Financial statements are the backbone of your farm financials and will provide you with a clear view of the operations on your farm. Although they’re called different things by different people, the most important financial statements are the IRS Schedule F, Chart of Accounts, Cash Flow Statement, Projected Farm Budget, Income & Expense Statement, Balance Sheet, and Income & Expense Logs. For more information on each of these as well as an array of other financial concepts like assets, liabilities, depreciation, and expenses, read Module 4: Financial Management of Planning for On-Farm Success.

Once you understand the tools, you can use these sample spreadsheets from the National Center for Appropriate Technology to start playing with your numbers. Note that the spreadsheet has example numbers in it to give you a sense of how it works. When you’re ready to start adding in your own numbers, you can save another copy to your computer, clear the cells with values in them, and start adding in your own numbers.

There are many tools available from across the country that can help you fill out your financial statements. Here is a sampling of those, and you can visit the FarmAnswers library to find more resources.

Cow/Calf Calculators from Oklahoma State University

Calculators for many different aspects of cow/calf farming including cull calculators and trailer cost calculators.

Ag Decision Maker from Iowa State University

This site offers a wide array of financial tools, enterprise budgets, and other resources for commodity and specialty crops and livestock. All are editable so you can make them fit your situation.