Financial records help to understand farm performance

I recently had a series of meetings that required quite a bit of driving and with that, windshield time to think. A lot of the work I do with farm families involves financial analysis, so I think about that a lot. I came to a very basic question. Why do farmers keep financial records? Even […] Read more

Transition Planning Forward takes changes to next steps

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Or so the saying goes. There will be a great many of us that prefer the status quo. Change typically brings the unknown. We’ve not done that before. Or the other way of saying it … this is the way we’ve always done it. Some […] Read more

Conflicts of interest require people to act with integrity

I was talking to a farmer not that long ago about an issue he was dealing with. As I listened, it appeared that he had found himself caught between a rock and a hard place. We’ve all been there. As I thought about this though, it made me wonder where the saying came from. Apparently, […] Read more


Know which financial statement is best for your farm

This article is a follow-up to a previous article I wrote about farms and corporate financial statements. I commented that I am not an accountant but I am a management consultant who has some expertise and an interest in financial management. Through my career, I have gained some understanding of what accountants do in preparing […] Read more

How accountants prepare a farm’s financial statement

The first thing I want to say is thank you. Thank you to all farm families who continue to do their work through the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m going to use this and the next article to talk about corporate financial statements. I think there are a lot of farmers who don’t have a really good […] Read more


The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

I read some statistics on farm succession planning the other day. It caused me to think about a conference on succession planning I attended in 1999. People and presenters quoted statistics about the average age of the Canadian farmer being about 57, if I remember correctly — something close to that anyway. There was also […] Read more

The relationship between the assets and liabilities of a business is a key measurement that farmers should watch carefully.  |  File photo

Making sense of what your balance sheet is telling you

Balance sheets and statements of net worth both include assets and liabilities. The difference between the two is that a statement of net worth will have capital assets, such as land and quota, reported at fair market value. Balance sheets have capital assets valued at original cost, minus amortization for depreciable assets, such as buildings […] Read more

Financial resiliency: a way to face performance challenges

Gavin Betker and I gave a webinar recently on financial resiliency. It was called Farm Financials to Help You Sleep at Night. It was the first of a two-part webinar series. Thanks to the Alberta Wheat Commission and Farm Management Canada for making the webinars possible. The presentations will both be in the Farm Management […] Read more


Investing in professional development good for business

Danny Klinefelter, former professor and extension specialist at Texas A&M University’s department of agricultural economics, notes that four states of knowledge exist: What you know. What you know you don’t know. What you don’t know you don’t know. What you think you know that isn’t so. What does all that mean? Well, it can be […] Read more

Procrastination is a major roadblock for farm planning

Start by starting. When you think about it, that’s logical, isn’t it? So much so, that when I googled “start by starting,” I found a bunch of references to it and numerous people applying it to what they do. Meryl Streep uses it as part of what she has used to advance her career development […] Read more