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Conference Name Using QuickBooks Financial Software to Improve Financial and Production Records for Better Decision Making

DeDe Jones and Jay Yates


Texas agricultural producers face numerous forms of both price and production risk, making accurate financial reporting critical for long-term economic viability. However, inadequate record keeping is a common problem encountered by agricultural lenders, who are often faced with requests for loan extensions due to an underestimation of costs or an overestimation of profits. A need exists to educate farmers and ranchers on strong record keeping practices. To address this issue, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension personnel developed two-day short courses teaching QuickBooks Financial Software. These workshops allowed producers the opportunity to improve their financial record-keeping capabilities, thus helping them to make better management decisions.

Twenty seven computer short courses were conducted in Texas from 2002-2012 with 355 attendants. Class demographics indicated that 46% of participants were agricultural operators, 9% were accountants, and 45% were small business owners. Agricultural producers represented approximately 80,000 irrigated crop acres, 88,000 dryland crop acres, 70,500 pasture acres, 10,380 head of cows and 37,240 stocker cattle. Evaluations indicated that workshops enhanced record keeping abilities. Approximately 94% of participants showed improved program understanding at the conclusion of each course, with a 68.97% increase in knowledge gained. Over 93% planned to utilize their QuickBooks education to improve operational record keeping, with an estimated annual financial impact of $2,036 per individual.

QuickBooks is a strong financial system that can be adapted for agricultural use. Texas producers have gained program knowledge and improved record keeping abilities through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension short courses. These workshops have enabled farmers and ranchers to increase their analysis capabilities and make better management decisions.