Switching from Other Farm Accounting Programs

Many of our customers are already using a farm accounting system (such as Frontier, Doane, AgData and Famous) when they are ready to upgrade to The Farmer’s Office.  We have developed a set of tools that makes it easier to switch over from some of these programs by transferring your data from your old program to The Farmer’s Office.

This option gives you some flexibility; some people like to have a fresh start and take advantage of the change in software to redesign their chart of accounts, cost centers, etc.  But if you’d like to avoid a lot of setup work, transferring your data directly over to The Farmer’s Office will save you time.

Also, the import options make it a snap to change accounting systems even in the middle of your fiscal or calendar year.  You can take your data with you to a new program without having to do all of the setup work and catching up that would normally be necessary.

The following table shows which data files may be imported from other ag accounting software systems:

FileFrontier DOSFrontier
BizBooks
AgData Blue SkiesDoane
DOS
Famous 5.8
(DOS/Unix)
Employeesxxxxx
Payroll Check Historyxxxxx
Vendorsxxxxx
Cost Centers/Fieldsxxxx
Operations/Phases/Activitiesxxxx
Groups/Categoriesx
Chart of Accountsxxxxx
Beginning G/L Balancesxxxx
General Ledger Transactionsxxxxx
Cost Accounting Transactionsxxxx
Equipmentxx
Growersx
Customersxx
Customer Ship To Locationsx
Customer Balances (Open Invoices)x
Vendor Balances (Open Invoices)x
General Ledger Report Definitionsx
Fixed Assetsx
Commodity Codesx

After your information is imported, reports are printed from your old software and compared to reports printed from The Farmer’s Office.  This will verify that the payroll totals and general ledger account balances have been imported into The Farmer’s Office match your old system.

We will normally convert the transactions (payroll checks, general ledger transactions and cost accounting transactions) only for your current fiscal/calendar/crop year.  This means that you will need to keep you old program and data files available to look up or review historical information prior the current year.

Switching from Quickbooks

If you are using Quickbooks Pro and Quickbooks Online, we can import customers, vendors, items and employees from Quickbooks IIF or XML files.

Our customers say, ‘Datatech makes our lives easier!”

Here are comments about Datatech from longtime client Kathy Merlo and Del Rey Packing:

“Your software is very easy to use, and this comes from a person who is not at all computer savvy!  Your support staff has gone above and beyond when we have desperately needed their help!  Thank you, Datatech!!”  – Lisa Usher, Terry Farms, Denair, CA

“Datatech people are just a phone call away and always polite and helpful, best decision that we made for accounting.”  – Bruce C. Ward, Ward Groves, Strathmore, CA

“I appreciate Datatech’s software support.  Their response is prompt and courteous.  I’m glad we switched from a pegboard bookkeeping system to a computerized system with Datatech’s ag software!”  – Sharon Walls, Rock’N JK Farms, Kerman, CA

“Datatech software helps us manage our farm more efficiently by tracking costs for each crop we grow.  The program enables us to easily break down each crop into cost centers, giving us a better idea of where our business is going.  The software is very easy to use and learn.”  – Terry Giusti, Giusti Farms, Half Moon Bay, CA

“We like Datatech because its program meets all our needs, it is easy to follow and also allows easy access to correct any errors we may make.  We have used it three years and have seen each update provide even better features. The support staff has always been very helpful and extremely patient and considerate!”  – Frederick & Elene Ferrero, Lodi, CA (this quote was from 1996–still a customer in 2015!)

“Very easy to learn & use.  Very efficient for us–small farming company–and affordable.”  – Sharon Biswell, Pacific Valley Ag, Inc.

“We use Datatech because it makes good business sense to use a product with local support from someone who is knowledgeable of our industry and the job we want to do.”  – Dwight McGraw, Perez Packing

“Datatech’s support is without equal. The best I have ever seen or used in my many years in the software world.”  – Harold Raphael, A & A Organic Marketing, Inc.

System Requirements

Operating System Support

The Farmer’s Office is supported on the following operating systems:

  • Windows XP Professional SP 3 (no longer recommended due to end of support)
  • Windows 7/8/10 Home (for single computer installations only)
  • Vista Business
  • Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate
  • Windows 8/8.1 Professional
  • Windows 10 Professional
  • Windows Server 2003/2008/2012 (Running Datatech Accounting Software remotely via Remote Desktop Connection is supported.)

64-bit operating systems are supported.  On 64-bit operating systems, you must install the 32-bit version of Microsoft Office so that Word, Excel and Outlook to interface with the Datatech Accounting Software, which is also 32-bit.

