A recent NQ Dry Tropics workshop in Charters Towers highlighted the importance of graziers keeping accurate and detailed financial and stock records to plan for a profitable future.

Across the two-day event, 16 graziers from 9 enterprises learned from leading business management and financial experts how to better track and analyse their business performance.

The Planning for a Profitable Future event was supported through the Australian Government Reef Trust Saving Our Soils –  Burdekin project, which is improving the Great Barrier Reef by making Burdekin grazing properties more productive and profitable.   

NQ Dry Tropics Project Officer Linda Anderson said: “Graziers could improve productivity and profits by knowing   the key performance indicators that are critical for improving weaknesses and exploiting strengths in their grazing businesses”.  

Katie Crozier and David McLean from Resource Consulting Services (RCS) delivered a ProfitProbeTM workshop on the first day. ProfitProbeTM  is an analysis and benchmarking tool that exposes all the strengths and issues within a business.

“The difference between cost of production and price received is profit. Therefore, to target business improvement we need to know both accurately.” said David.

“Accounts done for taxation purposes do not tell us anything about our business or how to improve it. The ProfitProbe™  information is used to target two to three areas each year which will improve business performance,” he said.

Workshop participants were taken through an analysis of their grazing business’s performance for 2014-15.

As a result of the process, one attendee said, “We now have a way to isolate where the actual problem areas of our business are, rather than standard line of ‘to make more money we need to get more calves on the ground.”

Fran Lyons, of Basalt River Station said: ”We’ve now got some good strategies to address our weaknesses, taking the guesswork out of it.”

Several graziers had asked NQ Dry Tropics for training on how to use cloud-based accounting system Xero, so the second day of the workshop focused on how to setup and use the software.

Presenters Debbie Innes from Get-A-Life Accountancy and Nikeeta Guazzo from Carey Accountancy also went through some add-ons that aim to reduce the paper shuffle between business spenders and book keepers, and track real-time budgets to expenses.

“The introduction course was very informative, and the manual will help me set up our family business with Xero right the first time,” said one attendee.

The Saving our Soils project is funded by The Reef Trust and aims to improve local water quality. The Reef Trust is being delivered by the Australian Government, in collaboration with the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Fitzroy Basin Association has partnered with NQ Dry Tropics to work with graziers across the Fitzroy and Burdekin regions over the next three years.