; Cash and Accrual Records with Quicken Tags | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Cash and Accrual Records with Quicken Tags

Wm. Bruce Clevenger


Farms and ranches commonly maintain a cash basis accounting system. While this system is good for preparing an annual tax return, it can be dangerously inaccurate on determining profitability. Studies show a two or more year lag in recognizing profit problems when only using cash basis analysis. Financial decision making can be difficult without the correct information or worse, wrong based on incorrect information. Quicken is a commercially available personal finance software that many farms and ranches have adapted in place of a paper ledger system. Ohio State University Extension Defiance County has taught hands-on, computerized farm recordkeeping workshops with Quicken reaching 100 farmers during 2011-2013. Farmers have asked “Can Quicken do…” about a variety of specific functions and needs on the farm. Examples include: enterprise analysis, tracking performance of specific farms, tracking expenses in one tax reporting year when the income is earned in the following tax reporting year, tracking pre-paid expenses, and separating family living expenses. The software feature in Quicken that makes these analyses possible is tags. Tags used in combination with categories can provide farm managers necessary information to run accurate reports with accrual information and yet maintain the cash basis accounting needs for annual income tax filing. Extension professionals that teach or promote Quicken as a farm recordkeeping system can benefit from learning the flexibility of Quicken to help farmers and ranchers maximize their financial records. This presentation will provide tools and activities to demonstrate the flexibility of Quicken as a computerized farm/ranch recordkeeping system.