Agri-Fintech: How Financial Technology is Revolutionizing the Farming Industry

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | Agri-Fintech: How Financial Technology is Revolutionizing the Farming Industry

Technology has transformed the farming industry dramatically over the past few decades, which is making farming more productive, profitable and sustainable. While automated machinery, robots, regenerative agriculture, and more have transformed the industry, financial technology is now beginning to make significant changes as well. Financial technology or fintech has transformed other industries such as banking, and now it is making its way into the farming industry. Agri-fintech seeks to solve financial challenges farmers may face such as farm debt, insurance and financing. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), agriculture and its related industries contributed to $1.264 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product. Since the farming industry is such a vast industry and its financial contribution is great, the opportunity for integrating agri-fintech is nearly endless.

Financing Options

Farming requires a significant amount of money to operate, and farmers usually do not have the cash flow to fund their businesses alone. Financing has always been part of the industry, but agri-fintech companies such as Apollo Agriculture and others are making financing for small scale farmers possible. Agriculture experts are constantly working to bring new products to the market in order to increase productivity, and with the help of financing companies specifically targeting the farming industry, many of these products have become reality. These financing companies use specific data andtrained algorithms to determine risk and help farmers make informed decisions about the money they are borrowing and products purchased.

Payment on the Farm 

Moving away from the traditional paper check payment system, agri-fintech has brought other payment methods to the industry. Receiving payments digitally improves efficiency and allows farmers to better manage their finances, receive products faster and access their profits in a more timely manner. One of the companies taking on this endeavor is Bushel, a software company that facilitates digital transactions for those in the agriculture business. These platforms are benefiting farmers and agribusinesses alike by providing a secure digital way to manage finances.


The farming industry faces many risks such as climate change, droughts, natural weather, disasters, pests, disease and more. These occurrences can completely wipe out a year’s harvest and cause a farmer to lose a significant amount of money. Agri-fintech insurance businesses aim to offer reasonable insurance options using data analytics and satellite imagery to assess risk. The USDA reports that 89 percent of farms in the U.S. are small family farms. Affordable insurance options for these small-scale farmers is crucial to their success, and agri-fintech companies are making this a reality. Agriculture experts work tirelessly to assist small- and large-scale farmers with products that will increase productivity, and these agri-fintech insurance companies make bringing products to their farms possible.

Final Thoughts 

Agri-fintech businesses are revolutionizing traditional farming practices and making financing, insurance and payment methods more efficient for farmers around the world. Improving productivity and running structured operations lead to positive results for the growing population. Agri-fintech developers and agriculture experts give hope for a food secure, productive, profitable and sustainable farming future.

Mastering the Art of Crisis Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Business Finances

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances | Mastering the Art of Crisis Management: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Business Finances

As an accounting professional, there’s nothing more captivating and challenging than weathering a financial storm. It tests your mettle, your mastery of numbers, and your ability to make quick yet sound financial decisions. The challenge is most acute for small businesses, whose finances can be particularly vulnerable during crises. In this in-depth exploration, we will delve into tips and strategies to manage your small business finances during a crisis and emerge more resilient than ever.

1. Understanding the Vulnerabilities of Small Businesses

Small businesses often have limited resources compared to their larger counterparts, making them more susceptible to economic downturns. Understanding these vulnerabilities is the first step towards effective crisis management. Whether it’s dependence on a single client, a lack of diversification, or a constrained cash flow, understanding your business’s weaknesses can guide you towards strategies to fortify your financial position.

2. Solidifying Your Cash Flow

Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business, and this is especially true for small businesses during a crisis. Reviewing your cash flow statement regularly can reveal trends and potential issues. Focus on ways to increase income and decrease expenses, such as exploring new revenue streams or renegotiating contracts with suppliers. If necessary, consider taking out a short-term loan to tide over the crisis.

3. Building a Contingency Fund

While the going is good, set aside funds for emergencies. A contingency fund can be a lifesaver when unexpected expenses arise, or cash inflows dwindle during a crisis. It might seem like a luxury when every dollar counts, but it can make the difference between staying afloat or sinking.

4. Investing in Professional Bookkeeping Services

Proper financial management is crucial during a crisis, and professional bookkeeping service Sydney can be instrumental. From tracking your cash flow, to managing payroll and tax obligations, to ensuring your financial reports are accurate, an expert bookkeeping service can help you stay on top of your finances, allowing you to focus on navigating your business through the crisis.

