Characteristics of a good farm and business record keeping system

A good system is easy to use, provides essential information in a timely manner and has an appropriate level of detail for the type of operation. Components of a record keeping system include:

  • A business checking account and/or credit card to handle all business transactions
  • An income ledger to keep track of all business income
  • An expense ledger to record business expenses
  • An inventory that includes the physical count (number) and value assignment (how much is the inventory worth)
  • A depreciation schedule to pro-rate the original costs of durable assets over more than one accounting period
  • A net worth statement or balance sheet which summarizes assets and liabilities
  • An income or profit/loss statement that lists receipts and expenses by type
  • Cash flow statement to measure the flow of funds into and out of the enterprise throughout the accounting period
  • Enterprise records which list income and expenses by type

Today, many farmers and business owners use a commercial financial software program for recordkeeping. These programs can analyze your operation and generate most of the reports listed above. But they are only as good as the data entered. Set a specific time to match expenditures with invoices and receipts. Remember that electronics fail and paper can disappear in a storm or a fire. Regularly back-up your financial software to a flash drive or other removable device.  Copy or scan important documents, warranty information etc. and keep a copy or a flash drive in your safe deposit box.

For more information on farm and business record keeping, contact the Economic Development Center at 250-5551.

2 thoughts on “Characteristics of a good farm and business record keeping system

  1. My boyfriend is a self-employed artist and I would like to know what computer software we can use to keep track of his business. We are looking to expand by creating a website to order prints and canvas prints. We need a program that would be simple and easy to use.

  2. Bobbie, sorry for the late response to your post.

    This is a great time to be an artist because the internet offers so many ways to reach potential collectors. Alyson Stanfield is one of the foremost authorities on marketing art and organizing an art business. Her website ( and blog ( provide information both free and paid that should be very helpful. Here is a blog post that list software for storing your inventory and contact lists.

    Hope this helps.

Comments are closed.