Recordingkeeping and Taxes

The foundation of sound financial management is good recordkeeping. Although perhaps one of the less "exciting" parts of running your farm business, it is essential because it provides you information about your financial position and performance that helps you make good business and management decisions that will help your farm thrive.

Accurate, and up-to-date financial records are at the heart of good financial management. This starts with having your income and expense receipts gathered and organized through an accounting system. Some farmers use handwritten account books, others choose to use commercially available computer-based accounting system such as QuickBooks or CenterPoint, or to use spreadsheet software like Excel. Still others choose to deliver receipts to a hired accountant who organizes and records them.

PRO-DAIRY's Dairy Advancement Program provides grants to dairy farms for implementation of recordkeeping systems, including financial recordkeeping, for their businesses. 

The University of Wisconsin Extension has put together an excellent set of resources and tools on the key elements of financial recordkeeping for farmers. 

Heart of the Farm - Financial Management Factsheet Series, 2018

1. Understanding the Farm Financial Model

The Balance Sheet

2. Understanding the Farm Balance Sheet Part 1

3. Understanding the Farm Balance Sheet Part 2: Interpretation and Analysis

The Income Statement

4. Understanding the Farm Balance Income Statement Part 1

5. Understanding the Farm Balance Income Statement Part 2: Accrual Adjustments and Income Statement


6. Understanding Profitability Using the Farm Business Balance Sheet and Income Statement

Facilitators Workbook: "Farming your Finances"

Last updated November 23, 2020