5. Re-evaluating Business Model and Strategies

Sometimes, a crisis is a wake-up call to revisit your business model and strategies. Are there inefficiencies you can address? Can you pivot your business to meet changing market demands? This might involve tough decisions like restructuring or letting go of less profitable product lines, but such changes can lead to a more robust business post-crisis.

6. Planning for Recovery

While the crisis is ongoing, it’s crucial to start planning for recovery. Once the storm has passed, you want to hit the ground running. This could mean exploring new markets, investing in technology to improve efficiency, or upskilling your staff to handle a broader range of tasks.

7. Seeking Expert Advice

Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek expert advice. Whether it’s a financial advisor, a business consultant, or a mentor who has weathered similar storms, their guidance can be invaluable. They can provide a fresh perspective, help you avoid common pitfalls, and guide you towards a successful recovery.

8. Embracing the Lessons Learned

Every crisis, while challenging, offers valuable lessons. It might highlight weaknesses you were previously unaware of or present opportunities for growth and development. Embrace these lessons, and use them to create a stronger, more resilient business.

In conclusion, navigating your small business finances through a crisis can be a challenging endeavor, but with strategic planning, sound financial management, and a touch of resilience, it’s a journey that can lead to greater business robustity. Remember, the storm doesn’t last forever, and with each challenge comes the opportunity to learn, grow, and emerge stronger.

9. Utilizing Government Aid

During times of crisis, government entities often step up to support small businesses through grants, loans, and other forms of financial assistance. It’s crucial to stay informed about these opportunities. Explore the specific aid available in your area, their criteria for eligibility, and application processes. Such assistance can provide a much-needed financial lifeline, ensuring the continuity of your business.

10. Ensuring Transparent and Regular Communication

Open communication with all stakeholders, including employees, clients, and creditors, can help manage expectations and mitigate potential damage. Keep them informed about the company’s situation and your plans. Transparency can foster trust, empathy, and patience, which could prove vital in navigating through the crisis.

11. Proactive Debt Management

A crisis often necessitates taking on additional debt. If this is the case, proactively manage these obligations to avoid accumulating unmanageable debt. This might involve restructuring existing loans or negotiating payment terms with creditors. A well-planned debt management strategy will help ensure that the crisis doesn’t leave you with an insurmountable financial burden.

12. Prioritizing Tax Compliance

During crises, it’s tempting to overlook tax obligations, but failing to comply can lead to penalties and added financial stress. Ensure that your business continues to meet its tax obligations, and take advantage of any tax relief programs that may be available. A professional bookkeeper can help manage this aspect of your finances effectively.

13. Reinforcing Your Customer Base

Your customers are the key to your business’s survival. Even during a crisis, strive to provide superior value and excellent customer service. This will help maintain a loyal customer base, which will continue to generate income. Besides, happy customers are more likely to refer others to your business, providing a cost-effective way to expand your customer base.

14. Implementing Strict Budget Control

During a crisis, it’s more critical than ever to adhere strictly to your budget. Minimize non-essential expenses, and prioritize spending that directly contributes to maintaining operations and generating income. Monitor your budget closely and adjust as necessary based on changing circumstances.

15. Staying Flexible and Adaptable

Finally, a crisis often necessitates flexibility and adaptability. The ability to respond quickly to changing situations can be the difference between weathering the storm and going under. This might mean adopting new technologies, adjusting work practices, or even altering your product or service offering to better meet the needs of the market.

In conclusion, while managing small business finances in a crisis is undoubtedly challenging, it also offers opportunities for growth and development. It’s about more than merely surviving the crisis; it’s about harnessing the lessons learned to create a stronger, more resilient, and more successful business in the long term. As accounting professionals, your role in steering these small businesses through the storm is invaluable. And remember, after every storm, there’s a rainbow. With careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a resilient mindset, your business can not only weather the crisis but also thrive in its aftermath.

How to Account For VAT in the Netherlands?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | How to Account For VAT in the Netherlands?

Expanding your own business involves looking for new markets. In order to obtain a satisfactory level of income, it is advisable to sell goods and services within the various countries of the European Union. One popular country is the Netherlands, which is preferred by many people for doing business and is even described as a tax haven. Regardless of colloquial opinions, it is worth finding out what the tax system in the Netherlands is really like.

