Budgets: more than something to please the bank manager

On budget day, Rural Partner Chris Powell explains how a carefully planned and up to date farm budget can improve the efficiency of your farming business

Budgets: more than something to please the bank manager

The end of their financial year is just weeks away and attention then swiftly turns to next year’s figures. Many of us might like to think of budgeting as something that gets done to please the bank manager, then ignored until the accounts arrive from the accountant.

But actually, carrying out farm budgets and reviewing at least once every six months can offer a great advantage to any business. By setting up a farm budget and reviewing it regularly, you are better placed to make informed decisions about how your business is performing, and assess opportunities or issues that arise.  The ability to understand how much that lamb, that litre of milk or that egg has cost to produce can often make be the difference between making an occasional profit to making a profit every year.  The one thing that farmers can control is their cost of production and, as any accountant will tell you, controlling those costs is key to having a successful business.  A carefully considered budget is also a base mark for discussions with your accountant about the health of your business.

Spring means budgets In the Symonds and Sampson Devizes office, and Chris Powell will be helping clients crunch numbers, incorporate any planned changes, and together creating an easy to read and easy to use farm budget. He’ll review this with clients in six months’ time, taking cost fluctuations into account to monitor the all-important bottom line, thus deciding whether that new bit of shiny kit is within reach or not.

It’s very noticeable when speaking to farmers who operate a budgeting system how much better informed they are about the scope to get more from their livestock, increase yields, and manage the cost of outgoings.

Chris prepares budgets for a number of retained clients each year. Generally, this would be a couple of meetings on the farm, with regular calls between times to keep in touch, updating it with any factors influencing the budget. He recommends it highly as a way of building a trusting relationship where clients can rely on Chris to keep an eye on the factors influencing the costs of running the business, leaving the farmers themselves to concentrate on what they are good at - farming.

Symonds & Sampson offer very competitive packages for farming budgets, if you’d like to discuss working with our Rural Agents to implement, review or update the budgets for your farming business, please contact Chris Powell on 01380 710535, or our agents in your local office.

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