Managing your farm is hard work. After a long day in the fields or in the barn, the last thing you want to think about is your business accounting. But, like any other business owner, having accurate accounting records for your farm is critical to your financial success. And, just like other business owners, the first step to having good accounting records is choosing the right farm accounting software. Here are our top picks.
QuickBooks Pro: Best Overall Farm Accounting Software
First on our list of the best farm accounting software solutions is QuickBooks Pro – one of two options in the QuickBooks Desktop suite. This accounting software is cost effective, easy to use, and supported by most accountants and many outsourced accountants. While QuickBooks Pro isn’t specifically farm accounting software, you can easily customize the native chart of accounts and financial statements to meet your farm’s accounting needs.
QuickBooks Pro can handle all the accounting functions your farm needs, including:
Keep your check register up to date and reconciled with your bank statement.
Track supplier invoices, quickly analyze owed balances, and record payments in one place.
Manage your assets so you always know the financial value of your farm.
Quickly produce the reports your accountant needs to complete your tax return.
QuickBooks Pro is a one-time purchase of $ 399.99. For that price, you get desktop software (no internet required unless you use the bank feed feature) with three user connections. If you need payroll capabilities, this is an additional investment starting at $ 29 per month plus $ 2 per employee per month and increasing if you want assisted or full-service payroll services (Internet is available). required for these services).
Be aware that Intuit – the creator of QuickBooks Pro – “removes” QuickBooks Desktop every three years, so if you’re using payroll or other features, you’ll need to purchase, install, and convert the new version of the software every three years. This still means that you only pay around $ 100 per year on average for the software, which is a nominal price for the farm accounting capabilities you get.
QuickBooks Online: Best Cloud-Based Farm Accounting Software
While QuickBooks Pro is a locally hosted accounting solution – meaning it lives on your desktop and is accessible without an internet connection – QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based product that could be the perfect solution for your farm accounting software needs. QuickBooks Online provides anytime, anywhere access to your accounting records and also allows your bookkeeper or outsourced bookkeeper to assist you without having to host the software on a remote server – an option that often costs $ 60. per user and per month or more.
Since QuickBooks Online is cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about backing up your data in order to protect your accounting files from hard drive failure. Your data is always stored securely in multiple locations away from your farm office at no additional cost.
Like QuickBooks Desktop, QuickBooks Online is not specific to the farm, but you can easily customize the chart of accounts and native reports to give you the data you need to make sound business decisions about your farm and to produce them. information your accountant needs at tax time. . And as a bonus, QuickBooks Online includes a receipt capture feature, making keeping records easier than ever.
Pricing for QuickBooks Online starts at $ 40 per month for the Essentials plan (perfect for small farms) or $ 70 per month for the Plus plan (required for more complex farming operations). Large farm businesses could benefit from QuickBooks Online Advanced ($ 150 per month). Additional payroll functionality for all three options starts at $ 45 per month plus $ 4 per employee per month.
Farm Biz and Ultra Farm Accounting: Best Farm Specific Accounting Software
If you don’t want to customize an accounting solution to work for your farm’s accounting, but instead want to choose an accounting solution created specifically for farm businesses, check out Farm Biz. This software without accounting experience has a chart of accounts specially designed for your farming business. You also don’t need to understand bookkeeping or bookkeeping to use the software.
Farm Biz is desktop based farm accounting software which means you don’t need an internet connection to use it. Just make sure you have a good backup protocol in place to protect against accidental data loss. There is a one-time purchase price of $ 249 for Farm Biz, making it the most cost-effective solution on our list.
If you need more robust features than what is included in Farm Biz, their sister product – Ultra Farm Accounting – is a good option for the next step. Ultra Farm Accounting includes more personalized reports like livestock analysis and your Annex F for your tax return. Payroll is also included for the purchase price of $ 550.
FarmBooks: Best Farm Accounting Software for Reporting
Robust reports can help you make informed business decisions about your farm, and FarmBooks accounting software has the most robust report of any farm accounting software we reviewed. With nearly 20 reports built into the software, you can easily access farm-specific reports to see your farm’s performance and proactively make adjustments. Your Schedule F is included in these reports, making tax time a snap.
FarmBooks offers robust support and training options and also provides remote assistance to help make sure you are using this farm accounting software correctly and getting the most out of all of its features. They also offer offsite backups (FarmBooks is a desktop solution) starting at $ 5 per month.
FarmBooks costs $ 395 for a single farm, plus an annual maintenance fee of $ 85. If you have more than one farm, you can contact them for special rates.
Receipt Bank: Ideal for keeping records in conjunction with farm accounting software
While not accounting software per se, Receipt Bank is essential in helping you manage your record retention requirements. With just your cell phone and the Receipt Bank app, you can take photos of receipts and documents and know that they will be stored securely in the cloud for later use and review. This takes the hassle and stress out of keeping – and finding – your important financial documents at tax time, during an audit, or when applying for financing for your farm.
If you are using a QuickBooks product, you can integrate Receipt Bank with it to save you hours each month when entering data. But even without integration with accounting software, Receipt Bank is well worth the starting price of $ 12.50 per month.
A version of this article first appeared on Fundera, a subsidiary of TBEN.