This month Enprise teamed up with MYOB to attend the biggest agribusiness event in the Southern Hemisphere – Fieldays – and had an insight into spreadsheet hell.
Enprise spent a lot of time roving the grounds talking to other exhibitors as well as speaking with visitors to the MYOB stand, says Enprise’s Northern Sales Manager, Grant Harwood.
“We caught up with clients like Lightwire and Jobe Valves, and met a lot of our fellow exhibitors. They are an interesting bunch; they sell everything from boots to farm bridges. It really surprised me how many of them have $5–15 million in turnover each year and still use accounting software products made for very small companies. They have thoroughly outgrown their systems. They try to bolt on third-party systems and end up doing everything manually in a storm of Excel spreadsheets.”
Most were unaware of the time and labour-saving power of automation, he says.
“For the price of one not-very-generous salary you can get the power of four to five people back year on year. They were quick to see the value of being able to grow the business without adding more staff. Some of them didn’t know they could automate quoting and convert quotes into debtors with the press of a button; or have sales orders trigger automatic stock re-ordering so you never run out. They were keen on exploring the productivity benefits of integration and automation.”
The other issue many agribusiness suppliers spoke of was losing intellectual property when staff leave.
“A lot of them have different parts of the company running their own spreadsheets. The sales team have their own spreadsheets and when they leave the company, they delete them or take them with them. That’s valuable company data, it belongs in a central repository that no one can take away,” Grant Harwood says.
He says many of the farmers he talked to are worried.
“New regulations are a big unknown and they are not feeling appreciated as the backbone of our economy.”
The latest MYOB Business Monitor report says nearly one third (32 percent) of rural business operators report revenue growth, but less than one quarter (23 percent) of primary industry businesses report an increase in revenue. One in four rural business operators report experiencing a mental health condition. Read the full article on the NZ Herald website.
Book a demo with Grant if you’d like a walk-through of the latest developments in cloud and on-premise accounting for your industry.
A selection of images from Fieldays 2019.