Workstations

Recommended specifications:

  • Windows 7/8/10 Professional
  • 2 Gb RAM
  • Dual Core Intel i3/i5/i7 Processor
  • 100Mb available hard disk space for initial install
  • Main display resolution:  1024×768 minimum (higher resolution recommended)
  • High speed Internet access (cable/DSL/wireless/etc)
  • Removable media for backups (USB flash drive, portable USB hard drive, etc.) and/or off-site remote backup
  • Battery backup

Most recent computer models will exceed these recommendations for processor, RAM and hard disk space.

“Home” editions of Windows may be used for single computer installations, but are not supported for network installations because they do not include support for joining a domain.

Servers

For multi-user installations, Microsoft SQL Server is used for the back end database.  In many cases, the Express edition of SQL Server may be used.  The Standard or Web editions may be used in cases where the customer is likely to exceed the limits of the Express edition.

Datatech Accounting Software uses the SQL Server 2012 version.  (Support for SQL Server 2008R2 is also available if you already have this version installed.)

Many of the system specifications for servers running SQL Server assume a large number of users, typically more than the most of our customers typically have.  We have developed the following server configurations based on our customers’ experience:

Up to 5 Users:

  • Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
  • Intel Core i5/i7
  • 180Gb SSD
  • 8Gb 1333Mhz Dual Channel RAM
  • Battery backup (UPS)
  • External backup media/remote backup

5 to 30 Users

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 or  2012
  • Intel Xeon 3.1 Ghz
  • 2 240Gb SSD configured RAID1
  • 8Gb 1600Mhz Dual Channel RAM
  • Redundant power supply
  • Battery backup (UPS)
  • External backup media/remote backup

For more than 30 users, contact Datatech to discuss system requirements for your installation.

As a part of our installation service, Datatech will handle the installation, configuration and setup of the SQL Server instance(s) required by our software.  This requires that we have remote access to the server via RDP, TeamViewer or UltraVNC and a user account set up with administrator privileges.

Network

Gigabit network cabling is required for best performance.  Wireless network connections are not supported; loss of connection will result in data loss.

VPN connections over the Internet are not recommended for running our software.  Most (if not all) high speed Internet connections are too slow for effective use of the Datatech Accounting Software.  Use Remote Desktop to connect to a server from a remote location to run the Datatech Accounting Software.

Printers

All printers supported by the Windows operating system will work with The Farmer’s Office.  We recommend that you have a laser printer for printing reports, invoices and checks.  If you have a laser printer with multiple bins or paper trays, you can load it with plain paper and checks at the same time and the software will automatically use the correct bin.

Support for printing checks on dot matrix printers is limited.  Additional time and expense may be required in some situations to get dot matrix printers configured and working with the Datatech Accounting Software.  We strongly recommend replacing continuous check forms with full page checks that can be printed on laser printers.  Laser printers can print large check batches much faster than dot matrix printers can, are much quieter, and have fewer operational problems (i.e. check jams).  Our software also support many more customization options for laser checks than for dot matrix checks, including features that change the layout of the check stub information and automatically print signatures on checks.  The time and trouble you will save switching from continuous to page fed checks will more than make up for the cost of throwing away your old checks.

Check Ordering Information

Several different check layouts are pre-programmed into The Farmer’s Office.  If you currently have page fed checks that do not match one of our pre-programmed formats, a custom format can be easily set up to work with your existing checks.

If you already have computer checks and would like us to verify that they will work with our software, void a check and mail it to us for us to compare with our supported formats.  If you need to order new checks, we can provide you with samples of the standard check format used by our program.  (The sample check is provided by Advance Forms Management in Fresno.  They have worked with many of our customers, providing checks, W-2’s, invoices, and other forms, and are familiar with the standard Datatech check formats.)

Checks may of course be ordered from any forms supplier.  Here are some of the part numbers from two national forms companies that are pre-programmed in The Farmer’s Office:

SupplierCheck TypeForm #
NebsOne part laser multipurpose check (8 1/2″ x 11″)DLT111
NebsOne part laser multipurpose check (8 1/2″ x 11″, Quicken/Quickbooks standard)DLT103 or DLT104
NebsOne part laser multipurpose check (8 1/2″ x 11″, Peachtree compatible, middle check)DLT108
SafeguardOne part laser multipurpose check (8 1/2″x11″) top check, two stubsSF16001
SafeguardOne part laser multipurpose check (8 1/2″ x 11″) top and bottom stubs, middle checkSF4001

When ordering checks for laser or ink jet printers, the forms company should check to see what kind of printer you have.  Different models feed paper differently, and depending on how your printer works, you may need to get the checks in reverse order (highest check # on top) or in regular order (lowest check # on top).  Make sure you have the make and model of the printer ready when you call the forms company.

We also have a detailed specification for the check formats that are built-in to our software.

Other Forms

W-2’s are printed on pre-printed forms, including the standard 2 per page as well as “3-Up” and “4-Up” (four corner) formats.

Customer invoices are generally printed on blank paper.  If you need to print customer invoices on a form, contact Datatech for information about customizing the software to use your form.