Posted 11/26/2022 21:15 (#9951503 - in reply to #9931056) Subject: RE: Traction
We are actually a husband/wife operation with a son that farms with us and has a side business so we are far from marketing a million bushels of grain. In fairness though, I do the bookkeeping for related parties, so each month I am taking care of multiple credit card bills and reconciling multiple bank accounts amongst other duties such as billing, mapping management, financial analysis, tax planning etc. I I also track each family living expenses as those are important to understand as well.
I’m just going to explain my before and after scenarios.
Get mail, sort out important, open important, enter bill payments into the check register with expense details, print check, detach and attach stub to the bill, file bill. Stuff envelope with check, stamp, return address, and take to the mail box.
Now I’ve set up auto-pay on everything possible. The bill payment downloads into Traction, I add a few details, download the bill and attach to the transaction. Done.
Reconciling bank accounts.
From the bank statement, I enter all misc debits, add interest, add monthly auto-pay transactions, reconcile. If I missed something, then go back and find, add and return to the reconciliation process.
Less than a 30 second process as everything has been auto downloaded.
Credit card bills:
Find the receipt for each charge. Enter each charge into a spreadsheet by expense account. Hope I didn’t make a data entry mistake. If so then recheck and correct. Print spreadsheet and attach to bill. Enter the credit card payment with expense breakdown into my accounting system.
Each day the charges download into Traction. At lunch I ask my husband and son what it’s for, and then add the correct expense account. The bill is set up for autopay so I simply do a less than 30 second reconciliation once a month and I’m done.
For me, it turns the mundane and tedious into a simple, time-saving process. Our books are always caught up and it puts important information at our fingertips. Yes, I could keep some information in a google doc, but that’s one more thing that has to continually be updated. With Traction, it’s updated and available to us as part of the accounting process.
As I said before, my mindset doesn’t look at it purely as a cost, I look at it as “what can it do for our operation?” Can it make us more efficient? Can it help us make more timely, and profitable decisions? Does it give us the data points we need with less effort? As we start transitioning to the next generation, I have no doubt it’s a tool that will become even more valuable to them.
Years ago as farmers, I recall that we all complained about tech fees for Roundup beans…but we paid them and reaped the benefits for years. We all did the same thing as we’ve progressed to triple stack corn hybrids, and added GPS technology. Farm accounting hasn’t made a giant leap like this in a couple decades. Just like other technological changes on the farm, this new technology and the annual subscriptions are here to stay. We may grumble, but time tends to show it’s all worthwhile.