Intuit’s own Alex Davis almost makes the mistake of assuming that industries that aren’t necessarily associated with cloud software, aren’t interested in all the benefits that working in the cloud can bring. He draws on his own experience of working with a firms in East Anglia who serve clients in agriculture.
I recently had the privilege of delivering a presentation to members of the Institute of Financial Accountants in Suffolk. I focused on how accountants can use cloud software to enhance their relationship with clients and drive huge efficiencies in day-to-day tasks.
Once finished, I opened up for the customary discussion and questions focused on the usual issues around connectivity and security. One of my recent posts dealt with the issue of security, but when the question of internet access arose, I flippantly made the comment ‘ well, I am not sure if this is right for all of your farmers’ (being from Norfolk, I seem to think I can get away with such comments).
After a few nods around the room, one of the members put his hand up and said ‘I actually use cloud software with most of my farming clients and the one time they seem to get most of their bookkeeping tasks done is on the tractor’. They actually have a tablet computer built in to their console, a 3G or 4G connection and the vehicle is basically a 20 ton computer. It seems that one of the oldest professions in the world is not able to escape the clutches of technological innovation and with the next generation bursting on to the scene, the pace of change will increase.
From sheep herding drones, soil sensors, remote control tractors to milking robots, the agriculture sector is at the forefront of digital disruption. To assume that they would not be interested in the benefits of managing their business using the benefits of cloud software is a huge mistake.
This is one of the reasons that we have teamed up with some of the largest accountancy firms in East Anglia to ensure that cloud software QuickBooks Online can be tailored to farming, using some very simple steps. Not only will the software ensure that the Products, Services and Chart of Accounts are relevant, we can also tailor cost centres to show reports for specific parts of the business (such as holiday rentals or farm shops) and Harvest Years. Farm owners not only enjoy the benefits of better access, more secure and scalable software but the costs savings can be huge. The savings on the license cost alone can run in to the ￡1,000s when compared to desktop alternatives.
If you are working with clients in the agricultural sector then please get in touch so I can share some of these insights in more detail.