2019 FINPACK Annual Update

The 2019 FINPACK annual update is here.  Each year there are enhancements and updates to the FINPACK software.  In 2019, you’ll notice there are some important updates and new features to take note of.  Let’s take a look at What’s New.

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FINPACK 2019 Webinars

The FINPACK Team will host two webinars related to what’s new in the 2019 FINPACK annual update. Attend the webinars live or watch the recordings when convenient. You can also learn more about the annual update here.

Webinar #1 – FINPACK for Agriculture 2019 Updates

  • Topic:  Updates to Agricultural credit analysis tools in FINPACK.
  • Description:  We’ve already heard users say, “What, Legacy Projections are gone!?!?” This webinar will touch on all updates to FINPACK for Agriculture for 2019. We will focus on accessing Legacy Cash Flow Projections for viewing and copying into the new Projection tool.  We will also highlight other recent updates to cash flow projections including the financial scorecard and burn rates. In addition, we will look at importing / exporting balance sheet detail; period end dates in tax forms / income statements; and energy corrected milk in FINAN. There will be time to answer user questions as well.
  • When:  Monday, November 18th, 12 pm (central time).
  • To join go to z.umn.edu/finpackag.

Webinar #2 – FINPACK for Commercial 2019 Updates

  • Topic:  Updates to Commercial credit analysis tools in FINPACK.
  • Description:  This webinar will highlight the other enhancements to FINPACK with the 2019 annual release.  This includes importing and exporting detail in the balance sheet; period end dates in tax forms / income statements; and the Statement of Equity and Cash Drivers reports in C & I Business Analysis. There will be time to answer user questions as well.
  • When:  Wednesday, December 4th, 12 pm (central time).
  • To join go to z.umn.edu/finpackcommercial.

** Simply join the webinars at the designated times. There is no preregistration or password required.

Handling Fluctuating Values of Ag Co-op Stock

Our FINPACK support team recently received this question:

“What is the proper way to handle Ag Co-op stock in a balance sheet in which the stock, such as sugar beets, changes in value from year-to-year?”

With harvest underway and the 2019 analysis soon to follow, we feel it is a good time to clarify the proper way to handle this unique situation. The problem is that this change in market values can have an effect on the analysis in FINAN, especially the net farm income since the accrual adjustments take the value change into account. To avoid this problem, you can do one of the following two options:

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Prevented Plant Cash Flow Projections

Challenging production years lead to abnormally high levels of prevented plant acres.  When this occurs, many revisit cash flow projections completed earlier in the year to consider the impact of prevented plant acres, including the addition of cover crop plantings.  The following provides recommendations and considerations when working through cash flow projection updates for prevented plantings.

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Mid-Year Monitoring

Cash Flow Monitoring WorksheetSomehow, we are already halfway through the year.  Periodic monitoring of projections that worked earlier this year may prevent surprises or problems later.  Now is a great time to use the cash flow monitoring worksheet to review how the monthly cash flow projection you completed compares to what has actually happened.  This tool is available for both of the monthly projection versions, with or without budgets.  Generating the cash flow monitoring worksheet is done in the cash flow plan that you wish to monitor.  Using this feature allows for timely monitoring of customer progress during the year.  And, if needed, adjustments to the cash flow plan can be made based on the actual data received.   [Read more…]

The Impact of 5%

Each year as you work with customers you encourage them to set goals.  Undoubtedly, some of these goals revolve around financial management.  Within your credit analysis review, you are looking at the past financial performance of the individual farm or business operation.  In this process, you likely look at their individual trend performance and may also benchmark this against their peers.  Hopefully, the customer has also taken the time to evaluate their financial position and talks to you as their lender about the business goals they’ve set.  These may be things like, “Reduce fertilizer costs”, “Improve marketing”, “Improve yields”, “Improve profit margins”, etc. 

Have you ever considered with your customers the impact these relatively small changes actually have on the business?  I suggest challenging businesses to work to improve their margin management by 5%.  It may seem like a simple task, improving gross income and decreasing operating expenses by 5%.  But, this 5% improvement can have a significant impact on a business in any given year.  And then, think of the impact over the customer’s career!

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Credit Decision Scorecards

Every now and again there’s a FINPACK tool available we, the FINPACK Team, suspect is underutilized.  That may be because it doesn’t fit the bank’s analysis needs or maybe it’s because the tool is out of sight and out of mind (and if only given a chance, users would fall in love with it). We feel the latter may be true for Credit Decision Scorecards available in the Credit Analysis section of the FINPACK file navigator.

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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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