BSN and VAT Identification Numbers

Doing business in the Netherlands for an extended period of time is linked to the need to obtain a BSN identification number, which is given to every person who wishes to live and work in the country. The BSN is a number used to process personal data and is required to use a wide variety of services in the Netherlands, including when registering a company. Another issue is obtaining a VAT number in Netherlands, which is necessary for the payment of turnover tax. All taxpayers who operate in the Netherlands are obliged to register, and are therefore also required to pay VAT.

New VAT Registration Numbers From 2020

The VAT number in Netherlands is also referred to as a BTW number. It is worth mentioning that new VAT identification numbers for sole traders in the country have been issued in 2020. Currently, a VAT number in the Netherlands consists of the country code NL, nine digits, as well as the letter B and two check digits, for example 123456789B01. To verify that the VAT number provided is correct, you can use a tool provided by the European Union called VIES or VAT Information Exchange System. This can be a basic form of checking and obtaining reliable information on companies. However, it should be noted that this system does not provide information on companies registered in countries other than EU countries and Northern Ireland.

Basic VAT Rates in the Netherlands

There are three main VAT rates in the Netherlands: the standard rate of 21%, the reduced rate of 9% and the 0% rate. The reduced rate can be applied to products such as medicines, food, books and magazines. The zero rate mainly applies to services related to the international transport of people or goods. In the Netherlands, certain products are also exempt from VAT. This is a group of goods and services related to healthcare, education, childcare, banking services, as well as trade in real estate. The list of VAT exemptions is long and covers many categories, so it is advisable to look into the specific regulations and tax rate reductions before starting a business.

Rules for Filing Tax Returns

VAT returns in the Netherlands are filed monthly, quarterly or annually. Quarterly returns are the most common, but this can easily be changed by sending a letter to the Tax and Customs Administration. This is the government organization responsible for levying, collecting taxes and also implementing various reliefs and schemes for Dutch residents. Some tax regulations may be unclear or you may be unsure how to apply them. For this reason, it is advisable to use the services of a specialized accounting office to take care of your comprehensive VAT settlement in the Netherlands. You can then be sure that everything you do will comply with the dynamically changing laws in this country.

5 Reasons Financial Record Keeping Is Crucial for a Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article | 5 Reasons Financial Record Keeping Is Crucial for a Business

Financial recordkeeping is essential for entrepreneurs, corporate entities, and business organizations. It is a pivotal element contributing to a business’s expansion and sustainability.

Financial recordkeeping holds utmost significance regardless of the industry in which a business operates. Given that records and documents form the foundation of any enterprise, it becomes imperative to diligently store, preserve, and manage these records, ensuring their accessibility for future endeavors aimed at fostering business growth.

In this article, we’ll elaborate on why financial recordkeeping is important for a business.

1. Simplifies Tax Recording

Maintaining accurate financial records is vital, particularly during tax season. Failure to uphold proper bookkeeping practices can lead to arduous tasks when filing end-of-year taxes. This often entails spending extensive hours gathering essential financial information, such as income statements and expense reports. Inadequate recordkeeping may result in missed deductions, such as omitting mileage records for business trips or lacking receipts for significant purchases.

Moreover, accurate financial recordkeeping is particularly crucial for businesses operating as LLC partnerships. LLC partnerships often involve multiple partners, and maintaining detailed records helps ensure the proper allocation of income, deductions, and tax liabilities among the partners.

Additionally, LLC partnerships may receive a Form 1099 if they meet specific criteria, such as earning $600 or more in non-employee compensation or being taxed as a sole proprietor. It is also essential for LLC partnerships to issue Form 1099 to contractors or vendors.

Failure to maintain accurate records can result in incorrect reporting on Form 1099, potentially leading to penalties and compliance issues. Therefore, meticulous bookkeeping practices are essential for LLC partnerships to accurately fulfill their tax obligations, including Form 1099 requirements, and avoid potential legal and financial consequences.

For more detailed information about LLC partnerships and Form 1099 requirements, you can look at an LLC Partnerships and Form 1099 guide or seek guidance from a tax professional who can provide valuable support in navigating these obligations and ensuring proper compliance and reporting.

