Is it actually important for everyone in the family to be in on the farm’s financials? Not everyone feels they have a “head for numbers” or cares to sit down with a spreadsheet. However, as individuals with vested interests in the financial health of the operation, every family member has good reason to take a keen interest.
Does your farm rely on one family member or professional to handle its day-to-day financials? Either arrangement can work well, as long as someone else is also trained to complete financial tasks and the processes are documented so others can take over as needed. If your operation has not taken these steps, it is important to do so promptly. Once completed, the documentation can be utilized for cross training others in the future. This also ensures that any family member can review the documentation anytime they want to understand more about the farm’s day-to-day financials.
The Big Picture
Once you’ve made sure your operation’s day-to-day financials are handled even if the unexpected happens, take the next step to educate each family member involved in the operation about its financial status. Your family should periodically take time to sit down to review and discuss your farm’s financials to ensure that everyone understands the operation’s financial position. Doing so will have multiple benefits:
- It will help get everyone on the same page and enable them make decisions that are in the farm’s financial best interest.
- It better empowers the operation to be proactive rather than reactive in a difficult financial situation.
- Outside business connections are more willing to work with an operation that takes a proactive team approach to dealing with its financials.
- Assuring all family members are on the same page fosters teamwork and eliminates blaming individuals when a financial issue is identified.
Many operations have found that having a non-family member facilitate the operation’s financial review sessions can be very beneficial. Having a financial consultant who is familiar with the agricultural industry and with your operation can provide several advantages:
- The consultant can facilitate family financial meetings and ensure that time is being spent on the financial areas that need the most attention.
- They can provide objective input that is not influenced by emotion.
- A consultant has the benefit of experience with other operations that may have experienced situations that are similar to yours.
- An agricultural financial consultant has insight into the ag industry and how industry activities may impact your operation.
AgriSolutions proudly serves thousands of row crop and livestock producers across North America with agriculture-savvy financial services, including consultation and training. Read our case studies to learn how we’ve helped farm families like yours, or click the link below to request a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.