When ethical farm Tathra Place first came to Air Accounting, they didn’t realise an accountant could do more for your business than just help you lodge your tax return.
A good accountant can help you do that. A great accountant will do that and teach you how to grow a farming business.
That’s what we did for Luke and Tathra Place.
We helped him:
- Set up new farm accounting & systems on his phone so he can oversee his entire farm from whatever paddock he’s standing in.
- Improve his paddock’s disturbance-to rest-ratio, meaning more grass for his animals and a better end-product for his customers.
- De-risk his business by creating internal systems to manage his cash and expenses in a more efficient way.
- Create a three-way financial forecast the next 12 months using measurable lead indicators.
- Identify over $30,000 in unclaimed GST and Fuel tax credits that could be claimed back immediately.
Today, we’re going to teach you how to grow a farming business with specialised food & beverage accounting that focuses on the future.
Meet Luke, founder of the beyond organic Tathra Place farm.
Luke’s a passionate and self-taught farmer, a craft he learnt while juggling the care of a sick family member and being a father to two beautiful children. When asked what it is he does, he’ll respond –
“I run a perennial pasture-based multi-species stack mob-grazing ethical farming unit”.
Try saying that three times faster.
Since 2015, he’s been focused on running a farming business that focuses on delivering the best tasting, chemical-free meat that exists in Australia. Having bought and tried his produce at the Ramsgate Foodies and Farmers Markets, we have to say he’s doing an incredible job.
“I’m great at my craft but I’m not great at running my business by numbers”.
The challenges Luke faces as a business owner are challenges a lot of talented business owners face – they’re exceptional at their craft, but crunching the businesses numbers isn’t what they’re best at.
Because Luke wasn’t his numbers actively, he didn’t know what was happening inside his business. If you don’t know that, it’s almost impossible to grow a farming business… or any business for that matter.
It wasn’t helped by the fact his previous accountant wasn’t involved in his business either.
“I wasn’t exactly writing home about my previous accountant”.
Luke could call up his accountant when he needed them and they helped with the usual – lodging tax returns and BAS statements – but that was the extent of the relationship. Not to mention, the accountant wouldn’t do the bookkeeping so Luke couldn’t seem to make his business numbers work in a sustainable way.
Some months there was plenty of capital to pay for his operational expenses, others there weren’t. Just like every farming business, he had to buy inventory (animals) ahead of time. But in order to set the right amount of cash aside, he needed to calculate how many animals he had on the property and how many he would need to replace.
“If you had asked me how many animals I had, there’s no way I would have been able to answer that question.”
A major part of Luke’s farming philosophy is grazing his animals over multiple paddocks and because he didn’t know how many animals he had or how long they’d be in a paddock for, he was often left guessing when he needed to shift them into another paddock and how long to rest the previous paddock.
How to grow a farming business using future-focused accounting
When we stepped in to help Luke with farm accounting & systems for Tathra Place, we recognised four things that needed to change so his business could improve, fast.
We helped Luke:
- Set up a farm management system on his phone, so that he can make better business decisions based on accurate numbers.
- Monitor his paddock usage so that he moves animals and rests paddocks at exactly the right time, allowing him to grow more grass.
- Worry less by setting up systems to make sure he always has the capital for operational expenses, hiring of staff and future business investments.
- Remove the burden of bookkeeping from his family members and allow numbers to be projected forwards rather than always looking backwards.
A great accountant is in your business trenches with you, because it’s the only way to really know how a business works, spot opportunities for improvement to grow a business.
This is what we do for Tathra Place and it’s what we do for all of our clients.
“I feel like Air Accounting genuinely cares about my business, that they have a vested interest in what we’re working towards and they wholeheartedly want me to succeed.”
We’re passionate about helping the Australian food & beverage businesses with their accounting and when we work with these types of businesses, our brains light up. This is our contribution to helping Australian producers, creators, movers and shakers do better business and it’s what we wake up excited to do every day.
“Over the last 16 years of owning and running businesses, the part that makes me most anxious is worrying about the finances. Thanks to Air Accounting, I’m the healthiest and least stressed I’ve ever been.”
So, if you’re in the food & beverage industry and you’re not happy with your current accountant (or you don’t have one yet), let’s talk. We work with business owners who:
- Want to grow their business beyond what it is; and
- Are passionate about the work they do.
If that’s you, we’d love to hear from you. All you need to do is fill out the form below and one of our talented food & beverage accountant team will be in touch in the next 24 hours.