It’s been a long day on the farm. After completing the evening milking of your herd, shifting some sheep, feeding the dogs, and getting things set up for the next day, you’d like nothing more than to be able to rest your head against a pillow and sleep like a log. But alas – there’s financials to take care of. Your farm is your business, after all.
Lo and behold, there’s some tech out there to help farmers focus on what their livelihoods are all about, rather than sit behind a screen all day counting proverbial beans. Figured’s cloud-based farm accounting software does just that – and it’s taking root throughout New Zealand and beyond.
“Ag is surrounded by innovation,” explains Figured’s customer and product general manager, Dave Dodds. “And New Zealand has always been about that. But we do think it’s been a little under-served in the financial space."
Using Xero as its core finance platform, Figured boasts about 6,000 paid subscriptions in New Zealand, and about 1,000 in Australia. Many of those Australian subscriptions, Dodds says, have come in the last two to three months. Assisting farmers with financial planning, Dodds says one of its key advantages is its simplicity – which means farmers spend less time overall on the platform and can have more time to do other things. “A farmer usually doesn’t want to be in the office,” he says. “They’ve got things to do, and we respect that.”
Having entered into partnerships with ASB and BNZ, and going to Xerocon South 2016 next week in Brisbane , Figured is now also looking at expanding into the United States. The company recently opened an office in Omaha, Nebraska, located in the heart of the farming-dependent Midwest of the United States. “We’ve certainly got high hopes. We’re really excited by the opportunity.”
But despite the international expansion, Dodds says the focus is still on serving the needs of Kiwi farmers. The company has recently worked with Fonterra and the Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) on data, and walked away winners at the Hi-Tech Awards. “We super enjoyed winning it,” explains Dodds. “It’s made a difference for us as a brand in the tech space. We’re just getting higher-quality candidates [applying for jobs].”
But there’s always room for improvement, Dodds says. “Once you think you’ve gotten something completely right is when you don’t have it right.”
Sounds like a company that’s always planting the seeds for the next crop of ideas.