If you’re in the business of agriculture, you know the value of a hard-earned dollar.
Just like any business, farming requires tact and grit to sustain your operation for years to come. You’re already familiar with the physical work that goes into managing a farm, but what about bookkeeping? What accounting software is best for a farm or ranch? Or any agricultural business?
No matter what your financial situation may be – a multimillion-dollar operation or a self-employed farmer looking for a free accounting solution – Holbrook & Manter is here to provide you with accounting services unique to farmers that empower your success.
In this article, we review six of the best farm accounting software solutions that meet unique niches within your farm’s framework. When you have a better understanding of your bookkeeping options, you can confidently guide your agricultural business in the right direction.
Why Do You Need Farm Accounting Software?
Using accounting software to manage your farming operation not only streamlines your bookkeeping process, but reduces the chance of human error when balancing those books. There are a variety of options out there. It all comes down to what you need and what can make your life easier in the long run so you can focus on what matters: the farm.
Farm accounting software comes in handy when you simply don’t have time to keep on with the tedious task of tracking expenses, payroll, and financing as a whole. Farms (and ranches) come in all shapes and sizes. So does accounting software. The idea is to find what meets your needs and budget. From big brands to smaller, cost-efficient bookkeeping software this list highlights six key platforms to keep in mind.
Positioning themselves as “a family-owned accountancy firm with a difference,” Yes Accounting uses cloud-based accounting software so you can access the financial information you need anywhere. Small businesses are what they know and work best with. Their pricing is reasonable and has several tiers to better accommodate their clients. Key features of their software and services include:
- Tax returns
- Tax advice
- VAT registration and advice
- Annual accounts
While they specialize in working with entrepreneurs of small and medium-size organizations, they’re a great option to consider for your agriculture business.
Probably the biggest names in accounting software and bookkeeping is QuickBooks. Used across every industry for every size of business, QuickBooks has flexible features that help scale your farming business. While QuickBooks offers a number of different programs, we’re going to focus specifically on QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Gold Standard.
QuickBooks Online: Pros & Cons for Farm Accounting
If you’re looking for general accounting features to enhance your administrative processes we suggest QuickBooks Online. While it does require some customization to tailor your needs as a farm, it’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to track expenses and projects.
Benefits of Using QuickBooks Online:
- Mobile app
- Easily integrate banking and credit card information
- Track small details of projects
Disadvantages of Using QuickBooks Online:
- Not an all-in-one solution; payroll requires extra fee
- Lack of farm management tools
- Not the most cost-efficient option on the market
If you’re considering choosing QuickBooks Online, the number of users you’ll have determines your monthly cost. Always remember to compare pricing when deciding which software is right for you.
QuickBooks Gold Standard: Pros & Cons for Farm Accounting
QuickBooks Gold Standard has a lot more bells and whistles for managing your farm accounting. This is a stronger option for bigger farming operations. Larger farms require more hands on deck, which is why choosing the Gold Standard may be a better option considering you can have 1-30 users on this software.
Benefits of Using QuickBooks Gold Standard:
- Create sales orders and track backorders
- Report customization capabilities
- Payroll management included
Disadvantages of Using QuickBooks Gold Standard:
- Cost: annual subscriptions start at $1,324
- May have too many features if you’re a small farm
- More technologically advanced – consider training your bookkeeper
Both of these QuickBooks options have features that empower you to manage your farm and/or agricultural finances easier. The main objective is to compare and contrast which can help you the most efficiently and systematically. If you’re stuck between QuickBooks Online and Gold or are not sure where to get started, our financial advisors are here to offer you industry expertise and agriculture business accounting advice.
If you’re running a small farm, Sage may have what you’re looking for. It incorporates time-saving automation tools so you can focus on what matters: the farm. Manage your payroll, invoicing, and expenses with remote access capabilities. Sage also understands everyone needs help from time to time and offers 24/7 customer support. The accounting software doesn’t specifically cater to farming and agriculture, but if you know what tools you’re looking for it can be a valuable resource to better maintain your business.
If price is top of mind when purchasing your farm accounting software we recommend FarmBooks. It’s designed to help farmers with little-to-no bookkeeping experience. Enrolling one farm alone is just $395 with minor additional fees and it even has a free trial to see if the software is something you’re interested in.
Being brief: FarmBooks is made for farmers. If any of these features sound like something you’re looking for, consider inquiring about that free trial.
- Accounts payable management
- Accounts receivable management
- Invoicing and check writer
- Payroll tools
- Multiple farm support
- Inventory management
As someone who is potentially new to farm accounting, this could be a great opportunity to learn more about what you need your software to have (and not have) without spending a ton of money.
Self-employed farmers need to know about EasyFarm. As the preferred farm accounting and management software amongst self-employed farmers, EasyFarm is just that – easy! Designed to help you keep records and sustain profitability you can make daily bookkeeping processes easier by automating a few things with this software. It’s developers know the farming business well and are consistently releasing fresh features to make farm accounting more simple.
- Crop and Field Manager – Track field histories and crop rotations
- Set Up – Manage multiple farms and monitor field activity for every field on every farm
- Pick Lists – Customize pick lists or use pre-loaded lists. This could include known chemicals, weeds, insects, and crop stages.
Staying on top of not only your financial activity, but the day-to-day management of your crops and fields is no simple task. EasyFarm works as a process enhancer and permits you to monitor your accounts, as well as your fields.
Sometimes less is more. Other times, free is everything. If you’re working with an extremely tight budget or simply have no interest in using fancy agriculture accounting tools, Wave is your best bet. Made for small businesses everywhere, this software tracks accounting and expenses. Setting up an account is free and helps you feel a lot more prepared once tax season is in full swing.
Like the big boys in farm business accounting, Wave also keeps your data safe. Any connection you have with their server is protected on multiple levels. Rest easy knowing your information is secured. If you’re considering downsizing your current accounting software, switching to Wave is a breeze. They even include a step-by-step guide to keep things simple. Keep in mind it doesn’t come with any farm management features, however. So if you are downsizing make sure you’re choosing a system that checks the boxes you need.
Evaluating Your Farm Accounting Software Options
No matter your role in the farm(s) you help manage, you need to lean on technology every now and then to make sure all accounting aspects are in the right place. There are accounting software options available for just about every price range, even if you need a free solution. Consider the financing tools you need versus the perks you want before signing on the dotted line. While there are farm accounting softwares out there designed for farming and ranching, you may be able to get by with a more mainstream accounting platform.
Holbrook & Manter: Accounting Software Training & Expertise When You Need It
The farming and agriculture industry is facing many new changes and challenges. Holbrook and Manter specializes in agriculture business accounting and believes in the hard work farmers put into their business every day. Should you find yourself needing friendly advice on navigating your farm accounting software or even choosing the right one for your business – trust us to help you make the best decision. Contact us today to set up a consultation and evaluate your options.