How Much is a Good Manager Worth?

How much is a good business manager worth? As you analyze commercial business credits you likely wrestle with this question often. The longer you work with businesses you can pick out the good managers versus the bad ones. But, how is this measured? The cash drivers report in FINPACK’s commercial analysis tackles this question.

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Form 1040 Updates

Tax Time - FINPACK

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) is a major piece of tax legislation that has brought about changes to tax brackets and filing rules for individuals and businesses.  The TCJA has also lead to changes on Form 1040, the Individual Income Tax Return form, for 2018. With the changes to this tax form, the most recent FINPACK release – 5.10.4.1988 – includes the updated 1040 form.   This update will align with the changes you will see on the 2018 1040 Form.

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Projections Training

FINPACK Online Training

We want all users to have a positive experience using the FINPACK tools.  Therefore, several training options are available to assist with learning the ropes of the new FINPACK Projection tool.

One of the training options for FINPACK is online training.  Each FINPACK tool has a learning module in FINPACK Online Training.  As you migrate to the 3-in-1 cash flow projection (FINFLO), know training is available and accessible for your use. These training modules have been updated to specifically address using the FINPACK Projections tool (FINFLO).

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Family Living Expenses Add Up

Family Living Expenses

When putting together customer cash flow projections for the coming year what amount of family living expense is appropriate?  Family living expense is unique to every household, but averages can be used as a starting point.  The FINBIN farm financial database is a great resource to assist with this question.  (The FINBIN database summarizes actual farm data from thousands of agricultural producers who use FINPACK for their farm business analysis.  The data in FINBIN is contributed by farm management education programs across the country.)

So, let’s take a look at the numbers.  Over 750 farm families keep track of detailed family living expenses in the database.  In 2017, a family of 3 spent $63,648 on cash family living expenses.  This amount includes expenses like food, health insurance, medical care, clothing, household supplies, utilities, and recreation to name a few.  Family living expenses obviously vary depending on family size, stage of life, spending habits, and benefits provided by non-farm employment.  When income taxes paid and personal capital purchases are added, an additional $21,508 was consumed in 2017, bringing total cash family living costs to $85,156 for that same family of 3. 

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Converting Legacy Projections

The Legacy Projection tools in FINPACK will be retired at the end of 2019. This includes the Annual Cash Flow Plan and the Monthly Cash Flow Plan. As you work on renewals in 2019, the FINPACK Team suggests you test out the new Cash Flow Projection tool found in Projections. Yes, there are a few changes to cash flow projections in the new tool, but by and large, we think you will appreciate many of the updates.    

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FINPACK Long Range Planning

FINPACK Long Range Planning

As you work with agricultural customers this winter, do you find yourself running multiple cash flow scenarios?  Are some farms wanting to compare major changes to their operation with their current situation?  Are farm customers then looking to you for advice and feasibility of these plans?  Instead of running multiple cash flow projections based on different scenarios, use FINPACK’s Long Range Planning tool FINLRB.  The Long Range Planning tool (FINLRB) is available as one of the FINPACK Projection tools for agricultural files. This projection tool allows you to compare multiple alternatives for a farm or ranch operation at one time.

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Handling Trades on the Balance Sheet – Revisited

Trading machinery and equipment is common for all types of businesses.  FINPACK allows for streamlined data entry of capital purchases, sales, and trades within its different tools.  By entering extra detail on the FINPACK balance sheet, the details of these capital transactions can be brought into other FINPACK analysis tools, like Schedule F Cash to Accrual, Earned Net Worth Analysis, or Financial Analysis (FINAN).

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The Credit Renewal Process

The Credit Renewal Process - FINPACK‘Tis the season for credit renewals.  FINPACK has several tools to assist lenders with this process, from spreading, to financial analysis, projection preparation, and pulling the pieces of the credit analysis together.

In general, within FINPACK, the recommendation is to work down the left side file navigation to complete the credit renewal and analysis process.  Start with data sources, move to financial analysis, complete cash flow projections, and then pull everything together with the credit analysis tools.  With that being said, here is a bit more background on these tools and how they aid the credit renewal process. [Read more…]

FINPACK C & I Business Analysis

How to use FINPACK Loan CalculatorAnalyzing a commercial business can be tricky. Commercial businesses can be very different from each other even if they sell the same product. In addition, if you are unfamiliar with the particular industry, how do you measure management’s performance? The latest release of FINPACK has an overhauled C & I Analysis that helps you better analyze your commercial credits, as well as management’s ability.

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Cash Flow Planning Tools

Cash Flow Planning ToolsPutting together cash flow projections for farm clients can be tedious at times.  What is a reasonable feed expense for dairy operations?  Is the projected cost of production on corn acres in line with peers?  These are a few of the questions lenders and other professionals may ask when putting together projections, especially for new customers.  With that in mind, The Center for Farm Financial Management has put together two different cash flow planning tools.  The Minnesota Price and Cost Summary and the FINPACK Livestock Budget Estimates are two aides FINPACK users may find useful in cash flow planning.  These items and more are found in the FINPACK Knowledge Base.

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