Xero has announced that a new farming in the Cloud solution, bringing real-time, single ledger reporting to the farm, will be ready to go to market mid-year 2014.
The solution will allow farmers and their accountants, banks and rural service companies to work together from the same set of online, real-time data, and will provide one centralised home for key accounting and farm management tools.
"The time is right in the rural sector for the launch of Xero's farming in the Cloud solution and we're excited to be able to offer this functionality as we continue to look for new ways to bring efficiencies to farmers and their businesses. With a single integrated ledger for collaboration with your accountant, your bank and your suppliers, a major gap in the market has been filled," said Ben Richmond, Xero sales and product lead for NZ.
Xero states that it is working closely with Vodafone to launch farming in the Cloud. Vodafone is contracted to deliver the government's five-year rural broadband initiative (RBI) which will provide greater coverage and better speeds, improving connectivity in the rural sector. Three years through the roll out, the RBI has now covered 180,000 of the 250,000 targeted addresses.
The solution will be enabled by a growing eco-system of farming software partners that are integrated with Xero's online platform.
"Farming is the backbone of our nation," said Ben Richmond CA, Xero Sales and Product Lead New Zealand, who leads Xero's rural strategy. "When the rural sector does well, New Zealand does well, and Xero is committed to working with farmers, their advisors and stakeholders to lift the future of farming productivity together.
"There's a huge appetite for greater collaboration with industry stakeholders, and by working together from the same set of data, the accounting role becomes less about compliance and more about exploring opportunities for greater profitability."
Figured, the company's farming software partner, also launched tools to complement Xero's accounting solution at Xerocon 2014.
"Figured means you no longer need separate 'engines' for your financial management. It can now all be done using our complete livestock reporting and farm budgeting tools combined with all the proven functionality and simplicity of Xero," said Duncan Anderson, project director, Figured.com.
According to Xero, agricultural provider PGG Wrightson has also come on board to add to its growing network of farming partners.
"Farming is a challenging and complex business and we're always looking for ways to assist our customers in managing their businesses more efficiently. Our relationship with Xero provides a number of opportunities to help simplify and speed up the monthly accounting process, and we look forward to working with Xero to extend this to create further value for our customers," said Shannon Galloway, PGG Wrightson's GM for marketing.
Other farming software partners include iAgri and Aghub. Their existing online farm management software programs are currently being integrated with farming in the Cloud, with more partners to be announced soon, according to Xero.