PACIOLIi 1,Introduction & information modelling

Table of contents

Structure of PACIOLI

Workshop 1 
Workshop 2
Workshop 3
Workshop 4

PACIOLI products
Summary of workshop report 1
Summary of reflection paper 1
Participants of the first workshop

Structure of Pacioli

The PACIOLI project is a concerted action in the framework of the AIR programme for the EU, consisting of four workshops. The Commission's scientific officer is responsible for the project. RICA will support the Management Board as reviewer. The project coordinator has the final responsibility for the actions to be taken. The coordinators of the countries will distribute the knowledge they obtain during active attending the workshops in their country. For the second workshop other interested countries are invited to participate.

  PACIOLI workshops 

Workshop 1 (March 95)
Introduction and information modelling

  • Introduction PACIOLI
  • Information Analysis: the Dutch experience
  • Information analysis and standardization

Workshop 2 (September 95)
Accounting and managing innovation

  • State of the art Farm Information Systems
  • Process models of national FADNs
  • Institutional structure and innovation process
  • The policy-making process

Workshop 3 (March 96)
Need for change

  • Changes in policies and the effect on information requirements
  • RICA information model and EC policy
  • Changes in information systems on the farm level
  • Integration of economic and environmental data
  • Information models as an instrument to support change
  • Brainstorming to bring up ideas for change of FADN

Workshop 4 (September 96)
Suggestions for continuation

  • Global information model FADN/RICA
  • Conditions for extension/change of data gathering in FADN
  • Improving techniques for reference information modelling
  • CASE tools
  • Assessment of ideas for change
  • Discussion on priorities of topics
  • Identification of future projects

PACIOLI products

Each of the four PACIOLI workshops results in three written documents. The PACIOLI workshop report contains all papers and discussions held during the workshop. The PACIOLI summary provides an overview and contains the summaries of the workshop report and the reflection paper. The PACIOLI reflection paper deals with a specific subject related to the workshop and is addressed specifically to the RICA community.

Summary of workshop report 1

Concerning the incentives to participate in the PACIOLI project, many different objectives were communicated during the first workshop. However, clear common elements in these individual objectives can be recognized. This implies that there is a good base to work together on a vision of 'FADNs in a new perspective'. On the other hand we have to be aware of the different perspectives from which this objective is perceived.

It was concluded that the main objectives for innovation in the FADNs are improvement of the quality of FADN data, the use of data and the cost effectiveness of FADNs. A mature level of Strategic Information Management (SIM) is a prerequisite for more flexible FADNs that supply high quality data in a cost-effective way.

It was also concluded that Strategic Information Management is a difficult concept. In the PACIOLI context SIM is aimed at effective and efficient gathering and distribution of information. The Information Modelling (IM) approach and the Dutch experiences with IM have been introduced. Some problems with the use of information models have been identified, but also some possibilities for the use of IM in Pacioli. It was concluded that the various participating countries as a next step in Pacioli will try to use the IM approach to describe the FADNs in the various member states.

In further development of FADN it is stressed that more attention for the users of the FADN data is an absolute prerequisite. Another aspect in the thinking about innovating FADNs and farm accounting is to take explicitly into consideration developments and trends in information and communication technology (ICT). In this respect one can think of e.g. the farmer as a supplier of data. It is also important not to forget to involve the financiers of FADN in the further development of plans for innovation of FADNs. To combine the various aspects there is a clear need for a structured approach like the information modelling approach.

Within the group that was present at the first workshop, organized in March 1995 on the Dutch island Ameland, there was on remarkable consensus about 'the need for action'. For all participants it was beyond any doubt that new development of FADNs is necessary to survive. It was clearly stated that improvement of FADNs will not be enough: we should strive for INNOVATION. There is however a potential threat in the overwhelming consensus within the PACIOLI group. We have to take care that also actors within our environment that are not so enthusiastic, will be involved in our activities too. In the second workshop special attention will be on 'who to involve' on the road to FADN innovation.

The first workshop resulted in an enthusiastic network of accounting experts, information scientists and FADN experts of 7 EU countries. For the remaining three workshops also the other EU member states will be invited for participation, in order to get a broader platform for ideas about innovation of farm accounting and FADNs.

Summary of reflection paper 1 

The first reflection paper 'On data management in Farm Accountancy Data Networks' provides suggestions for decision making on the further development of the European FADN, based on papers of the first PACIOLI workshop. Although information modelling has some risks, it seems a promising tool. By creating a data model or data dictionary it could improve the flexibility of the RICA system. This flexibility is necessary now that policies are changing and the EU is widening.

It is suggested to launch a short feasibility study to check the results of this first workshop and its reflection paper in all the member states and in the Commission. This should incorporate taking stock of opinions and showing the advantages of the technique by its application on the current Farm Return and a policy topic on which new statistics are needed. An appropriate name for such a study would be RICASTINGS: RICA's Study To Install a New Generation of Statistics.


Ari Enroth
Jouko Sirén
Simo Tiainen
Jean Magne
Bernard Del'Homme
Jérôme Steffe
Carla Abitabile
Guido Bonati
The Netherlands
George Beers
Alexander Udink ten Cate
Conny Graumans
Krijn Poppe
Diederik Spiering
Tim Verwaart
Mario Mahlau Enge
Miguel Merino Pacheco
Maria-Teresa Dobao Alvarez
Gunnar Larsson
Bo Öhlmér
Per Persson
United Kingdom
Alastair Baily
Sandra Dedman
Nigel Williams
Jacques de Dooy
Luis Florez-Robles
Nigel Robson

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