Turning farming into a tech business
Good weather and a little bit of luck may be crucial in the farming business, but data is becoming one of the most important crops an agribusiness can reap.
MYOB has had the good fortune to work alongside NZ agribusinesses over the past two decades, and has seen how good data has started to empower agribusinesses to make the right decisions.
“Although data doesn’t make the grass grow, it’s certainly important for running the business,” said MYOB NZ General Manager Carolyn Luey.
“The amount of technology that goes into all kinds of farming is incredible. From advanced automated milking sheds, to using on-farm internet-of-things sensors and drones to manage nutrient applications, to the importance of biological sciences to breeding – a range of trends are turning farming into a tech business.”
MYOB has even been the provider of tech tools helping NZ’s enterprising agribusinesses succeed with online tools able to help agribusinesses and their advisors grab hold of the data and till the numbers for insights.
“Moving our customers to the cloud will mean they can work seamlessly with their accountant on running the operation,” said Luey.
“It streamlines compliance and transaction processing, meaning accountants and business owners can focus on the activities that drive profitability.”
But too many agribusinesses aren’t capturing the value in the data their businesses create – and they’re missing an opportunity.
Going to the next level
MYOB has just released a raft of new features for MYOB’s online products aimed at getting the most out of an agribusiness’ data.
For example, they’ll be able to track specific on-farm quantities like changes in stock levels, amount of milk sold, weight of grain and wool produced – all numbers which can help farmers gain a deeper understanding of their businesses.
And, it will also make pesky compliance work easier come tax time.
“The new functionality allows accountants to capture quantities for reporting obligations for their farming clients, ensure GST is reported correctly as well as allowing information to be effortlessly shared between accountant and client,” said Luey.
The changes also open up opportunities for business advisors, such as accountants, to provide more value to their clients then simply doing the books.
Danniverke accountant group MCI and Associates was quick to adopt the new technology for their rural-based clients.
Principal Neil Ivamy said working with his clients in the cloud allows for more collaboration and faster decisions.
“Technology allows our rural clients to get real time information about how their business is tracking,” he said.
“From receiving instant alerts on employee payroll logs, to confirmation on the level of milk they’ve supplied to Fonterra, to getting instant feedback on kill weights at the freezing works, to keeping a handle on cash flow.
“It all comes together to allow the farmer to make instant decisions on how they allocate their resources, growing profitability and productivity. And increasingly all this is being down across his or her mobile device out on the farm.”
Previously, this work may have cost the farmer and advisor hours – meaning that only the bigger clients would gain the benefit of the tech (as they have more time and money to spend).
“MYOB now gives us the ability to interrogate that data instantaneously, meaning we can provide higher-value consulting services to clients of all sizes,” said Ivamy.
Advances in AI and data are being generated all the time.
Just yesterday, MYOB sent MYOB Advisor live – generating data-led insights in plain English.
“Using good quality information to better manage compliance and transaction processing means we can focus on the things that deliver more value to a client, like providing trend identification and strategies for improving their operation,” said Ivamy.
And it all starts with data.