The challenges for most businesses may vary as circumstances, locations and soil types vary, in some cases significantly. That said, re-assessing business objectives should periodically be done. The questions you might ask include:-
- Am I sufficiently profitable?
- Have I addressed succession?
- Is any debt I have really affordable?
- Is my mix of enterprises healthy?
- Should I investigate diversification opportunities further?
- Am I a good farmer and/or businessman?
- Do I make a profit from my rented land?
Based largely on actual historic data, the budget will allow for greater analysis of profitability and benchmarking of both enterprise output and costs, miscellaneous income and private and business costs. The drive towards making tax digital should provide an opportunity for individual businesses who have not already, to update their on or off farm accounting and this should be using a software package appropriate to allow for easy business analysis and not just for preparation of the farm accounts and submission of VAT returns.
With regard to benchmarking, Brown & Co are currently undertaking benchmarking work on behalf of the AHDB, the results of which will be available at harvest, and amongst other things will help those farmers reassess
aspects of their business and could lead to improved understanding of accounts, better management of machinery and associated costs, setting and understanding targets and how to manage and reduce costs.
Whilst generic benchmarking is difficult and should be done with caution, AHDB analysis indicates the following target spend.
Proportional Accounts Analysis
|Total fixed costs||40|
|Pre-rent & Finance Surplus||30|
|Rent & Finance||15|
With likely changes to farm and rural subsidies, understanding financial aspects of any business will only become more important and should be immediately addressed. Whilst farm support has been guaranteed for the next 2 years that provides a sensible period of reflection.
For more information contact your local Brown & Co office www.brown-co.com or the author Paul White – Brown & Co 01476 591991 or firstname.lastname@example.org