In our last Grain Accounting class the discussion turned to the importance of having a good banking relationship. A lender in the meeting made the comment “just don’t treat me like a mushroom.” With a lot of puzzled looks staring back at him he went on to explain, “you know … keep me in the dark and shovel on the manure.”
While his comment got a good chuckle from the group it also rang with a lot of truth. It hit home not just with the lenders but all who are a part of the grain merchandising team … the merchandiser, the accountant, the lender and upper management. Sometimes it feels like you’re being left in the dark about what’s going on with the numbers.
Maintaining an open line of communication is difficult in many businesses but it can be especially so in a grain-focused basis trading operation. The challenge is that the different sectors of the operation seem to hold different pieces of the puzzle. Until all pieces are put together no one really has a clear view of what the picture looks like. Let me give you a few examples: