You need Predict in your practice (now) because it’s the world’s best instant forecasting software for…
- Accuracy over the short term and beyond
- Every small business (yes we mean every)
- Protecting compliance revenue (yes, genuinely)
- Identifying funding needs in time, responsibly
- Winning new business
Big claims, but all true. Read on to make your mind up…
Claim 1: Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…accuracy over the short term and beyond
This is step 1 in you trusting that Predict is different from anything else in the market. If you’re already sold on that, move onto the second section.
To understand why something is different, one has to look at what it is being compared to.
Float, Fluidly, Futrli Advisor, Spotlight forecasting, etc are all great tools. They remove the need to update actual data by connecting to cloud accounting software packages but they fall down in at least 1 significant way.
Float and Fluidly generate predicted gross cash flow forecast from due invoices and bills. This can give some reassurance when looking at the short term, but they do not consider every type of transaction found within the cloud accounting software package, such as journals or spend/receive cash transactions. Not including these transactions when creating projections, unfortunately, gives a wholly inaccurate picture of future finances.
They are also fundamentally flawed due to the restriction of a cash flow only view. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never run a business through monitoring gross cash flow alone? The lack of double-entry accounting generating predicted net sales and expenditure trends as well as the impact of liabilities is basic, essential information that any business owner needs to make the best decisions, irrespective of size, vertical, or turnover. Float and Fluidly are missing two-thirds of this essential information. This forecasting method completely ignores the balance sheet and profit and loss.
Operational decisions, cash flow, and funding discussions should not occur with incomplete and therefore, inaccurate data as its basis. Seeking funding in particular, by referencing projected data from a cashflow forecast only cloud accounting software solution, puts the small business owner and advisor at risk of irresponsible lending.
Futrli Advisor and Spotlight forecasting are great longer-term strategic planning tools that automate the 3-way forecast calculations that present risks if undertaken in spreadsheets. Advisor even has accruals VAT / GST calculations.
These solutions have been the cornerstone for lending decisions due to the requirement of a 3-way forecast for at least 3 years by lenders.
This forecasting software, however, ignores the due invoices and bills within the system and also only gives a month-end view of small business data. So for the cohort of small businesses that need to manage cash flow on a tightly controlled basis, the granularity is just not there when using these forecasting solutions.
That’s why Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…accuracy over the short term and beyond. It’s a hybrid approach giving a complete future financial view. Its sensitive algorithms understand the uniqueness of each industry, account, and transaction, so that operational, cash flow, hiring, funding, and lifestyle decisions can be made with a significant increase in confidence.
Claim 2: Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting cloud accounting software for…every small business (yes we mean every)
At a basic level, we know you think that every small business needs a forecast, that they need to know how much they are selling, how much they are spending, and what impact that has on their bank balance. Would you agree?
Would you agree that they can’t run their business (well) looking at historical data only?
If your best friend was starting a business today, you’d get them to make a plan first, and tutor them on how to use it to make the best decisions. Every small business should have a forecast. It’s a fact. And not just a cash flow forecast, cash flow statement, or cash position either. The full picture, including the balance sheet and profit and loss as well.
But, the very nature of the complexity of creating them or, software only giving one projected view of a business, has meant that every small business does not have a forecast. In fact, the majority don’t.
If you could take a step back and look at the cloud software that a small business should be using and the order they should do it in, would you disagree with this hypothesis?
Tier 1 software - Foundation - the present
This technology is where all small businesses should start.
Automation of Invoices, bills, payments, collections, reconciliations, tax, and compliance.
- MTD ready, business edition cloud accounting technology
Tier 2 software - Information - the future
Essential in our uncertain future landscape.
Forecasting and information on demand are essential for smart decision-making. It should be prescribed and simply educated on as an essential tier for success and resilience. What is the point of Tier 3 if the future is not viable?
- Financial prediction cloud technology
- Insights and reporting technology
Tier 3 software - Operation - the efficiencies
With basics covered in Tier 1 and 2 SMEs are a) versed with onboarding new technology b) see the benefit and value and are more literate when adopting operational technology to further extend efficiencies and productivity through automation of manual tasks.
- Cloud CRM technology
- Cloud project management technology
- Time tracking cloud technology
- Receipt and expense capture technology
Now, with Predict, you can prescribe complete and instant forecasting software that updates daily, identifying business-critical trends, with no effort on your part.
This is nothing new, you know the value of forecasting for every business, until now it has just not been possible. Predict’s plug-and-play solution has the potential to positively change the future outcome of your small business clients’ businesses, and there is, at last, no barrier to entry. For the first time ever, you now can provide every one of your clients with an accurate full business forecast for their business.
Equally therefore you for the first time ever can be confident in the forecast for your portfolio and your own business. This is why Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…every small business.
Claim 3: Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…protecting compliance revenue
This is a controversial claim but one rooted in business risk assessment, and diagnostics.
As finance professionals, looking at revenue centers and understanding the probability of attrition is not something that the accounting profession has had to undertake since the last financial crisis and recession.
