November 2013
In This Issue
Integration Disintegration
The Upgrades are Coming
Let's Integrate
Financial Boot Camp
Managerial Accounting
December Free Webinars
Find Scanned Documents
Visit Our Website

FBS 30 Year Logo
Stay in Touch

Farm Management Software Blog Button  
View our profile on LinkedIn
Follow-up Links
ABSs white paper 



FBS Version 8.14 Home Screen

Being in the integrated software business for nearly 34 years instills an empathy for anyone attempting to re-invent the integrated software "wheel" at any scale--be it national health care or ag accounting.  It's terribly challenging to anticipate all the scenarios and interactions that will be encountered as you connect all the financial, production, inventory and marketing functions touching the farm.  If all the components don't smoothly mesh or the complexity gets out of control the result is dis-integration


That's why we've focused for years on steady, evolutionary improvements to a proven platform even as we design future technologies.  As a result we now "communicate" with over 50 different third-party applications and data formats as well as maintaining our own internal, "tight and right" on-farm data integration.


Find out how Blake Hollis takes advantage of that software integration in FBS Users in the News.


We're continually thankful for the opportunity to empower you, the best in the business, as we work together to automate and integrate your core business functions.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving, giving humble thanks to our Creator and Savior.


Also in this month's FarmSmart: 
  • Watch a video of the latest software upgrades.
  • Not one, but two Farm Financial Standards training opportunities this winter
  • Our free, weekly one o'clock webinars prepare you for finishing and starting years.
  • The Q&A of the Month helps you find scanned documents.
  • Farm Futures Magazine points to the future of farm financials in the Farm Management Software Blog. 


Upgrades:  Continuous Improvements Delivered Once a Year
What's New in FBS Software Versions 8.14 and 10.3 
Click above to view a video new versions overview from the FBS User Conference.
FBS software users will soon be receiving their upgrade CDs for 2014. This year's CDs include two versions:  8.14 and 10.3.  Most users will want to install the "default' Version 8.14; the .NET Version 10.3 will become our standard-bearer in the years to come.

FBS delivers software improvements two ways:
  1. Updates through the Internet available 24/7.
  2. Upgrades through CDs mailed once a year. 

Even if you've been consistent updating your 2013 FBS version through the Internet you will want to install the CD on your main computer or server to continue to receive updates going forward.  Because we've updated the installer all you'll need to do is install "over the top" of your current FBS program folder so the process should only take five minutes.


This year upgrades incorporate over 70 programming changes.  Here are just a few of the highlights:

  • TransAction Plus:
    • Pop-up vendor address in input screen.
    • Date cleared warning.
    • Synchronized ledger accounts and centers for up to 20 company data files (included with Inter-company/Consolidated Reporting module).
    • Six new check and invoice display options.
    • Added credit card detail in transactions and A/P reports.
A/P entries can track both credit card and originating vendors.
  • Crop Audit:
    • Can switch crop production Projects after entries have been made to a field.
    • MACH 2.0 Interface now imports planting and tank mixes from SMS and APEX.
New planting and tank mix data importing options.
  • Smart Feeder
    • New Batch Feeding Inventory Report.
    • New Ingredient Shrinkage Routine.
    • New Mobile-friendly Input and Work Schedule.
    • More User-Defined Report lines.


New mobile-friendly feeding Input and Work Schedule.


  • SF E.CLIPSE (Inventory Valuation)
    • Can save and restore by month or quarter.
    • User-defined WIP inventory account.

Upgrades have already been shipped to clients with Corporate and VIP Service Agreements.  Priority Service clients will receive the upgrades this month, and Basic clients in December. 

FBS Users In the News

Farm Futures'
November story,"Let's Integrate," features the experiences of Iowa crop grower and pork producer, Blake Hollis, who has recently integrated the Conservis mobile/cloud data with FBS to provide up-to-the-minute inventory and field information.

Click here to watch a YouTube video of Blake, Kentucky grower Bernard Peterson and Conservis Ag Services President Eric Jackson discuss technology integration at the 2013 FBS User Conference.
Farm Financial Standards Boot Camp Assembles on January 6 
"Fall in" for Basic (Financial) Training.

Farm Futures magazine will hold a one-day seminar on farm
financial management on Jan. 6 at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. The meeting is designed for all farmers who want to boost skills that can lead to better farm management decisions.

"Many farmers tell us they struggle to understand the numbers behind their business," says Mike Wilson, Farm Futures editor. "Our most recent farmer survey shows farmers with the best business skills
are three times as likely to run high-profit farms." 


