Career Spotlight: Farm Accountant

Career Spotlight: Farm Accountant | Of The West

Numbers may not be for everyone, but if they’re for you a career as a farm or ranch accountant could be on the horizon! The responsibilities will be conditional on what type of work environment you choose (more on that below). Keep reading to understand the responsibilities of a farm or ranch accountant, the path to becoming one, and the different positions that could be in your future!

Responsibilities of a Farm or Ranch Accountant

As a farm or ranch accountant, you will be expected to cover all day-to-day financial transactions and accounting duties. On top of day-to-day upkeep, you will also be responsible for generating and controlling the budget, taking care of any and all payroll responsibilities, managing inventory, pricing products, producing and presenting financial reports to supervisors/owners, analyzing financial statements, spotting and fixing issues within accounts and financial reports, and any other basic accounting obligations. Depending on your employer, you may also hold the duties of a farm or ranch manager as well. This is more common amongst smaller or family-owned farms and ranches. Those duties can be hiring/firing, onboarding, and managing day-to-day employees. If you find yourself in a corporate setting, your title and duties will probably be only those related to the financial aspects of the business. 

How to Become a Farm or Ranch Accountant

If becoming a farm or ranch accountant is what you want for your future pursuing a degree in accounting, finance, or agribusiness is recommended. Not all farm or ranch accounting jobs require formal education, but a majority of those positions will. Having experience in Human Resources is also a plus. 

Different Types of Farm or Ranch Accountant Jobs

‘Farm or Ranch Accountant’ may sound self-explanatory, but in reality, there is a variety of opportunities within a farm or ranch accountant career. If being on the farm/ranch or directly linked to the farm/ranch is what you’re looking for, a farm or ranch accountant/manager is for you. If you are looking for a more corporate-style setting, you can look to lending and insurance agencies, and corporate farming/ranching companies. No matter what work environment fits you best, there is always a need for accountants in ranching and farming. Make sure to look at Of The West if you are looking for one of these job opportunities!

Events to Attend

Continuing education is vital to the longevity and success of farm and ranch accountants. If a person holds a Certified Public Accountant license, they must attend Continuing Professional Education (CPE) courses. The American Institute of CPAs has numerous resources on how to become a CPA and different learning products for accountants’ CPE. You can also become an accredited farm manager through the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Another place to look for continuing education courses is through your local accountant’s office. Whether they specialize in agriculture or not, most public accountants will hold meetings and courses to help you be successful in your career.

If you loved reading about farm accountant jobs, you’ll love reading our Career Spotlight series, which highlights the wide variety of job opportunities in the ag + western industries!

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