Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

December 1993


Published for Proceedings, The Range Beef Cow Symposium XIII December 6, 7, & 8, 1993, Cheyenne, WY.


The primary activities of management include planning, organizing, directing and control. The most important and most challenging is control)the process of analyzing, evaluating and interpreting the production and financial performance of the business, so the business manager can make informed business management decision. After almost two years of working with beef cattle business managers and gaining an understanding of the recommendations of the Farm Financial Standards Task Force (FFSTF) and the National Cattlemen's Association-Integrated Resource Management-Standardized Performance Analysis (NCA-IRM-SPA) subcommittee guidelines, has made a believer out of me now. Why? A complete accounting analysis, such as that provided by following the SPA analysis process, enhances the manager's control of the business.

So why isn't everyone "doing" SPA? (Thought you would never ask) I believe it's because many think of a SPA analysis as an "event" rather than a process. Where in-fact, a SPA analysis is very much a process, a management process. And like most management process in your business it may take some time and commitment to make the SPA process an important part of your business analysis activities. Is it worth the time and commitment? If your asking me, most definitely. However, I am biased. You might be better off to ask yourself if you are satisfied with the production and financial performance of your cow/calf enterprise; What is the reproduction and production efficiency of my cow herd? What are the major expenses in the enterprise and can I do a better job controlling them? What is my unit cost of production for a pound of weaned calf? Is the financial position of the enterprise in balance with its cash flows? Is the enterprise meeting my profit goals and objectives?