Commonwealth Bank is joining forces with farmers and a specialist software company to help deliver more efficient financial management solutions for farmers.
Together, they will pilot the efficiency gains from the use of farm financial management software developed by Figured.
Running over 12 months from December 2016, the pilot will see 100 Commonwealth Bank agribusiness clients trial Figured’s industry-specific, cloud-based accounting software. The pilot will test the value of bringing the farmer, accountant, advisor and bank relationship manager together in one team for a more collaborative approach to financial management.
Tim Harvey, General Manager, Regional and Agribusiness Banking, Commonwealth Bank, says the pilot offers benefits for individual operators and the agribusiness community.
“The Figured software enables real-time financial budgeting, positioning and forecasting, and in turn, the potential for a deeper working relationship between customers, accountants and banks,” said Mr Harvey.
“Collaboration between farmers and their advisors using rich and up to date data, will equip farmers to respond with greater agility when market conditions change.”
The easy-to-use Figured tool translates activities into management accounts to provide farmers with an understanding of how their activities impact their current cash, profit and balance sheet positions and this real time information will give them the confidence and capability to better prepare for and respond to market or environmental events. Farmers using the software can then choose to share the information with their advisors without having to prepare separate documentation.
James Black, General Manager, Figured Australia, says the partnership with Commonwealth Bank provides the opportunity to pilot the Figured “farming team” concept in Australia, one that has already been proven in the New Zealand market.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with CBA, the technology bank, to deliver a solution to enable the Australian farmer to make better business decisions. Decisions not just based around chasing yield, but more importantly, profitability,” said Mr Black.
“By collaborating with their farming team of accountant, production advisor and CBA agri banker all within the Figured application, the Australian farmer will be able to take a more forward looking approach to their business. This can only be a good thing for our rural industry and our rural communities.”
The pilot is the result of work undertaken in Commonwealth Bank’s Innovation Lab earlier in 2016 looking closely at the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers. One key outcome identified was the need to support farmers with new financial management tools.
“Farmers told us one of the key challenges they face is easily managing their financial processes, and they said they want support in this area so they can focus more energy on their core business of farming,” said Mr Harvey.
“Our partnership with Figured and the resulting pilot reflects the Bank’s broader focus on working with external technologies that add value to our business customers and help them reach their full potential. It is one example of how we are fostering process-driven innovation among our clients.”
Find out more about Figured here.