Jo and Geoff Crawford

Northland farmers Jo and Geoff Crawford run a dairy and beef operation on three blocks ,all within a twenty-minute radius.The couple live on the home block at Kauri, farm another block at Hukerenui and a third at Hikurangi where they milk 1300 cows and raise all their calves, under a closed farm arrangement up to bull stage before sending them to the works.

Jo says she started out using a manual cashbook as everyone did back in the day.

“Over thirty years ago our accountant, Charmaine O’Shea at COS Chartered Accountants in Whangarei, recommended we start using CRS Software’s new Cash Manager farm management package. I checked it out and signed up – and we’re still with CRS today!

“CRS software is designed and developed by farmers for farmers so has always been easily adaptable which is a real bonus. When we started out we had a weed spraying and a separate forestry business, and I was able to adapt Cash Manager to suit the differing needs of both businesses which worked well and saved money! We eventually moved into dairy and beef where we’re at now and the same planning and management package is still doing the business for us.”

Jo says moving from Cash Manager RURAL to Cash Manager Focus (Focus) was simple despite some initial jitters around moving their large farm database.

“I was nervous but more so because of course I moved across to Focus when our GST return was also due…. just to add more stress to my life! In the end I needn’t have worried as the process was intuitive and the Support Team in Masterton were there to help with a question I had..”

She says preparing GST returns is so much easier as the vital information is there at her fingertips.

“Completing GST takes less than an hour or so now and, while I’ve yet to use the automated invoice scanner, I will take the plunge there soon. Using our own code names also works for us – if I make a mistake I can go back and quickly fix it but I guess I’ve been using our codes for so long now everyone knows what I mean anyway!”

Jo says having their accountant able to access their business accounts is also a great help. “Charmaine can access our accounts remotely and see where we are sitting regarding tax and make adjustments where required without the need for us to go into town.”

She says Focus has been a positive step up in many ways.” Moving the business across was simple, it’s cloud-based so is secure, adaptable if you have a side-line business and is definitely user friendly – plus time saved now in the office is a big bonus!”