At BM we have been working with Xero and Figured to help provide online solutions to our farmers. With Xero and Figured, you
can easily keep track of your farm performance, with real time information on a single platform. We think this is critical, as it enables the farmer, the accountant, the banker to be on the same page at the same time. Having all your farm advisory team on the same page, helps you focus on improving performance rather than wasting time chasing and entering data.
With live bank feeds, and direct feeds from key rural suppliers, you will no longer to have to spend your nights entering Farmlands statements and reconciling bank statements. We don’t know many people who enjoy this side of being a business owner! Focus on what you do best – farming, or perhaps that holiday you’ve been meaning to take!
As we know, farming is an ever changing environment. With fluctuating commodity prices, variable season conditions, a good plan is essential to help steer your farming business through this tough environment.
Figured has the ability to manage your livestock, your budget and forecasts in a simple but effective way, ensuring you always know where you're at and where you are heading.
Farming In The Cloud
Most farmers are aware of the cloud, and NO, not the ones in the sky that bring that much needed drop of rain. But cloud based solutions, that are accessed anywhere, on any device, providing much more access and information at your finger tips.
If you want to learn more about Xero and Figured for your farming business, we are more than happy to meet with you and demonstrate how you can streamline your farming business and giving the ability to make confident decisions to improve your farm’s performance.
For more information, contact your BM advisor, or call either the Hastings or Waipawa offices.
There are a number of resources available through Beef & Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and The Department of Building and Housing to help ensure you are meeting your obligations.
The team at BM are also up to speed on your obligations and requirements, and are happy to talk you through any issues you may have.
www.dbh.govt.nz or 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62)
www.fedfarm.org.nz or 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)
Did you know that when you provide accommodation to staff you are bound by the same laws as anyone who owns a house and rents it? The two main Acts associated with providing farm accommodation to employees is:
The Residential Tenancy Act 1986
The Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995
The Act requires all tenancy agreements to be in writing and sets out the minimum information that should be included.
The agreement must include the following minimum information:
The full names and contact addresses of the landlord and tenant
The date of the tenancy agreement and the date the tenancy starts (if that is different from the date of the tenancy agreement)
The addresses for service of the landlord and tenant (that is, the addresses where they can be served with formal documents such as notice to terminate the tenancy or applications to the Tenancy Tribunal)
Whether the tenant is under 18 years of age
The amount of any bond
The rent and the frequency of payments, and the place or bank account where it is to be paid
Any lawyer’s or real estate agent fees payable by the tenant
Any metered water charges to be paid by the tenant
A list of any chattels (such as furniture) provided by the landlord
If the tenancy is for a fixed term, the date on which it ends
Other matters that you may want include, to avoid any misunderstandings down the track are:
How many people can reside in the house
Where cars/vehicles may be parked
Whether the house be sublet
Whether pets are allowed or other livestock are allowed
Health and Safety in Employment Regulations 1995 also has regulations related to accommodation provided to farm employees. Under these conditions the property must:
Be maintained in good order and condition
Contain or have access to suitable toilets, washing facilities and sleeping facilities
Have lighting in all rooms
Have ventilation in all rooms
Have heating facilities
Have refrigeration facilities
Have rubbish disposal facilities
Have sufficient and wholesome drinking water.
Providing accommodation to staff is called a service tenancy, which is the same as an ordinary tenancy except that there is a shorter notice period for vacation of the property. The notice period on a service tenancy where employment has been terminated is 14 days, compared to 90 days for a standard residential tenancy.
Notice must be given in writing for the vacation of the property, along with notice for termination of employment. The letter should also include when notice was given and when the property is to be vacated. The standard 48 hour notice period still applies to service tenancy for conducting an inspection.
Payment for Accommodation
The IRD requires that a fair market rental is charged for accommodation provided to staff. The IRD also deem the provision of accommodation to be a taxable benefit, so it’s therefore liable for PAYE.
There a few options to ensure you meet IRD requirements, you can either:
a) Take the rent out of the person’s wages after tax has been paid. Note the provision of accommodation is a taxable benefit so it is liable for PAYE
b) Pay an accommodation allowance which covers the value of the accommodation, within their wages and then deduct the rent back once tax has been paid on the total wages; or,
c) Pay Fringe Benefit tax on the value of the accommodation.
The amount of rent paid for accommodation must be clearly written into the employment agreement and the employee must agree in writing to the deduction of rent from their wages.
Farm Accommodation ...
Are you aware of your obligations ?
We know that we have some very capable women out there in the Agri Sector, doing great things.
The Agri-Women’s Development Trust is a charitable organisation that provides a trusted and enabling environment for all agri-women to realise their potential and grow New Zealand’s agriculture sector.
The AWDT supports women in agriculture with its Fit-for-Purpose programmes which are evolving to meet the needs of industry and participants.
Health & Safety
The Health and Safety at Work Act has been passed by Parliament and will come into force on 4 April 2016. The new law will be called the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Are you ready ? Things you can do now.
The new law comes into effect on 4 April 2016. Between now and then WorkSafe will provide supporting information to help you get ready.
In the meantime here are five things you can do now:
Familiarise yourself with the key concepts of the legislation
Review your health and safety practices
Identify health and safety risks in your business and take steps to prevent these from causing harm
Lead by example
Make health and safety part of your workplace culture
Over the last couple of months Beef & Lamb has run a successful free pilot program which was attended by 160 famers in various locations around Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.
The program was an interactive day course to develop a “Health & Safety Manual” for use by farmers on their farms and to help answer any questions farmers may have on health and safety and were a good chance to bust some of the myths around health and safety on farms. For farmers that attended the workshop the final manual will be posted out to you in the new year.
Beef and Lamb hope to run more of these workshops in 2016.
If you are interested in attending one please email
Mark Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
or look on the Beef + Lamb website (www.beeflambnz.com/news-events/events-calendar)
for future course dates.
And check out this dedicated website for farming folk www.saferfarms.org.nz
Quality Assurance Programs
In order for farmers to obtain quality assurance programs with meat companies they are required to have certain plans and documentation in place including:
Animal Heath Plan
Land Management Plan
Staff Training Plan
We have word templates available for use for any of the above. Please email email@example.com to request a copy.
We have also found the Land Management Plan is a very useful planning tool when linked into your farm budget and forecasts. If you would like further information or assistance with this please contact your BM farming expert.
Keep an eye out for our interactive workshops on this critical planning tool that will be held in 2016.
Plan Change 6
Your farm is effected by PC6 from 1 June 2013 if it is in the Tukituki catchment, is larger than 4 ha and has more than 8 stock units per hectare.
Are you ready ?
Part of plan change 6 applies now. You should complete an annual nutrient budget. By 31st May 2018 you must submit a farm environmental management plan which must be completed by an accredited provider (HBRC is currently working on accrediting a number of potential farm plan providers and will have list of these on their website) and every 3 years after that.
Know where you stand go to HBRC website - search keyword “Tukituki”
Get a farm map
Get your stock, fert, crop etc records together
Get some help to create your nutrient budgets
Know your N position so you have plenty of time to take action if you need to
Know your P risk and get those big stock out of the waterways