I have been with Practical Systems since they came to King Island for a demonstration in 2002. I didn’t even have a computer then. I went along with a mate of mine who was thinking about getting Stockbook and since I did work for him I thought I’d give him a hand.
I was never going to have a computer but after learning about the program I thought, gee I wouldn’t mind having that myself and I’ve gone from there. I wasn’t going to have any computers or four-wheel motorbikes and I’ve got two motorbikes and three computers now! I’d never used a computer before and the software has taught me how.
Practical Systems’ support is fantastic, it’s always good to talk to them. One thing I have said to other people is when you ring up and ask them something, they never make you feel like you’re stupid.
The best thing about Practical Systems software is that it is user-friendly. I’ve recommended to heaps of people, especially if they are having accounting problems then I recommend Cashbook Plus!.
FarmMap is really good if you want to do fencing or map pipelines and water courses, measuring distances and areas of paddocks, that sort of thing. I sowed some different grasses so I mapped them so I can go back and see which variety is doing better and where it was located.
Stockbook would be the program I use the most. I even move the cattle in the software as I move the cattle in the paddocks, that’s how much a use it.
I would use Stockbook at least every two days but usually it’s almost daily. Now I have a laptop I can do it in the arm chair while I’m watching TV or in the yards and then I load it back into the office computer on a memory stick.
What part of Stockbook don’t I use? Every treatment, movement, pedigree, weights, all that sort of thing go into the program. I have Ruddweigh scales so I just shoot all the weights straight into my computer. I also have StockHand on a Palm Handheld.
I’m in Cattlecare and I’m also in a Aleph program with Greenhams Tasmania. We supply beef to this Japanese company Aleph. We get a premium for our meat there and they require an audit. They look at all your treatment records, cattle must be tagged before 12 months of age, any spraying, and they check withholding periods and things like that.
When the auditor comes he is very happy with me. We usually have to do two audits and we get through them in an hour. If you have to go through all the paper work it is just so hard. But he can say ‘can you show me some cattle treatments’ and I can just click a button and there it is up on the screen. Any withholding periods, your national vendor declarations, they are all there at a push of a button and you don’t have to hunt through piles and piles of paperwork.
Cashbook Plus! is just as easy to use. At BAS time you just hit the button, you reconcile everything, it’s all simple and then at tax time I just email in my reports to my accountant.
I’m not a real budget man, I won’t stick to it. But you can go in and say what did I spend on fertiliser last year? What did I use? And bang it’s there. It’s so easy to find out things like that.