Cameron Weeks | Farm Business Consultant | 0427 006 944
Back in 2016/17 when assessing the extra people, we required over the summer months for annual review/budget preparation it dawned on us that our need (Dec-March) coincided quite nicely with the university summer break. This potentially addressed our needs, provided the student with likely much needed holiday income as well as allowing students to gain valuable industry experience.
Proudly this saw us employ two outstanding students that first summer who have since moved onto much bigger things. The two employees were Carter Johnson who now works for us as a consultant based in Narrogin and Alison Walsh who now works for Environmental, Social and Governance Consulting firm Adaptus based in Melbourne.
Fast forward to 2022/23 and this initial idea has grown into quite a substantial undergraduate program with five undergraduates and one graduate set to work for us over the coming summer period. These students will predominantly support the farm business consultants with client file preparation but are also working on the Carbon Farming Voucher Program as well as assisting the grain marketing team.
We are really very proud of the program as not only is it giving us the support we need at a very busy time, but it also provides the students, most of whom are studying agriculture at either Curtin or UWA, invaluable experience and industry insight at a time where they consider what they will do after graduating. As one of the bigger consulting firms in WA we are doing our bit to support the next generation of professionals.
As clients this will mean you are likely to be interacting with a young and likely new voice on the end of the phone or email this summer. We ask that you provide the young person with due respect and care as they may well be nervous reaching out to you, but you can rest assured they will be doing their best. I can also testify that they are likely amazingly capable.
New meeting booking system – Acuity
For farm business consulting clients, you will soon be given the opportunity to book your annual review/budget appointment with your consultant. This year though bookings will be made through the on-line platform ‘Acuity’ which allows for all-in-one appointment management.
In practice this will work a bit like booking a hotel room on-line. You will see available days plus times and be able to book accordingly. The booking will sync with your calendar and appointment reminders will also automatically be generated and sent to you.
Of course, and as usual, this will support a first in best dressed philosophy of which we don’t apologise. If you have any problems or questions don’t hesitate to reach out to the support contact or your consultant if needed.
Help us to help you!
The following are a few quick tips which if adhered to allow us to be as prepared as possible for your meeting which of course will lead to a better meeting and more time to discuss what matters rather than sort out a mess. The choice is yours!
Data sheets (via a google sheet)
- Complete as thoroughly as possible – detail and accuracy are good.
- Don’t assume we know.
- Complete on time.
- Please have it reconciled to at least the end of the previous budget period or actuals year and with transactions after that date at least entered.
- Of course, accurate coding helps us too as you do expect us to interpret accurately which I can tell you is a challenge with some cashbooks!
- Please complete data sheets and update the cashbook in the time frame requested.
- If you don’t think for a moment how we are expected to prepare if we only get this info just prior to the meeting. Remember also that you are not our only client thus the support team will be busy working on many files making scheduling of work critical.
- If you get data to us later than target dates, we reserve the right to reschedule your appointment which may well be at a time that is not ideal for you!
- Most of the above is about preparation but to get the most out of the meeting come with a clear picture of what needs to go in the budget and what you wish to discuss / resolve with your consultant on the day.