Why Use QuickBooks?

Let me start with saying that I’m not a QuickBooks sales representative.  Actually I’m just a ranch girl that has always liked numbers and horses and quickly learned one of those never pays for itself.  I’m the fourth generation to come back to our family ranch and while I have been very fortunate to have this opportunity with my husband and kids and love every bit of it I also enjoy working in the finance industry of agriculture.  This has taught me many things very quickly and many times the hard way.

One of my biggest surprises when I started exploring this industry was the lack of educational opportunities and resources for farmers and ranchers in getting support on improving their record keeping and how to organize that information to help them make better decisions for their operation.  I want to change that and give farmers and ranchers a place to go if they have questions, need some direction or further education.  Now let me explain a little more about myself.  My job, on top of ranching, is actually being a loan officer for Pacific Intermountain Mortgage Company where we provide long term farm and ranch real estate loans.  So I understand it’s a little odd that I’m talking to you about bookkeeping and not interest rates, but this is a skill of mine that I can share with others to help them succeed.  Let’s be realistic, if you don’t succeed I won’t either.  Keeping a business alive and passing it onto future generations is becoming a bigger and bigger struggle, using QuickBooks is one tool available for improving the way we manage our business that can help us pass what we have built onto that next generation.

So let’s just touch on a brief overview today of what using QuickBooks could do to simplify the office work you regularly dread having to tackle.

  1. Taxes:  Having your information in an organized fashion, such as QuickBooks, allows your accountant to be more efficient in sorting through your annual financials and reporting them on your tax return.  That results in savings on your bill.
  2. Efficiency: Using QuickBooks can allow you to be more efficient with your time.  No one wants to spend more hours in the office then they have to.  Entering your deposits and checks into QuickBooks as they occur will help you remove redundancy in your record keeping.  Then you can have current cash balances of your accounts at all times without having to blow the dust off the calculator.  Quickly reconcile, print reports or find old transactions without having to dig through filing cabinets or sort back through old paperwork.
  3. Accuracy: Having all your information in one place and learning how to sort through it will help you find errors quicker within your bookkeeping.  Sorting through hand written registers and trying to find where a calculation or recording error was made can be very painful.
  4. Analyzing: You already put the labor in when you were printing checks and recording the deposits, so why do you want to sort through all that information again to see how much money you made this year.  Quickly generate reports that display a variety of information about your operation including how much money you made, how much you owe vendors, loan balances, profitability of individual enterprises, etc.  There is literally an endless assortment of reports that can be created to help you best see your operations strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Sharing: Whether it’s with your family, your banker or your accountant you can quickly share reports or even the entire QuickBooks file with multiple users you want to grant access to.  Farming and ranching takes a team and having the tools to help that team work together goes a long way towards success!

QuickBooks is one of those things that can fit all different sizes of operations.  Don’t tell yourself that your operation is too small to need this,every business needs better tools to guide them whether they are just starting up, trying to expand, or just trying to maintain in this increasingly competitive industry.  Using this program isn’t an all or nothing scenario either.  Whether you only want to keep track of income and expenses or you are going to do payroll and invoicing as well, this program can help you run your company more efficiently and make better informed decisions.

Cassi Johnson
Pacific Intermountain Mortgage Company
Long Term Farm and Ranch Real Estate Loans