other stakeholders downstream.
“Our perspective is that an important pillar of the transition to a sustainable, resilient and equitable agricultural supply chain is the flow of information from the farm.”
The catch? Clients might not be telling their CPAs or bankers that they have an FMS in place, and there are lost opportunities for the grower and advisor.
When farmers do share that data? You see the differences. We've heard repeatedly that when their clients use Conservis, our system allows for efficient organization of data, which shrinks the process time in half. In half! And here is the cool thing. Both the grower and the CPA get the benefits of this shared relationship.
“It has been very beneficial. Our CPA has access to our Conservis dashboard so she can actually download reports. We have true numbers all the time.”
Share FMS data and production success
Set yourself up for success by building that relationship. If you are a grower, does your CPA know you use an FMS? Do you share data with the CPA to get the best advice possible?
If you are a CPA, do you ask your farming clients if they use an FMS? Do you talk about the possible data streams you can use? Are you seizing the opportunity to deliver greater value and deepen client relationships?
There are challenges on the horizon in farming. Rising costs, reductions in availability of inputs, and labor shortages are all real problems with real impacts. Now is the time to share the data an FMS provides to make improved decisions.
Are you a farmer and want to learn more about how you can share data with your trusted advisor?
Are you a trusted advisor and want to learn more about how the data and reports from an FMS can benefit you and your services?
Connect with our team and learn how you can get the edge on farm data.