Well another month has passed, and for me that means working on month-end bookwork. I do all of the bookwork, payroll, taxes, etc. for the farm. Our bookwork is very complex because we have multiple owners in our farm layout. My husband, Brad, his brother, Mark, and dad, Larry, are all partners on the family farm and I keep track of things for each person.
We work with Michigan State University Extension. They provide us help with accounting records, consulting and tax planning through a group called Telfarm. I send my records to them every month for them to print reports and then at the end of the year they put together depreciation reports and tax planning by owner. Many times Telfarm tells me if they can figure out my bookwork then they can work with other farms. You wouldn’t think that I would be a role model for bookwork — I actually failed my first semester of accounting in college!
Doing the bookwork is a very tedious, yet important job to any business. I do the payroll every two weeks and pay bills weekly. Many people don’t understand all of the expenses that go into running a farm. A lot of times I can print fewer than 10 checks and have spent at least $20,000. Our most expensive bills are feed bills, repair bills on our equipment and taxes.
I used to work at Kellogg’s World Headquarters where the famous “Tony the Tiger” was born and raised. I quit my job to start a family and never wanted to do the farm bookwork. Now I’ve been doing it for 12 years, first working with Brad’s mom, Gloria, to learn about working with Telfarm and learning the ins and outs. I can say now that I don’t mind it most of the time. (Although I do grumble every two weeks because I have to do payroll and then pray that no one calls me on that Friday because they found a mistake in their paycheck!)
Back to the numbers I go!