I worked for Findex then WHK up until 2012. I am not an accountant, I have a Rural Science degree from UNE. I have supported farm business operators with a range of technical and finance services since 1992. I now operate my own business, ASPIRE agri.
We completed succession early and have had the tough conversations upfront and now benefiting with relationships between partners and their respective families.
Book keeping and reporting requirements for ATO takes a significant amount of time. Requirements overlook the fact that small business do not have full-time, dedicated book keepers and administration staff. As a program designed specifically for agriculture, Phoenix does as much as possible to reduce the time taken and to simplify the tasks.
With a career in rural finance since 1992, I have used Xero, a program marketed as easy to use, and found that it is overpriced, limited in capability and has issues with some basic functions such as preparing a BAS. I use QuickBooks for another business as it is cheap, however in doing so lament the fact that it is very quirky and not intuitive to operate.