The ABC's the Holes in Recordkeeping: Final in a 4-Part Series

When it comes to keeping data on your farrier business, it pays to be thorough

It's a case of what seems like a lot turning out to be too little.

When we put together the records for ABC Horseshoeing Inc., our fictionalized horseshoeing business, it seemed as if we had enough data to fill up reams of paper or a big chunk of a computer’s hard drive.

We had budget figures, itemized expenses, profit margins and earnings projections tied to a series of price hikes. We had monthly income charts and a breakdown of who paid how much and when for what services. We had data piled atop data, projections, estimates and (we’re willing to bet) a more thorough set of records than those kept by the vast majority of real farrier businesses.

And it wasn’t enough.

The panel of financial experts snapped up all the information we provided them with, then called for more. And more. And still more.

A couple of lessons quickly became clear through this exercise:

  1. Good recordkeeping needs to be planned. Before you start jotting down figures, whether in a computer program or a loose-leaf notebook, you need to know what kind of figures you need and what they should tell you.
  2. It’s not just having a computer program, it’s using it properly. ABC’s records were kept using the Forge Ahead program from Backroads Data. But several of our experts said the program was capable of telling our fictionalized horseshoer much more than it was. In essence, he wasn’t asking it the right questions.
  3. Good recordkeeping goes hand-in-hand with a…
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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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