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Need To 'Cook Up' A Better Recordkeeping Recipe?

Need To 'Cook Up' A Better Recordkeeping Recipe?

QuickBooks 'Farm Accounting Cookbook' may help you avoid the 'tax form two-step.'

Tired of doing the year-end "tax form two-step" – shuffling through your shoe-box record system, lining income and expenses up on paper then waltzing them to your accountant? Then it's time to cook up a better recipe.

Quicken and the QuickBooks Farm Accounting add-on software are available at most office supply stores. The accounting system is used by many farmers, especially those breaking into computerized recordkeeping.

And now, a new e-book version of paper reference guide, the QuickBooks Farm Accounting Cookbook, Volume I is available as well. The Microsoft Windows-compatible version is identical to the print version. It, too, costs $29, but you save the shipping cost.

If you're buying the software, you may be better off buying the manual paper version. The e-version isn't as handy as having the hard-copy version laid open on your desk. In case you haven't figured it out yet this cookbook has nothing to do with cooking.

The 370-page manual for agricultural users gets its name from how the book presents transaction examples. Each example is a self-contained description of what you need to know about entering a certain type of transaction, much like a recipe describes the ingredients and steps for making a cake. It lets you find answers to your accounting questions quickly without having to read several chapters for background information.

It's especially written for farmers ranchers, and provides information about setting up QuickBooks for farm accounting (accounts, enterprise classes, etc.), plus loads of transaction examples—all of them agricultural. But in Pennsylvania, there may be a second option.

In recent weeks, Penn State Cooperative Extension has been hosting QuickBooks workshops to help farmers get the most from the program in terms of financial reports and decision making tools. The first series of the two-part workshops have already taken place. But the part-two session has yet to be scheduled.

The workshops will be hands-on, using a computer lab. You would have the opportunity to use your own farm's data to build meaningful financial records and reports. It is expected that all participants in this program will have a basic understanding of Quickbooks before attending the workshop.

The workshop series consists of two parts. The first part was held in November. The second part of the series will be a half-day workshop, which will be held in early 2012, at locations to be determined by participation in part one workshops.

For more information, please contact Keith Dickinson, 610-696-3500 or email him at .  This workshop is presented by the Agricultural Entrepreneurship and Dairy Extension Teams of Penn State Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with AgChoice Farm Credit.

Special incentives for AgChoice Farm Credit customers, including partial scholarships, are available. Customers should contact their local AgChoice Farm Credit Office for more information.

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