The learning event comes at a crucial time for U.S. agriculture, as lower grain prices, farm bill uncertainties and high input costs squeeze profits.
"The Ag Finance Boot Camp is ideal for farmers who want to become better managers and navigate the volatility so common in farming," says Wilson. "Great business management starts with a broad
understanding of dollars and cents." 


The sessions will be taught by professionals affiliated with the Farm Financial Standards Council. 


"I am excited that we have this opportunity to work directly and hands-on with a group of farmers and ranchers from across the country," says Jim Kelm, Ag consultant and FFSC president. "While we hope those at the Boot Camp will get great information from what our members present, we also look at this as a way to get some real feedback on the materials we've prepared and the way they are being used." 


Topics for the boot camp include: 


  • Why financial recordkeeping for agriculture is more than cash-basis accounting
  • Real-life application of the basic principles of ag accounting, including standardization of definitions, measures, ratios, benchmarking and analysis methods
  • How to improve the financial condition of your operation through sound financial analysis and improved financial decision-making skills
  • Understanding balance sheets, income statements, cash flows, liquidity and profitability measures

A panel discussion will focus on key fmancial topics for farmers and ranchers, such as financial literacy required to do accrual-based accounting; accounting on the farm vs. outside services; training available for accounting software and financial management; and how to use recordkeeping to improve borrowing power. 


Attendees will be given a link to download their choice of either the "Financial Guidelines for Agriculture" or the "Management Accounting Guidelines for Agriculture," provided by the Farm
Financial Standards Council. The "Financial Guidelines" document will be the January 2014 edition, which includes a new, extensive section on hedging.

The Ag Finance Boot Camp costs $100 when participants register by Dec. 1; the cost rises to $150 per person after Dec. 1. Farm Futures has arranged for a special room rate of $85 per night at the Hilton
St. Louis at the Ballpark hotel. For convenience, the boot camp takes place a day before the Farm Futures Business Summit, Jan. 7-8, at the same hotel. 


The boot camp is sponsored by John Deere and Farm Credit Services. To see the agenda and register, go to . 

Farm Financial Standards Managerial Accounting Workshop February 24



Few farmers understand the cost structures and strategic decisions that differentiate successful farms from those struggling financially.


"Most real successful operations thrive due to the accumulation of a lot of small changes that make a big impact to the whole," explains Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University professor and Extension economist. "But you need to be able to understand and analyze your details. Traditional accounting methods don't allow you to do this."


To help farmers dive deep into their numbers and determine which entities within their business are or are not carrying their weight, Farm Journal Top Producer Magazine is teaming up with Texas A&M University to host a Managerial Accounting workshop, which will be held Feb. 24-25 in Dallas, Texas.


Managerial accounting is designed to break out the costs and returns of different segments of a business.  FBS has been a pioneer in managerial accounting for crop and livestock producers.


Farm Business Consultant Dick Wittman will lead farmers through the two-day course, helping connect the dots between financial analysis and strategic decision making


Workshop participants will go beyond financial reporting requirements and learn the newest guidelines developed by the Farm Financial Standards Council. This means everyone will be speaking the same language and terminology, from the farmer to the accountant to the lender, says Klinefelter.


For farmers who plan to attend, Klinefelter says to consider bringing others involved in the operation, such as your production managers and chief financial officer.


FBS encourages clients already using E.CLIPSE Managerial Accounting software as well as producers considering implementing MA to attend.


Click on this link to download a workshop registration.

December Free Webinars
Webinar Computer 
December 2:  Scanner Interface 
December 9:  End of Year Procedures
December 16: End of Year Reports
December 30: Starting the New Year

All webinars run between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm CST.  

To register, e-mail by 12:00 pm CDT on the day of the webinar.

Q&A of the Month--Find Scanned Documents
Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, FBS Technical Services Manager.


Q.  I use the Scanner Interface.  Is there a quick way to tell if I have a document linked to my entries instead of opening them up one at a time?            

A. Yes!  The best way to see if a document is linked is to run the TransAction Plus User Defined Report.  


1. Select the parameters of the entries you want to check, then when the report is displayed, scroll to the right until you see the Scanned column.   


2. If it says Yes then there is an entry attached; if it says No, then there isn't.  


3. You can even double-click on the column heading and sort the Yes and No entries alphabetically.


4.  I find it helpful to drag the Scanned column beside the Date and Vendor columns so I can quickly view the list of scanned entries.


Scanned column in the User Defined Report

Tip:  Save this version report as a Macro and the columns will remain in the same order the next time you run it.


For more information on the Scanner Interface call the FBS sales line at 800.437.7638 /Extension 2 and join Sarah for her webinar on December 2nd.  (See story above.)




FBS Systems