Farming in the Cloud, 12 months on

It’s been a big year for Farming in the Cloud. We are excited to be heading to Fieldays this week at Mystery Creek, where we’ll be returning as Premier Feature Sponsor for the second year.

The first year of Farming in the Cloud was all about delivering on a farming blueprint. With our partners, we wanted to connect the farming team (banker, accountant, farmer and farm consultant) onto the single ledger. The focus was on giving the whole team the same platform to work on in both cash and accrual – an industry first.

It’s been a tough year for the sector. Particularly in dairy where the volatility has seen a massive increase in the use of smarter tools to help farmers plan. This was covered off in a recent article from a Figured and Xero user that featured on Stuff.co.nz.

We’ve seen an impressive buy-in from farmers who want to understand the full picture and get more involved in budgeting. “Before using Figured and Xero, the biggest frustration I faced was keeping different farm performance information in different systems. Making it difficult and time consuming to see the whole picture,” said John Evans a sheep, beef and crop farmer from Rakaia.

Xero’s partners have been a big part of the solution. Particularly those that have been early adopters of our farming solution who provided critical feedback. These partners are focussing on adding value to their customers every day and share our passion for the sector. It’s also been awesome to work with some new accounting firms with a focus on rural and looking to disrupt with Xero and Figured.

Figured

Our farming software partner, Figured, continues to lead the way by designing a solution most closely aligned to the blueprint. Figured’s solution focuses on delivering to the whole farming team. With the recent launch of Figured 2.0 they have accelerated and delivered their two year roadmap in 12 months. In 2.0, Figured has built in a lot of early adopter feedback including:

  • Multi-farm
  • Generic stock trackers
  • Enhanced reporting
  • Full tax valuation tools for advisors
  • Integration with Fonterra
  • Live updates of milk prices for major suppliers
  • Easy switch between cash and accrual views

Also during the last 12 months, LIC took a cornerstone shareholding in Figured. This was a great vote of support by a large industry cooperative and of the work they are doing. This will also see the future integration of the LIC Minda tool.

Other Partners

We recently welcomed iAgri to our farming ecosystem. iAgri has integrated their online farm management tools with Xero.

We were also pleased to announce at Xerocon Auckland that our accounting partners using Xero with clients on Cashmanager Rural will be able to sync with Xero on a monthly basis. We look forward to seeing this integration continue to expand.

We’re continuing to work with more and more partners, so keep an eye out on our farming ecosystem on our add-on marketplace.

Rural Feeds direct into Xero

Along with our expansive direct bank feeds, we now have direct rural feeds in place with the major rural suppliers, including:

  • CRT
  • Farmlands
  • Farmsource (previously RD1)
  • PGG Wrightson
  • Rabobank

We are also pleased to announce that Ashburton Trading Society (ATS) has committed to build their integration with Xero. This will be really powerful for our South Island farmers, making it easier to have their transactions from ATS directly into Xero. Watch this space.

Payroll

It’s also been a tough year for farmers around HR compliance. We have seen strong uptake and interest since launching Payroll in Xero. Payroll in Xero continues to innovate and is updated regularly. It will be a strong tool to help farmers manage their compliance seamlessly within their accounting platform.

Broadband

Following last year’s roadshow, it was clear that there is a lack of understanding of the Rural Broadband Initiative. This being picked up and discussed widely now across the industry. There are plans to tell the story of the rapidly expanding options for rural New Zealand.

Where to next?

We’re kicking into the next phase, which is about extending the farming ecosystem. We’re inviting more farming software partners to take part. We’re also linking on-farm software and monitoring tools into the farm financial platform. We want to complete one end-to-end platform for rural New Zealand. The next phase also includes scoping global delivery. So if you’re outside New Zealand, please email farming@xero.com to register your interest.

Our focus on growth, productivity, and using real-time information to enable better farm business decisions is key to lifting the performance of the rural sector. We just launched Xero Business Signals, allowing Xero users to track key performance indicators. This will be great for our rural clients. We’re also excited to use our data to deliver real-time, industry specific benchmarking and insights to help the industry grow.
If you are coming along to Fieldays, pop in and see us at the Xero stand in the main pavilion. And make sure you check out our farming page for more information and to see our special Fieldays offer.



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