Has monitoring of financial objectives improved with improved technology.

Executive Summary

New Zealand farmers have often looked to adopt technology to use in their farming business to increase productivity. The use of technology throughout the entire farm business has increased as modern day farming techniques become more complex and large scale investment in the rural sector increases.

Sheep & beef farmers in New Zealand have benefited from recent sustained increased returns. This report focuses the Tararua and Wairarapa regions as a sample of New Zealand sheep and beef farmers who, like the rest of the industry, have the opportunity to utilise the increased returns to achieve their financial objectives.

Historically, budgeting and monitoring of financial objectives amongst sheep and beef farmers has been low. Using a survey of rural professionals and farmers, the aim of this project was to investigate whether financial monitoring has improved with improved technology.

When analysed, the data quickly showed monitoring of financial objectives had not improved. The barriers to technology – use identified in the survey by rural professionals, could be seen as barriers to financial monitoring as much as technology. Subjective barriers such as fear of technology seems to be a defence for lack of financial knowledge or a perceived shortfall in some areas of financial knowledge. Time was disregarded as a direct barrier, as programmes that are available today are quick and easy to use. Therefore, time issues were considered a lack of defined return on investment for the time invested.

A number of recommendations have been made as part of this report. These included:

  • Encourage farmers to investigate ways of binging technology into their financial monitoring in a way that fits their approach.
  • Rural professionals to put financial considerations as the first issue in succession plans.
  • Farmers to set small goals that fit within the larger financial objectives so that the sense of achievement is realised along the way.
  • Farm businesses identify and monitor critical financial performance measurements that are important to them and their individual goals.

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