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Farm business numbers aren't everyone's cup of tea

This farmwife would rather pressure wash a hog barn than bookwork.

Jennifer Campbell 1

December 23, 2014

2 Min Read

This time of year brings about tweets and posts all over social media about dreaded year-end paperwork and meetings with loan officers.

Related: 8 Ways to Manage Farm Business Cash Flow

I always giggle for two reasons: I no longer go to loan officer meetings and I am immediately taken back to 20-some years ago when Chris and I met for the first time together with our loan officer at the time.

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Chris loves numbers, but I don't. I am 45 years old, and still sometimes run under the assumption that if I still have checks there must still be money. I help as often as needed in the farm office but I will never live down a mistake made 20 years ago that still makes me nervous in the office and has Chris double checking my entries.

I accidentally assigned a tux rental for a friend's wedding to a farm account, therefore it was deducted as a business expense. I know, the horror! Chris lived in fear for 10 years that the IRS would catch it and audit us. The time is up, right?

Related: Hone Your Farm Business Management Skills

But I digress. Back to Chris loving numbers. Year-end paperwork and the yearly review with our loan officer, he claims, is a nightmare. But I think he secretly thinks it's his holiday. He knows our farm numbers backwards and forwards and loves to talk about them.

Now I don't attend the annual review. Chris and I discuss the numbers at home, then I let him have his fun with the loan officer. We have always been blessed with loan officers who love agriculture as much as we do and have faith in us as a business.

I still giggle at our first meeting with the loan officer as a married couple. There we sat in the waiting area of the local Farm Credit Services office, sitting up straight, whispering quietly to each other and Chris with his brief case full of documentation of his lap. Yes, a briefcase. He loved that briefcase and the one time of year he got to use it.

Related: 4 Bookkeeping Tips: Key to the Farm's Financials

I looked at it and seeing the locks, whispered sarcastically, "You did lock it right?" I shouldn't have, but hind sight is 20/20. He looked at me, locked it, and said: "I know the combination, I made it easy so I could remember it if it ever got locked accidentally."

And he did, for one side. We were called in. And there in front of our loan officer we sat as Chris pried open the one corner of the briefcase and I carefully stuck my hand in to retrieve our paperwork.

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