In this blog post, Caroline Plumb, CEO and founder of Fluidly, talks about how cash flow forecasting can help accountants to prepare for the future.
When I talk to accountants about their clients, I often hear these words: “if only they had talked to me before doing that” or “if only they had known that we offered that service.”
In a fast-changing world, it’s all too easy to get disconnected from your clients and what’s really going on in their businesses.
But to stay ahead of the game, accountants must be pre-emptive in their client management, offering solutions to problems before they arise, and surfacing key insights to help their clients grow.
Here’s how cash flow forecasting can help you predict your clients needs.
The role of an accountant
Technology has transformed the role of an accountant, expanding it way beyond traditional compliance. Xero recently found that a wide range of jobs now contribute to accounting firms’ revenue.
Accountants are now business advisors and technology implementers, but many still find it difficult to pre-empt their clients needs and offer solutions before things get out of hand.
Cash flow is a key area where businesses are still struggling. Last year, Xero found that only 48% of UK small businesses were cash flow positive at any given time. And with over two-thirds of business owners worried about their cash flow, it’s an area where accountants can add enormous value.
Offering cash flow advisory
Helping clients with their cash flow is the single biggest advisory opportunity out there and emerging technology can help accountants take advantage of this.
Producing a cash flow forecast used to be complex and time-consuming, sometimes taking hours to complete and becoming outdated almost instantly. It was expensive and difficult to reproduce at scale but this is no longer the case.
Fluidly’s AI-powered solution
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the key to offering cash flow forecasting advisory at a profit and at scale.
With Fluidly, machine learning does the data heavy-lifting for you, so rather than providing your clients with backwards-looking reports about what has happened, you can provide pre-emptive, actionable insights that show what to do next.
Fluidly’s portfolio view is a real-time list of all your clients along with a key overview of financial metrics to easily identify which of your clients might be having cash flow problems.
Instant cash flow forecasting
From there, accountants can offer Fluidly’s AI-powered cashflow forecasting, without having to sell. The Fluidly baseline cash flow forecast is ready in minutes and requires no modelling.
Once the forecast is generated, it’s updated in real-time. You can edit the forecast or download it to Excel and make any adjustments you need to.
Fluidly allows you to offer a low cost, low barrier cash flow forecasting advisory solution to all your clients. For clients who could not previously afford cash flow forecasting services, this is now a viable option.
Smart credit control
We also know that having an effective credit control process is critical to healthy cash flow. To help with this, Fluidly offers an AI-powered credit control solution that sends smart email reminders and schedules calls, complementing apps like GoCardless to speed up the payment process.
Fluidly and Xero at this year’s UK Roadshow
To keep up with technology and help your clients grow, accountants must move beyond reporting what has happened, to address key questions like ‘so what?’ and ‘now what?’.
We’re proud to be headlining the Xero Roadshows this year, and to use AI to power Intelligent Cash Flow advisory.
Xero are holding a dedicated session on cash flow and we’ll be sitting on the panel, alongside GoCardless, to help accountants to more easily offer the right advice to the right clients, at the right time.
Author: Caroline Plumb, founder and CEO of Fluidly.