Sawyers Reaping Benefits from Farm Software Changes

WA farmer Wendy Sawyer, of Dalwallinu, says she is saving time and money at peak times of the year thanks to new features in the Agrimaster farm management and accounting software

WA farmer Wendy Sawyer, of Dalwallinu, says she is saving time and money at peak times of the year thanks to new features in the Agrimaster farm management and accounting software

Streamlining payroll and accounting processes is saving the Sawyer family time and money at peak times of the year, when they employ up to 16 people in their grain production business at Dalwallinu.

The last thing they want to be doing after spending long days in the paddock is double-entering data for accounting and cashbooks.

Wendy Sawyer, who farms with husband Rob, his brother Gary and wife Marisa, is the main administrator for the business and is finding recent upgrades to Agrimaster software to be highly beneficial.

She is a long-time user of Agrimaster, developed specifically for farmers by Western Australian-based Mastergroup, and said incorporating Wagemaster into the program meant she could undertake all necessary accounting, payroll and cashbook tasks in one system.

Mrs Sawyer continued to say, it is much faster and less repetitive for her to manage cashbooks, internet banking, budget, wages, superannuation payments and also adhering to other payroll compliance requirements.

“The accountant, the farm adviser and I are now working on the same version of the file, which we access, share and back-up online. This is not only more efficient for all of our businesses, but means we are not duplicating files and there is now less margin for error.”

The Sawyers grain operation spans 34,000 hectares, predominantly sown to wheat, barley and canola, and the business employs five full-time-equivalent staff and an extra 10-16 casuals at peak periods of seeding and harvesting.

Mrs Sawyer said these were always frantic times of the year and having one farm accounting software system to rapidly process staff time-sheets, wages, superannuation requirements, payslips, wage summaries and group certificates was a big time saver.

She said all payroll data now fed directly into the Agrimaster cashbook to avoid double-entries and improve accuracy of information.

“I can send the ATO all employees’ tax file declarations and forms immediately online and our staff get their necessary paperwork via email, rather than me having to print and distribute it.”

Mrs Sawyer also expressed, she is someone who still likes to calculate time-sheets manually, but now she has more confident in completing them, as she is able to cross-check against Agrimaster data.

Agrimaster is used by the Sawyers as the main financial budgeting, planning and forecasting tool for the farm business. 

Mastergroup managing director David Warburton said a suite of new features had been added to Agrimaster software in response to rapidly changing and innovative data management technologies.

He continued to state new features will include, in-program back-up, restore and share functions for Agrimaster files online, which aim to simplify version control and file storage for farmers and their professional partners.

Mrs Sawyer said the new Agrimaster ‘File Manager’ function, which replaces the ‘m:drive’ in application option, was particularly valuable.

She praised on the convenience of File Manager, as it completely eliminate having to download files to a USB to provide to the farm accountant and then having to update her version with accountant’s entries when she receives it back.

Mrs Sawyer said the new technologies being incorporated into business accounting software, such as Agrimaster, were making the day-to-day financial management of big businesses much simpler and faster.

New features also mean we will be compliant with the Australian Taxation Office Single Touch Payroll changes for businesses that employ staff when these are rolled-out – from the 1st July 2019.”

The File Manager release comes shortly after the Agrimaster-Plus release which is Agrimaster’s new integrated payroll option. Agrimaster-Plus is Single Touch Payroll compliant and you can manage up to 5 full-time and 30 seasonal employees. The Agrimaster-Plus subscription includes cashbook, budgeting, farm business analysis, reporting and an integrated payroll solution program- Wagemaster.

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