Posted 6/19/2019 10:57 (#7568280 - in reply to #7562352) Subject: RE: Need help with recordkeeping (excel, quickbooks, etc)
My spreadsheet skills were mostly self taught, and I would not say I'm really good at it. I've just gotten quick at being able to build very simple spreadsheets simply due to time spent doing it over the years. Youtube has some helpful videos, but you have to know enough to know what to look for. Knowing what to look for has been the hard part for me. I'd see others talking about doing things (on this board and elsewhere) and then search for how to do it and try it for myself. An area college had classes locally and I was able to fit the beginner class into my schedule. Most of what was presented was old news to me, but there were a few basic tricks presented that the whole world probably would have known before I ever would have noticed on my own. I'd take a couple more classes if time allows.
The spreadsheet is basically a tool used to complete a task. Knowing what needs to be done, how it should work, and why was a matter of understanding basic accounting. Again, I'm not an expert. I've just had basic accounting classes, enough to understand double entry accounting, the accounting equation, accrual accounting, and how financial statements are derived from the accounting process. Finance and management classes also added to the mix to give a better picture of what needed to be done. The school I went to had a student run farm with some of the early accounting software that would run on personal computers. I was the farm accountant. The records were only cash basis, but it did give me some experience in farm accounting with a computer (a new thing at the time) and keeping things filed. All of this and years of real world experience of doing farm business and production records, working with a good CPA for tax purposes, and getting audited for various things over the years has given me a better idea of what needs to be done. What needs to be done seems to be a moving target. It seems there are always some new requirements for things that need to be documented.
There are lots of people with very little understanding of any of this who are far more successful than I. These people usually have a lot of common sense and are surrounded with skilled people who take care of the things they don't do themselves. I've not been surrounded by others in these regards and like doing my own work anyway.
Edit to answer your questions more specifically: I do use spreadsheets for the crops, but mostly to allocate specific hybrids to specific fields and to do crop budgets and record crop yield & profitability on a field by field basis, chart some historical data, and to keep track of marketing. Actual hybrid placement, population, planting dates, yield maps, and other stuff is recorded in the field with mostly Ag Leader monitors and organized with SMS software. Keeping the formats mostly consistent from year to year makes things a little easier to see when looking back.