The method of switching to Farmplan Business Cloud will depend on your existing system.

If your business is VAT registered you must start Farmplan Business Cloud from the start of a new VAT period. If possible, it is a good idea to start Farmplan Business Cloud from a new financial year (to avoid fragmented records) but it's not essential.

You have a new business with no previous records kept

In this instance you simply start entering transactions in Farmplan Business Cloud from the date of your first transaction. If you are using a bank account with a start balance that did not relate to the business you can make a simple adjustment rather than going through the opening balance wizard. Let's take an example of £5,000 in the bank at your business start date:

Go to Categories and click on the plus symbol then 'New Adjustment'.

For a sole trader, you need to adjust the bank balance against either capital introduced (if a positive balance) or drawings (if an overdrawn balance).

NB For limited companies this will not be relevant as a new Limited Company will have a completely new bank account.

Please note, for your records a bank debit balance is positive (the banks say a credit balance as it's from their point of view).

If your bank balance starts at 0 and then money is paid into it this would be simple banking (Money In) transaction coded to a Capital introduced code.


From Farmplan

The details in your old system will depend on which version of the Farmplan desk top accounts program you have been using.

Business Manager - Run the Trial Balance report dated the day before the start date on Farmplan Business Cloud – for example if you are going to start recording your accounts from 1 Jan, run the Trial Balance dated 31 Dec. Remember you should always choose a date which agrees with your VAT period.

This will give you the closing balances from the previous year or period, which are now the opening balances in this year or period that can be entered into Accounting - Opening Balances in Farmplan Business Cloud.

Please note, you will need to ensure all the data in your previous system is correct before entering the opening balances. For example, where applicable, we recommend that year-end adjustments have been entered so that your Trial Balance is accurate. If in doubt please contact your accountant – remember they will be able to log into your data if you have granted them user access and see your data in order to assist you.

Cash Focus – if you have been using Cash Focus, you will not have the details of all your assets and liabilities in your data. You will, however, be able to see your bank balance and VAT owed to/from HMRC by printing a Cash System Check from the Report Library. We recommend that you have a word with your accountant to help you find out the other figures that you need but again it is not important if you do not have them to start with.

Supplier/Customer details – to save time you can export the details of your existing suppliers and customers into a file that can then be imported into Farmplan Business Cloud.

  • In your existing desktop program, make sure that you have finished any suppliers and customers that you no longer require in Setup – Suppliers/Customers. The bulk finish option will allow you to finish any that have not been used for a while.

  • In Tools –OptionsReporting make sure that the box against Report Selections – Show finished codes is not ticked.

  • In Setup – Suppliers/Customer Setup select the Report button at the bottom of the screen and export the Suppliers and Customers as 2 separate files.

  • You will need to adjust the headings in this file so that they are compatible with Farmplan Business Cloud but they can now be imported in the relevant data entry section. For more details please see Importing Customers, Suppliers and Invoices.

Outstanding Invoices – if you have outstanding invoices in Business Manager, you may be able to import them into Farmplan Business Cloud providing the file is in the right format. Please feel free to contact Farmplan for help with this.

Transferring from other software

If you are using other accounting software you should be able to extract the trial balance. This should be dated the day before your start date in Farmplan Business Cloud and will contain all the balances you need to enter in the opening balance wizard.

You should also be able to export a list of your customers and suppliers from your previous software provider. This file can then be imported into Farmplan Business Cloud to save you time entering these details manually.

Please note, you will need to ensure all the data in your previous system is correct before entering the opening balances. For example, if you had an accountant you should ensure that their year-end adjustments were entered in your previous software package before moving to Farmplan Business Cloud. Remember that you can grant them access to your data so that they can give you advice.

If you are transferring from cloud accounting software it's always a good idea to export all your transactions as a back up. Some companies will block your access and may eventually delete your data once you have stopped paying (not so with Farmplan Business Cloud).

From Excel

You will need to use the opening balances wizard to enter the opening balances at the date you are starting to use Farmplan Business Cloud.

If you have used an accountant they should be able to provide you with the balances to enter in the opening balance wizard.

If you did not use an accountant then it's likely you were using a 'single entry' method, meaning you only recorded income and expenses and did not produce a balance sheet/trial balance.

In this instance you will need to enter the value of your assets (bank account balances, vehicles balances etc.) and liabilities (amount of outstanding loans, for example) in the opening balance wizard. The balancing entry should be against capital introduced/drawings if you're a sole trader, or a director's loan account if you have a limited company. It is always worth seeking professional advice for this if you are unsure.

You were using paper records (ledger books or similar)

If you had an accountant then they should be able to provide you with a trial balance from from the day before you start to record your transactions in the software. Remember we recommend this is the end date of the most recently submitted VAT return if you are VAT registered.

If you did not have an accountant then it is advisable to seek professional advice for extracting your closing balances from your paper based records.

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