Challenges faced by farming clients highlighted in first Rural Accountancy Group survey

The results of our first annual survey as part of the national Rural Accountancy Group are revealed.

The overall outlook was a positive one with 53% ‘somewhat’ optimistic about the future and 33% positive about the future. It is encouraging to see, that despite the challenges faced, the farming community remain passionate about what they do.

The top 5 concerns amongst clients were:

1 – The future of subsidies

2 – Environment, climate change and the weather

3 – Cashflow

4 – Price Volatility

5 – Tax

There is little direct control over many of these factors. That does not mean nothing can be done. There are many targets aimed at tackling climate change, with farmers doing their bit towards achieving ‘net zero’. However our unpredictable weather is not going to disappear overnight. So what can we focus on? Good financial records and management accounts provide useful information to aid decision making. This information also needs to be timely to be of the most use. Knowing your tax liabilities in advance of due dates can help you plan and factor them into to cash flow projections. Have you calculated what your basic payment likely to be over the phasing out period? To be forewarned is forearmed!

Succession planning is always very topical and we encourage families to have open and frank discussions to ensure the necessary plans are in place to secure the future of the farm. The year end accounts meeting is a good opportunity to bring this up. The majority of respondents (89%) had a Will in place, although a high proportion needed these reviewing or updating.

Less common was having Power of Attorney in place. Putting this in place can give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs if ever needed. 40% of respondents have an up to date Power of attorney in place.

With nearly half of all respondents aged 60 and above the importance of having these plans in place is clear.

The full results of the Rural Accountancy Group Survey can be found here.

Thank you to all of our clients that took part in the survey.

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like advice on the issues raised.

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