Whangarei COS CA Director Charmaine O’Shea understands her farming client’s in more than financial terms because she is also a dairy farmer with several national awards under her belt from a long involvement in the sector. Charmaine says seeing both sides of the business, as an accountant and farmer, has given her a unique perspective on the sector.
Whangarei COS CA Director Charmaine O’Shea understands her farming client’s in more than financial terms because she is also a dairy farmer with several national awards under her belt from a long involvement in the sector.*
Charmaine says seeing both sides of the business, as an accountant and farmer, has given her a unique perspective on the sector. “A sound business requires a sound management tool to help clients manage what is their most important asset.
“I am sometimes asked to recommend software and I always look at what suits a particular client’s requirements and right now that’s Farm Focus for more than one reason.
She says ease of entry from a client’s perspective in real time is a deal maker. “Farm Focus has a single-entry point which makes data input simple. The budgeting function also encourages them to plan ahead and the forecasting tool is fantastic!
“There are definite benefits in using Focus for our business too. As their accountant we are able to pull a report from a customer’s business account which provides all the information we need. There’s no double handling and downtime and this real time data can be easily shared.”
Charmaine says daily bank feeds have also changed the way her customers work in a positive way.
“We’ve noticed customers have transitioned to daily or weekly inputs, instead of a single mad rush at end of the month when errors are more likely to happen. They are logging in and out more regularly so their information is up to date which gives them a better overview or understanding of how they’re tracking. They seem more in touch with their financials, even more engaged.”
She admits she initially found the change to Farm Focus challenging but once over the change in format she became a fan.
“COS CA recently achieved platinum status as users of Farm Focus after we invested time upskilling across the business and I noticed our younger team members were onboard in a flash. They picked it and became champions in no time - dare I say young minds just seem to grab it and run!”
*Charmaine O’Shea received a fellowship awarded by the NZ Institute of Accountants in recognition of her work in the rural sector. She was named New Zealand Dairy Woman of the Year 2014 and was the Northland Supreme Winner of the Ballance Farm Environment Award 2013. She has also been named Northland Sharemilker of the Year.