2. Effective Cash Flow Management

In the realm of financial management for a thriving business, the saying “cash is king” holds resolute significance. Particularly highlighted by the challenges posed by events like the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to maintain a robust cash flow that can weather uncertainties becomes paramount for the long-term survival of any company.

Enter the crucial role of record keeping. By diligently maintaining accurate financial records, you can identify and comprehend the inflows and outflows of your hard-earned dollars. This practice enables you to obtain a precise assessment of your company’s financial well-being and aids in projecting its financial health in the future.

3. Informed Decision-Making Through Comprehensive Financial Analysis

When confronted with critical choices, it becomes imperative to perform financial analysis and comprehend the underlying financial information meticulously. This process empowers managers to discern patterns, identify potential roadblocks, and closely monitor real-time financial performance. By maintaining a vigilant eye on your financial records, you can equip yourself with the necessary insights to make prudent economic decisions when the time arises.

Regularly tracking your company’s financial performance is paramount, whether on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. These financial records serve as a comprehensive reflection of your business’s operational outcomes and overall financial standing. In essence, they provide a panoramic view, allowing you to grasp the current financial state of your company.

How is your business faring? Do you possess sufficient funds in your bank account to meet your financial obligations? Without this vital information, your control over the trajectory of your business diminishes significantly. When operating a business, exercising command over various financial aspects, such as inventory levels and projected needs, becomes paramount. This control enables you to navigate the intricate web of financial intricacies and make informed decisions that propel your business forward.

4. Streamlined Loan Acquisition and Enhanced Funding Opportunities

In the pursuit of securing swift financial resources to acquire crucial equipment or bridge budget gaps, the importance of maintaining impeccable financial records becomes abundantly clear. When seeking the support of lenders or investors, it is customary for them to require comprehensive financial reports, including income statements and balance sheets, to assess your company’s creditworthiness.

By diligently organizing and maintaining these essential reports, you empower yourself to swiftly apply for loans or funding, allowing you to seize new business opportunities without hesitation.

Having your financial records readily available instills confidence in lenders and investors, as it showcases your commitment to transparency and meticulous financial management. This proactive approach not only expedites the loan application process but also positions your company favorably when it comes to negotiations and securing funding on favorable terms.

By keeping your finances in order, you are well-prepared to navigate the ever-changing business landscape and capitalize on emerging opportunities that demand immediate financial support.

5. Empower Effective Budgeting Strategies

Effective budgeting lies at the heart of prudent financial management for business owners. It serves as a compass, guiding decision-making processes and ensuring that expenditure and revenue-generating tactics align harmoniously with the predetermined financial expectations. Through comprehensive financial reports, owners gain invaluable insights that enable them to identify areas of over or under-budgeting, make informed staffing decisions, and pay attention to potential misalignments with industry-standard gross profit margins, among other critical considerations.

These reports serve as a compass, enabling owners to gauge the financial health of their business and make necessary adjustments to ensure long-term sustainability. By carefully analyzing financial data, owners can proactively identify areas of inefficiency, potential cost savings, and revenue optimization opportunities.

This proactive approach not only enhances overall financial performance but also cultivates a culture of financial responsibility and accountability within the organization.

Wrapping Up

Accurate financial recordkeeping is vital for businesses of all sizes. It simplifies tax recording, aids in effective cash flow management, enables informed decision-making, streamlines loan acquisition, and empowers effective budgeting strategies. Maintaining meticulous financial records allows businesses to navigate challenges, seize opportunities, and ensure long-term sustainability. Prioritizing accurate recordkeeping establishes a solid foundation for success, fostering compliance, transparency, and financial growth.

Don’t underestimate the power of organized financial records in propelling your business forward. As companies navigate the dynamic economic landscape today, ensuring accurate financial recordkeeping is crucial to ensure growth, resilience, and prosperity.

How to Choose an Australian Invoicing Software for Your Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |How to Choose an Australian Invoicing Software for Your Business

In the modern business landscape, efficiency is paramount. Streamlining operations can significantly enhance productivity, and one area where this is particularly evident is invoicing. The right invoicing software can revolutionize your business, saving time and reducing errors. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one? 

