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What you need to know about cash-flow forecasting: We hear from our ecosystem partner of the month

Posted 9 months ago in Xero news by Rohan Mclachlan
Posted by Rohan Mclachlan

Every month we recognise one of the 500-plus ecosystem partners that make up our App Marketplace, for the great work they’re doing to help small businesses thrive.

February’s Ecosystem Partner of the Month is Float

Float provides businesses and their financial advisors with an up-to-date, accurate understanding of their future cash position, without the hassle of manual data entry. With 100+ five star reviews, Float is one of the top-rated apps on our app marketplace

This month we hear from Colin Hewitt, CEO, on the ins and outs of cashflow forecasting and why it’s crucial for small businesses.

  • Why should every small business have a cashflow forecast?

Cash flow forecasting is an important business process that can create huge opportunity if done correctly but can cause a lot of problems for your business if ignored. Budgeting and forecasting your cash will help you visualise cash surpluses and shortages against your plans, spot and address cash gaps before they happen, track your spending and stay within budget, visualise your future plans in terms of cash, and understand when to reinvest in your business.

  • What are the biggest challenges most businesses face when it comes to managing their cashflow?

Cash flow forecasting is a moving target. It changes almost every day, and keeping up to date with or without a spreadsheet is a huge headache (I did it that way for years), and ultimately it gets neglected and becomes a significant amount of work to bring it back up to date.

  • Do you have any tips for small businesses on how they can better plan and manage their cashflow, or common mistakes to avoid?

It all starts with putting a proper end-to-end system in place.

  1. Use a bookkeeping system to keep track of all your receipts and bills to get them in Xero as they happen. Take a picture of them on your phone, or scan them each week.
  2. Do your bank reconciliation weekly if not daily. If you don’t your data is out of date and your forecast will be too.
  1. Get into the habit of producing monthly reports – if you don’t have a board to report to ask some advisors if you can send monthly updates.
  1. If you don’t routinely do planning and forecasting, and if you don’t review the results, you run the risk of making the same mistakes many times over, slowing your path to success.
  • Why did you choose to partner and integrate with Xero?

Xero attracts dynamic, forward-thinking businesses who want to work smarter than their competitors. These are exactly the sort of businesses that Float can help. Additionally, the Xero platform is very robust which means from a technical point of view, the data we use from Xero is always extremely reliable.

  • How does your app’s integration with Xero make life easier for small business owners and their advisors?

Every 24 hours, Float automatically pulls in all reconciled bills, invoices and transactions from Xero to ‘fill up’ your projections, meaning you can easily see where your business is headed via your live, rolling forecast and easily dig into the detail. Float is really simple to use, and you certainly don’t need an accounting qualification to understand it. Float was built for business owners, by a business owner (me!), so we know what you care the most about: how much cash will you have next week, next month and next year.

Having spent the past 9 months doubling down on a new interface that has been totally rebuilt behind the scenes, Float is now faster, more intuitive, and will be able to iterate much more quickly on future feature enhancements.

Learn more about an integration with Xero and Float here.  

Colin Hewitt, CEO

Colin is the founder and CEO of Float and lives in Edinburgh with his wife Kathryn and three children. Colin sold his digital design business and started building Float in 2011 when he realised that there must be a better way than spreadsheets for cash flow forecasting.

 

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