2014-07-30  

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54% of Farmers to Consult Accountants about Business Decisions

The second in a series of agricultural surveys conducted this year by MHA, the UK-wide group of accountancy and business advisory firms, reveals that 54% would consult their accountant as a first port of call when making decisions about their business.

Whilst 15% of farmers use their solicitor as a "sounding board" and 26% would talk to an agricultural consultant, a resounding 54% would rather talk to an accountant in the first instance.

MHA report

David Missen, head of the MHA Agriculture Group commented: "Sound business advice is essential when planning for the future of any business but especially one in the farming sector where an entire family's livelihood is involved. Accountants can provide invaluable assistance to businesses in the farming sector as they have regular involvement with the business and can provide an unbiased, external perspective. We also tend to be in much more regular contact with our clients than some other professionals so it is not surprising that clients like to chew matters over with us at an early stage"

The survey also found that succession planning is a concern which is moving up the agenda for many respondents. With so many uncontrollable external threats to farming businesses it is vital that farmers make every effort to mitigate controllable pressures. Succession planning is a key area of consideration which is increasingly a concern amongst the farming community; 56% of those surveyed felt that succession planning was of some or great concern.

The MHA Agriculture Insight Survey was first conducted at LAMMA in January and rerun at Cereals 2014 in June. Collectively these surveys take into account the views of more than 200 farmers nationwide.

Other Key findings include:

  • Despite falling prices, optimism for growth is high - 69% of those who responded were expecting growth.

  • Expansion is an aspiration for many with 51% planning to increase their acreage.

Monahans

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