A new financial literacy tool is changing how beef producers in Australia operate. The tool may serve as a global model for beef producers, experts say. And it demonstrates how the financial literacy movement is melding family businesses with personal finance.
The Farmecco website provides cattle producers with a complete look at their finances—from cattle prices and business equity to retirement savings and college tuition. This is the kind of turnkey total financial picture that most small business owners could use. For now, it is designed specifically for cattlemen.
“Farmecco has the potential to help beef producers gain a greater understanding of their financial futures, empowering them to make more informed decisions on how to improve profitability,” says Cattle Council Chief Executive Officer Duncan Bremner.
Developed by Agrihive, which tackles policy issues around global agriculture, Farmecco was in testing for 18 months with 75 cattle producers from northern Australia to Tasmania before rollout several weeks ago. “The information produced by Farmecco can help businesses build their strategic plans as the information allows you to know your margins, but also provides a benchmark in line with other similar businesses in the region,” said cattle producer Dan Lynch, who was part of the test trial.
Farmecco is easy to use, taking cattle producers (or members of their family or whomever does their books) through the steps of inputting information. It instantly generates detailed reports. Users can access how their financial performance compares to other farms locally and nationally, which means they get a clear sense of their competitiveness.
According to estimates from the beef council, which oversees Australia’s beef industry, the new tool will save cattle producers between $20,000 and $40,000 in the first few years. Small businesses may be the next frontier of the global financial literacy movement—and cattlemen down under using modern software that integrates personal spending with business cash flow may be showing the way forward.