A cash flow program can save you time and reduce the risk of errors in your cash flow forecasts. But like any other tool, it’s important to learn how to use cash flow projection software effectively.
Use these tips to maximize the effectiveness of your cash flow prediction program.
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Use Data-Driven Cash Flow Forecasting
When creating a cash flow prediction, it’s important to use the right data. Using the most up-to-date data will ensure that your forecasts are reliable.
Creating a cash flow forecast is difficult without using your business’s actual transaction data. Remember that achieving 100% accuracy is not always possible, nor is it necessary. The goal is to use your data to find useful insights that can help you make better business decisions.
Data-driven forecasts, even when they are not 100% accurate, still provide valuable insight and can help you make decisions with confidence.
Collect Cash Flow Information Automatically
If you want to learn how to manage your cash flow effectively, then it’s important to automate the collection of your cash flow information. Automation will save time and reduce the risk of errors.
Spreadsheets are an effective way to manage your cash flow forecasts, but they can be tedious and time-consuming. Because everything is done manually, there’s a greater risk of human error.
Many businesses that use the spreadsheet method spend the bulk of their time building reports. They have less time to analyze their reports and learn about the financial health of their business.
Automating the collection of cash flow information will save time. Automated forecasts are also more accurate because they reduce the risk of human error.
With time saved and more reliable forecasts, you can focus more on analysis and making informed decisions.
Apply A 13-week Time Period for Prediction
Your cash flow management program may give you the option of looking far into the future with your forecasts. While these projections can be useful, they may not be as accurate or reliable as you would hope.
Creating a 13-week cash flow forecast is ideal because you have enough data for accuracy and enough visibility to help you make better decisions for your business.
A 13-week forecast:
- Allows you to manage your cash without affecting long-term planning
- Works well for investors and banks because it provides an accurate picture of your business’s financial health
With a forecast like this, you can do things such as plan for debt payments or investments without impacting your yearly budget. You have flexibility and reliability with a 13-week forecast.
Forecasting too far into the future will give you less reliable forecasts, which can make it more difficult to make decisions confidently.
The Use of a Rolling Forecast
One great way to use your cash flow forecast program effectively is to make use of rolling forecasts. A rolling forecast can help improve the accuracy of your budgeted and forecasted revenue. It can also give you more flexibility and agility.
Rolling forecasts use historical data to create cash flow forecasts continuously over a period of time. Because they are updated regularly, they provide a more accurate picture of your business’s financial health.
Let’s say that there’s a sudden increase in demand for your product. With a static forecast, these changes in demand wouldn’t be included until your next forecasting period. With a rolling forecast, however, you would get a more accurate and up-to-date picture of your cash.
Better Decisions Can Be Made with Real-time Visibility
Real-time visibility allows you to effectively manage liquidity risks. But businesses that are using manual methods will find that the process is extremely time-consuming.
Automation solves this problem. By automating the cash flow management and forecasting processes, you can use the most up-to-date data and get a real-time picture of your business’s financial health.
More businesses are moving away from manual spreadsheet methods and towards analytics and automation software for their risk management. Along with time-savings, these tools provide a higher level of accuracy because they use the business’s historical data.
The Final Thoughts
A cash flow prediction program can help you better manage your cash flow and create reliable forecasts. But using the program effectively can be a little challenging. Use the tips above to make the most of your cash flow forecasting tool and better manage your business’s cash.