The Farm Financial Standards Council – Accounting Standards for Farm Businesses

By Stephanie Elsen

Jim Kelm 2013 President of the Farm Financial Standards Council

The Farm Financial Standards Council or “FFSC” is an all-volunteer non-profit group consisting of individuals interested in the improvement of financial and managerial accounting for agricultural producers. The FFSC works to create uniformity in farm financial accounting analysis. Farmers can benefit from paying attention to the FFSC and The Guidelines.

Using The Financial Guidelines for Agriculture provides consistency to third parties such as lenders and consultants. If you understand and follow The Guidelines, your lenders and consultants will have a better understanding of your financial information. With a better understanding of your business, those third parties can help you improve your operation. While you may be using your farm accounting software application to track this information, setting it up correctly is also important, and that’s when you can turn to The FFSC Guidelines.

The FFSC Guidelines are detailed in one document, which is indexed by subject. While The Guidelines are quite lengthy, reading the entire document from cover to cover is not necessary. Rather, The Guidlines should be used as a resource when a specific question arises. For example, there may be a field in your accounting system for you to assign a value to breeding livestock. You may not be aware of how to assign this value, and this situation is a perfect example of when to turn to the FFSC Guidelines and look up the best way do that.

The FFSC was created to promote uniformity and integrity in financial reporting and analysis for farmers. Learn more about their mission and the tools they offer by visiting their Web site:

FindAccountingSoftware: Helping businesses select the right accounting software.

The web site (and the services they provide) have been helping people find the right accounting software for many years. They do an incredible job of asking the right questions, so software seekers can get to their ideal results more efficiently. In this short video, they do a nice description of how their service works.



Notes from the President

Ken Hilton - President Red Wing Software

Apparently, my number was up. No…..not that number. The number that means it’s time to get a new computer. You see, Larry, our Computer Wizard (his official title is IT Manager) keeps track of every employee’s computer, and has a schedule that determines when they should be replaced. With Larry, you don’t have a choice. When your number is up, your computer WILL get replaced.

As scary as this sounds, it is really a good idea. By upgrading our computers on a predetermined schedule, he makes sure that there are virtually no hardware failures, (no down time, lost data, or lost productivity) and everyone is working with relatively new technology.

With a new computer, sometimes comes a new operating system. My new computer came with the Microsoft® Windows® 8 operating system which, at first, was a little annoying because it was something that I was unfamiliar with. I quickly learned how to use the new features in Windows 8, and how to get the functionality that I didn’t like, out of the way. In just a few hours, I actually liked my new business tool.

How old is the computer you’re using? Is it running on borrowed time? Is its number up? Don’t wait until you have