As businesses strive for greater transparency and efficiency, the demand for advanced invoicing software is growing significantly. In the context of Australian businesses, choosing an invoicing software that also enhances security, aids in fraud management, and provides complete control over the invoice approval process becomes even more critical. The right Australian invoicing software can cater to specific local tax laws and business practices, making your operations smoother and more compliant. 

This article will guide you through the process of selecting the ideal invoicing software for your Australian business.

Understanding Your Business Needs

Before diving into the sea of available software, it’s crucial to understand your business needs. Are you a small business owner looking for basic invoicing functions, or do you run a larger enterprise with complex invoicing requirements? Identifying your needs will help narrow down your options and ensure you choose software that aligns with your business operations.

Features to Look for

When selecting an Australian invoicing software, there are several key features to consider. These include automated invoicing, multi-currency support, other business software integration, and Australian tax laws compliance. Additionally, consider the software’s user interface and customer support. You’ll want software that’s easy to use and backed by a responsive support team. 

Transitioning to the next point, it’s also essential to consider the software’s scalability.

Scalability and Flexibility

As your business grows, your invoicing needs will change. The software you choose should be able to adapt and grow with your business. Look for software that offers flexible plans and features that can be customized to suit your evolving needs.

Security Measures

In today’s digital age, data security is paramount. A survey conducted in 2020 revealed that a staggering 74% of businesses faced either attempted or successful cyberattacks. Among these, wire transfers were targeted in 39% of the incidents, while ACH debits accounted for 34%. 

Your chosen software should have robust security measures to protect your business and customer data. This includes encryption, secure data storage, and compliance with data protection regulations.

Pricing and Value for Money

Finally, consider the pricing structure of the software. While finding a solution within your budget is crucial, don’t compromise on essential features for the sake of cost. Remember, the right software is an investment that can save you time and money in the long run.

Exploring Software Options

Once you’ve identified your needs, it’s time to explore available options. There’s a wide range of Australian invoicing software on the market, each with unique strengths and weaknesses. 

For instance:

  • Xero: a popular choice among small businesses, offering features like automated invoicing, integration with other business software, and compliance with Australian tax laws.
  • MYOB: provides a range of features, including multi-currency support, customizable invoices, and robust security measures.
  • QuickBooks Online: while not Australian-specific, it is used by many Australian businesses due to its comprehensive features.
  • Reckon One and Saasu: are Australian-based software options that offer invoicing features tailored to the needs of Australian businesses.

Don’t rush the process. Take your time to research, read reviews, and even try demo versions if available. This will give you a feel for the software and help you determine if it fits your business well.

Ease of Use

A software’s user interface can significantly impact your productivity. You don’t want to spend hours learning how to use a complicated system. Look for software that’s intuitive and easy to navigate. This will save you time and make the invoicing process more efficient.

Integration Capabilities

Your invoicing software shouldn’t exist in isolation in today’s interconnected business world. It should be able to integrate seamlessly with your other business systems, such as your accounting software, CRM, and inventory management system. This will streamline your operations and ensure consistency across your business

Customization Options

Every business is unique, and your invoicing software should reflect that. Look for software that allows you to customize invoices with your branding, add personalized messages, and adjust the layout to suit your needs. This will give your invoices a professional look and make them more recognizable to your clients.

Automated Features

Automation can be a game-changer in invoicing. It can save you time, reduce errors, and ensure timely invoicing. Look for software that offers features like recurring invoices, automatic reminders for overdue payments, and automatic calculation of taxes and discounts.

Customer Support

Even with the most user-friendly software, you may encounter issues or have questions. That’s where customer support comes in. Choose a software provider that offers reliable, responsive customer support. This could be through live chat, email support, or a comprehensive knowledge base.

Software Reviews and Recommendations

Don’t just take the software provider’s word for it. Look for reviews and recommendations from other businesses. This will give you an unbiased view of the software’s performance and help you make an informed decision.

Trial Periods and Money-Back Guarantees

Many software providers offer trial periods or money-back guarantees. This allows you to test the software before committing fully. Use these offers to ensure the software meets your needs and expectations.

In Conclusion

Choosing the right Australian invoicing software for your business involves carefully evaluating your needs, thoroughly exploring available options, and considering factors such as ease of use, integration capabilities, customization options, automated features, customer support, and value for money. By taking these steps, you can find a solution that not only simplifies your invoicing process but also contributes to your business’s overall efficiency and success.