My Agricultural Consultants Association (ACA) colleague, Tom Rafter, outlined in his recent article how crucial it is for farmers to have a proper understanding of the figures underpinning their farm business. Ideally, financial accounts should be prepared as soon as possible after the accounting year end, which in many cases is 31 December or 31 March.

The accounts form the basis for income tax computations. They can however often also form the basis for bank loan applications, costs on a per litre/kg comparison, cashflow planning and future budget preparation.