Farmers given financial tune-up

FREE WORKSHOPS RETURN: Rabobank South Australia and North West Victoria regional RaboClientCouncil chair Claire Catford.

LIMESTONE Coast farmers will converge on Coonawarra later this month as Rabobank reinstates its free financial management workshops following a 15-month hiatus due to COVID-19.

Marking the first face-to-face financial skills workshop since the start of the pandemic, with workshops held virtually since, it will be held in Coonawarra on July 13 before being rolled out in Horsham and Mildura later that week.

Spearheaded by food and agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank’s RaboClientCouncil – a group of the bank’s farming clients who implement programs that contribute to the sustainability of rural communities – the initiative is being offered free of charge to farmers across the Limestone Coast region.

The interactive workshop – held over one day – provides practical skills for understanding financial statements and banking requirements, and explores topics such as taxation versus management accounting, essential business management ratios and understanding key components of a business’ financial profile.

Rabobank South Australia and North West Victoria regional RaboClientCouncil chair Claire Catford said it was exciting to launch the face-to-face workshops again, with the “round table discussion format” allowing farmers to learn from each other.

“We often learn a lot from people in similar situations and the workshop is designed so participants can learn from each other as well as ask questions of the facilitator and banking staff on the ground,” she said.

Mrs Catford, who participated in the virtual financial skills workshop last year, encouraged others to register and attend the workshop regardless of their level of financial literacy.

“In our workshop we had participants from all backgrounds and even those highly experienced in the financial side of their business got a lot out of it,” she said.

“For me, it was a good opportunity to further expand my financial literacy in terms of business performance, the key components of accounting and calculating diagnostic ratios.

“It proved to be a catalyst to review our business by running through the ratios and ensure we are thinking strategically about our business.”

Rabobank South Australia and North West Victoria head of relationship management Adam Moss said the program helped put farmers in the driver’s seat of their business.

“Using realistic case studies as the basis for understanding what makes up a balance sheet, profit and loss statement and cash flow, the workshop also delves into how to calculate financial ratios and how to use them to make informed business decisions,” he said.

“Participants will also walk away with a better understanding of what banks look for when assessing a loan and the financial profile of a business.”

Hudson Facilitation director Tony Hudson will present the workshop, along with a number of agribusiness banking professionals.

Funded by RaboClientCouncils, the workshops are open to clients and non-clients of Rabobank and there is no cost for farmers to attend.

Visit www.rabobank.com.au/about-rabobank/client-councils/ to register or contact Rabobank Mount Gambier on (08) 8726 2500.