Before even stepping foot in Australia, Richard Daugherty knew that Practical Systems was right for him.
In 2011 Richard and his family moved from South Africa to New England, NSW. While still in Africa, during the homework phase of moving to another country, Richard discovered the Practical Systems accounting package with its Farm Mapping program. He signed on soon after arrival at their farm Balala, a 1250ha property running both sheep and beef breeding operations.
Following the maxim ‘measure to manage’, the Daughertys have begun the process of EIDing their flock because of the importance they place on being able to identify individual animals.
“Stockbook is user friendly and its vast ability made it the obvious choice for us. Having all our programs with Practical Systems is just logical,” Richard said.
Previously, Richard had used pen and paper in the yards to collect weights and transferred the information to spreadsheets in the office, a system that was “almost manageable but fraught with danger”.
“Now we are really utilising Stockbook for daily weight gains and projecting our animals’ performance going forward, plus with the other reports and functions we can see how worthwhile it is to our business.”
Richard praised the “phenomenal” support provided by Practical Systems to ensure their products work effectively.
“Often, crossing over between different products like a weigh indicator and EID reader and getting them all too sync can be fraught and complicated but the help from Francis at Practical Systems is always exceptional. Like any new thing, it took time to learn how to run the systems but now the creases are ironed out it is amazing how easy and smooth it is now,” Richard said.
“Practical Systems continue to improve and develop their products capabilities, upgrades are available whenever you need them, this was very evident in Cashbook with changes in Fuel Tax Credits rates or needing direct bank statement downloads, to mention a few, but getting the hang of them is where the support came in handy again.”
Three of Practical Systems software programs are used on Balala: Cashbook Plus for the farm’s accounting, Stockbook for individual animal management and FarmMap for whole farm planning.
“We are an EU accredited property and as the record keeping and NLIS reconciliations with Stockbook are so straight forward, it is all connected directly to the NLIS data system, so basically all done for you,” Richard said.
“Cashbook Plus is all we need for our size operation and offers far more than we are currently using but with time I certainly feel that we will use more of the capabilities which the product has. Keeping check on cashflows, budgets, enterprise trading accounts, gross margins are fantastic assets to just quickly check every month as to how one is tracking.
“Farmmap is a useful programme to basically work out a Farm plan, areas of paddocks, layouts for fencing and a lot of other quick need to know issues like distances of pipe work, are all right there. We haven’t used the paddock grazing side of the programme for mob/stock movements yet but I’m sure it will be useful when we need to use more and more of the capabilities of the program.”
With the support provided by Practical Systems, Richard knows he is able get the full benefits out of the software and have confidence in his management records.
“The Knowledge Base on their web site has step by step guides in solving a questions, or if you can’t find the topic or the answer, then the support staff are brilliant on the phone too,” Richard said.
“I have no hesitation in recommending Practical Systems to other producers.”