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Recordkeeping may be one of the most important steps one can take to manage a business.  Agricultural operations can be complex, and efficient records can help make sense of it all.  With good records, producers find they can make more sound business decisions, are more credit-worthy and experience less unknowns. Producers will need to choose the system that works best for them, or use a combination of systems.  

In this section of the toolkit you will find:

  • An article covering the importance of recordkeeping
  • A free farm record book
  • Lessons covering the basics on how to use Microsoft Excel, and how to use the program for farm records
  • Lessons covering the use of the QuickBooks online version for keeping farm records
  • Bonus spreadsheet templates created for agriculture

To get started, learn about the importance of recordkeeping with an article written by Dr. Alex White of Virginia Tech.  Do We Have To Talk About Recordkeeping Systems provides a great overview of how you can benefit from keeping records and some common terminology you will need to know.

Read Article

Request your free farm record book. Click the button below to request a free copy of the digital Farm Record Book.  Looking for a printed copy?  Visit your local Farm Credit of Virginias branch office and pick up the printed version. Don't forget to watch the free tutorial below on how to use the digital version.

Request a Digital Farm Record Book

Using Excel and QuickBooks are common systems used in farming operations.  Learn more about how they are used, how to make them useful for agriculture and how to get started using them for your own operation. View the following two sections to learn:

  • How to use Microsoft Excel to keep records and analyze data
  • How to use QuickBooks for agriculture

Excel for Agriculture

Listen to a series of video tutorials on the use of Excel for agriculture.  Dr. Alex White of Virginia Tech shows just how easy it is to get started and to begin to see the benefits.  The 4-part tutorial series covers:

  • Bringing Your Records to Life
  • Using Your Financial Records
  • Spreadsheets 101
  • Spreadsheets 102
Video Handouts
Sample Spreadsheets

Feel free to use the sample spreadsheets as is or edit to meet the needs of your operation.  To view the different spreadsheets, click on the tabs at the bottom.

Click here for sample spreadsheets.


QuickBooks for Agriculture

View the following video tutorials covering the use of QuickBooks for agriculture.  Rob Goodling of Penn State Extension provides an overview of the different parts of QuickBooks and how best to set it up for agriculture recordkeeping.


*Please note.  Tutorial content was recorded August 2020.  We have reviewed the content for accuracy, however, some software updates may have occurred.  Please refer to QuickBooks online for the most current software products and updates.

Bonus Spreadsheet Templates

Feel free to utilize the following spreadsheet templates provided by Penn State Extension.