Accounting Assumptions and the Farm Business
Farmers in Nebraska and the surrounding area have been slow to adopt accrual accounting methods. This is no surprise; the alternative, cash accounting, is simple, provides a real-time analysis of the cash position of the firm, and works well with income tax preparation. However, cash accounting has no methodology for the special timing of agricultural production or specific processes to evaluate profitability, liquidity, or solvency. Accrual accounting, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), and finally the FFSC (Farm Financial Standards Council) rectify these shortcomings. Adoption of GAAP, and subsequently the FFSC “tweaks” will allow farmers and ranchers in Nebraska to make more informed decisions, contributing to greater short- and long-run profit.
This Cornhusker Economics article looks at GAAP accounting assumptions as they apply to agricultural production. Subsequent articles will tackle specific accounting methods.