“With Figured we can look at their budget & forecast, plan what we are going to do, and start having those conversations with them before issues arise” - Rachael Trickey, Mulcahy & Co.
Mulcahy & Co Senior Managing Accountant, Rachael Trickey, knows first-hand the challenges facing Australian farmers. Coming from a rural background herself, she is passionate about the farming sector and understands how important it is to have a clear picture of a farm’s financial performance.
Having already experienced the benefits of cloud accounting software with the introduction of Xero to their practice, Rachael and the team at Mulcahy & Co wanted a tool that would deliver similar real-time insights for their rural customers. “Xero is amazing for what we need to do; it saves us and our clients a lot of time - having one file for everyone makes everything so much easier. But we have a large farming base, so we really wanted something that was going to help our agri-business customers, while also helping us with the management side of things.”
A better way to budget
Many of Rachael’s clients were also keen to get onto using something better, and the idea of being able to access their data anywhere, at any time was very appealing. “Previously, the work was completed in Excel, so we had been trying to find a way that made entering that data easier”, explains Rachael. “We tried a couple of other systems, and while they did help, they weren’t quick enough. Entering data was still going to be a time consuming, and we really wanted something to sync with Xero. With Figured, we discovered we can log straight in and produce meaningful management reports.”
With many of their farming customers facing difficult conditions, a focus for Mulcahy & Co has been to help their clients achieve and maintain a profitable business. In the past it wasn’t until something bad happened or challenges arose that clients would really have a close look at their finances - but that wasn’t allowing them any time to plan. “With Figured we can look at their budget & forecast, plan what we are going to do, and start having those conversations with them before issues arise”, says Rachael.
“Timely access to data is so important. The financial data we were looking at was based on historical information which wasn’t relevant for management decisions. Now, we can pull up reports straight away and it gives us the opportunity to have forward-looking conversations based on the information that is in front of us”.
It also means that Mulcahy & Co’s clients are becoming more engaged with managing their finances. One of the biggest challenges facing Rachael’s customers was that they didn’t understand the data that was in front of them. “With Figured and Xero, we can structure reports so that they are meaningful to our clients”, explains Rachael.
From Rachael’s point of view, she didn’t previously have a lot of client contact until compliance work was due. Now, she finds herself spending more time visiting clients, getting a better understanding of their business and how she can help them.
“That’s been really exciting”, says Rachael. “It’s really opened up conversations that get my clients to look forward to the future. They are starting to think about what they want out of the business and how to create a profitable farm for future generations.”
It’s also seen a shift in the services they can offer their customers, and Figured is playing a significant role as they increase their focus on supporting agribusinesses. “We no longer have to focus on compliance work. We can focus on helping them grow their business and really push them to achieve financial security.”
Mulcahy & Co are already seeing a great response to Figured from their clients, and offer free training to ensure new users feel confident in using it themselves. “We’ll sit down with our clients for as long as it takes to make sure they have an understanding of the software. Now we are all able access the same system, if they have any questions while they’re using the software, we can jump in at the same time and see what they’re talking about.”