Everyone loves the idea of a better accounting system but we often get stuck on what system to invest time, money and training into. As Farm Viability financial analysts we see farms using all sorts of systems. From shoe boxes and notebooks right through to customized commercial software programs there are many different was to record finances and produce meaningful reports to guide your management decisions.
It is common for people to adapt their Quicken home finance program into a farm accounting system when the farm first develops. With a couple years, the business grows and the farm is not sure if they have also grown out of that initial accounting system. Is it time to purchase Quick Books or one of the other software programs out there? The answer will depend on many things: do you have employees, do you invoice you buyers, do you seek to calculate payroll withholdings, do you seek to track enterprises (maple vs beef) separately?
Here is a link to a series of recorded videos from Oklahoma State Extension that explain Quicken vs. Quick Books. Take some time to learn about what these programs can offer you and decide which system will give you the information you need to make the best decisions on your farm.