Acquiring and Organizing
• Purpose and Use of Records
• Farm Business Activities
• Basic Accounting Terms
• Options in Choosing an Accounting System
• Basics of Cash Accounting
• Basics of Accrual Accounting
• A Cash Versus Accrual Example
• Farm Financial Standards Council
• Output from an Accounting System
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1. To appreciate the value of establishing a
good accounting system
2. To discuss some choices for the
3. To outline the concepts of cash accounting
4. To present concepts of accrual accounting
5. To review some recommendations of the
Farm Financial Standards Council
6. To introduce some financial records
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Purpose and Use of Records
1. Measure profit and assess financial
2. Provide data for business analysis
3. Assist in obtaining loans
4. Measure the profitability of individual
5. Assist in the analysis of new investments
6. Prepare income tax returns
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Measure Profit and
Assess Financial Condition
These are among the most important reasons
for keeping records.
Profit is estimated by developing an income
statement, the topic of chapter 6.
The financial condition is shown on the
balance sheet, the topic of chapter 5.
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Provide Data for Business Analysis
Use the information from the balance sheet
and income statement to perform an
Analysis of past decisions is useful for
making current and future decisions.
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Assist in Obtaining Loans
Lenders require financial information about
the farm business to assist them in their
Following the farm financial difficulties during
the 1980s, many agricultural lenders are
requiring more and better records.
Good records increase the odds of getting
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Prepare Income Tax Returns
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations
require keeping records for tax purposes.
Tax records are often inadequate for
Sound record-keeping can also help reduce
income tax obligations.
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Farm Business Activities
• Production Activities
• Investment Activities
• Financing Activities
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Farm business activities included
in an accounting system
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These accounting transactions involve
activities related to the production of
crops and livestock. Revenue from product
sales or other farm revenue is included
here, as are production expenses.
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These activities relate to the purchase,
depreciation, and sale of long-lived assets,
such as land, equipment, or breeding livestock.
Records should include purchase date and price,
annual depreciation, book value, current market
value, sale date and price, and gain or loss
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These transactions relate to borrowing money,
and paying the interest and principal on loans.
Financing activities include money borrowed to
finance new investments and money borrowed
to finance production activities.
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Basic Accounting Terms
• Account payable • Inventory
• Account receivable • Liability
• Accrued expense • Net Farm Income
• Asset • Owner Equity
• Credit • Prepaid Expense
• Debt • Profit
• Expense • Revenue
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An expense that has been incurred but
not yet paid. Typical accounts payable
are for items charged at farm supply stores
where the purchaser is given 30 to 90
days to pay the amount due.
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Revenue for a product that has been sold
or a service provided but for which no
payment has yet been received. An
example would be custom work for a
neighbor who has agreed to make payment
at a future time.
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An expense that accrues or accumulates
daily but which has not yet been paid.
Examples are interest on loans and
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An item of value, tangible or financial.
Examples would include machinery,
land, bank accounts, buildings, grain,
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An accounting entry in the right-hand
side of a double-entry ledger. A credit
entry records a decrease in the value
of an asset. It records an increase in
liability, owner equity, or an income
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An accounting entry in the left-hand
side of a double-entry ledger. A debit
entry records an increase in an asset
or expense account. It records a
decrease in liability or owner equity.
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A cost or expenditure incurred in the
production of revenue.
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The physical quantity and financial
value of products produced for sale that
have not yet been sold.
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A debt or other financial obligation that
must be paid at some point in the future.
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Net Farm Income
Revenue minus expenses. The same
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The difference between business assets
and business liabilities. It represents the
net value of the business to the owner(s)
of the business.
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A payment made for a product or service
in an accounting period before the one
in which it will be used to produce
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Revenue minus expenses. The same as net
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The value of products and services
produced by a business during an
accounting period. Revenue may
be either cash or noncash.
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Options in Choosing
an Accounting System
• What accounting period should be used?
• Should it be cash or accrual?
• Should it be single or double entry?
• Should it be basic or complete?
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A period of time used to summarize revenue
and expenses and estimate profit. It can be
either a calendar year or a fiscal year.
It is generally recommended that a firm’s
accounting period follow the production
cycle of the major enterprises.
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Single vs. Double Entry
With single-entry, only one entry is made for
each transaction. A double-entry system
records changes in values of assets and
liabilities as well as revenue and expenses.
In double-entry, there are equal and off-setting
entries for every transaction. Double-entry
accounting requires more effort, but it is
also more accurate.
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Basic vs. Complete
The most basic accounting system is one
that is very simple and uses cash accounting.
A complete system would be computerized
with capabilities for both cash and accrual
accounting,and with the ability to track
inventories, loans, and depreciation, and to
handle payroll accounting and perform
enterprise analysis. Between these extremes
are many possibilities.
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• How much accounting knowledge does
the user have?
• How large and complex is the farm?
• How much and what kind of information is
needed or desired for management
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Basics of Cash Accounting
• Revenue: recorded when and only when
cash is received for sale of product or
• Expenses: recorded when they are paid,
even if that is not when the item is bought or
used to produce a product
• Advantages: simple and easy-to-use
• Disadvantages: recorded revenues and
expenses may not be accurate reflections of
activities during the accounting period
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Basics of Accrual Accounting
• Revenue: recorded when the item is
produced, regardless of when sold
• Expenses: “matched” to revenue;
recorded when used to produce
• Advantage: accurate
• Disadvantage: requires more time and
knowledge than cash system
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Cash vs. Accrual Example
• November 2003: Purchased, paid for and
applied fertilizer for the 2004 grain crop. $8,000.
• May 2004: Purchased and paid for seed,
chemicals, fuel, etc. $25,000.
• October 2004: Purchased and charged to
account fuel for drying. $3,000.
• November 2004: One half of grain sold for
$50,000. The rest placed in storage and valued
• January 2005: Paid bill for fuel used to dry
• May 2005: Remaining 2004 grain sold. $60,000.
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Cash Accounting Accrual Accounting
Cash grain sales 50,000 50,000
Grain inventory increase N/A 50,000
Total Revenue $50,000 $100,000
Fertilizer 0 8,000
Seed, chemicals, fuel 25,000 25,000
Drying fuel 0 3,000
Total Expenses 25,000 36,000
Net Farm Profit $25,000 $64,000
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Farm Financial Standards Council
• Accrual-based system recommended, but
cash system accepted, with end-of-year
• A full discussion of the adjustments will be
provided in chapter 6
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Output from an Accounting System
• Balance Sheet: report that shows the
financial condition of the farm at a point in
• Income Statement: report of revenue and
expenses over the accounting period
• Other reports, depending on complexity of
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Twelve possible reports
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This chapter discussed the importance,
purpose, and use of records as a
management tool. Records provide the
information needed to measure how well a
business is performing. They also provide
information needed to make sound decisions
in the future. Any accounting system must be
able to handle production, investment, and
financing activities. The output desired from
the accounting system must be considered
when choosing one.
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