Your advisory clients you are engaged with regularly, and, with your advice, they are better positioned to weather the current ever-challenging economic climate.
But for your non-advisory clients who make up the bulk of a typical portfolio, how are you forecasting revenue attrition from this segment? Recent Simply Business research found that:
- 20% of SMEs are predicted to not make it through a second lockdown
- 66% of SMEs across all sectors report cash flow impact as a result of Covid-19
- 33% said they would be worst impacted through a second lockdown
- 62% don’t feel confident about their long term future
If you lost 20-60% of your compliance revenue would your firm survive? Use this calculator to find out.
Get on the front foot of this risk assessment by using Predict as a diagnostic tool. Within a day you will have a clear view of your entire client base's financial projections and possible risk to your bottom line.
You or a junior member of staff will need to time box only 5 minutes in total, per SME client.
Note: Xero Business Edition and QuickBooks Online SMEs only. Please ask the member of staff to export the XPM or QB practice lists and enter them into column A of this spreadsheet.
- They connect every SME client to Predict, systematically, updating the sheet in column B. Each one will take less than 1 minute. Depending on the volume of data each client has, the data sync may take 20 minutes to an hour to process. As soon as the data is synced, the financial prediction is generated. Futrli will send an email when each one is completed.
- They wait until at least 10-20 emails have been received, login to Predict and systematically note down the data points in the spreadsheet. This will take less than 5 minutes per client. There are some data points your firm may not know, depending on the contact your firm has with them, this in itself is a potential discussion point. They are (an example row has been filled in in the sheet to guide the junior)
- Cash end Dec 2020 (Amount)
- Cash end March 2021 (Amount)
- Negative cash predicted in any month over the next 12 (Yes/No)
- Net sales trends (Up/Down/Flat)
- Unpaid invoices total (Amount)
- Unpaid bills total (Amount)
- Bounce Back Loan taken (Yes/No/Unknown)
- CBILs taken (Yes/No/Unknown)
- VAT deferment taken (Yes/No/Unknown)
That’s IT. 5 mins max per client.
The sortable list once complete is reviewed by you and your senior team.
- Triage those in the greatest difficulty first with an immediate phone call to say you have forecasted their future cash flow and you need to talk with them urgently about how to work together to solve their upcoming problems.
- Loan repayments, deferments, and Time to Pay need to be worked into their prediction when you see the client on a 15-30 minute Zoom. Unpaid invoices and bills to be reviewed to increase accuracy.
- Remember you are protecting your firm’s 2021 revenue so be tactical, time box each client, and ensure next month’s Zoom is booked in. Agree on a plan, agree on project work they need you to perform, agree on the price for the project work and a date for the deferred payment (as you cannot charge while in crisis mode. Set up a direct debit for the future date if you can). Subsequent 15-minute monthly Zoom meetings should be battle plan accountability check-ins. They are opportunities to gain further operational information and adjust your agreed approach.
This is more important for your business than any other work right now. Why don’t you get the firm involved and take it on as a team exercise? Many hands make even lighter work.
You must go into the end of 2020 (and beyond as this could/should be a quarterly exercise at least as we move into the grips of recession), knowing how potentially secure your firm’s revenue is.
After all, there will be no compliance fees if your clients fail. This is why Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…protecting compliance revenue.
Claim 4: Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…identifying funding needs in time, responsibly
Bounce Back loans have been so easy to access that tens of thousands of repayments are now at risk, because so many small businesses have taken them without looking at their affordability. The government has responded by increasing the repayment term of Bounce Back loans to 10 years due to the real fear of mass defaulting, which would further plunge the UK economy into a deeper crisis.
We all know that just because a small business can get credit, it doesn’t always mean that this is the best option for them. There are cost savings, credit control, furlough, pricing reviews, service diversification, moving sales to an online model, and so on, as tactical options to explore. However, as their accountant, you have the power to ensure responsible action is taken if lending is the only option.
Knee jerk borrowing on the back of inaccurate AI-generated forecasts (ie. not Predict!) could actually result in the final death knell of a business. Accuracy is key (read up!)
Led by you, if their business is modeled in Predict and there is a need for a cash injection, you have an investor-ready 3-way forecast that all institutional lenders and alternative lenders will accept.
Note: We have partnerships with Swoop Funding who will help you both navigate the best options, from grants to savings, to lending, at no cost. That’s why Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…identifying funding needs in time, responsibly.
Claim 5: Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…winning new business
Starting within your existing portfolio. Non-advisory clients are the bulk of all firms' portfolios. They are also likely to be your most disengaged clients as the relationship is based upon compliance needs, rather than business advice. This sector does not value advisory as it is overkill for their needs and budget. And often they won’t know that non-compliance services exist.
Using the 15-minute Zoom~Predict approach, these untapped clients pose a significant opportunity for your firm to grow into a new, low effort, high impact, recurring revenue stream.
On top of that, with additional contact and engagement, you will naturally propose one-off time-boxed projects as illustrated above. For example: “If I perform this project for X it will generate/secure cash worth X to your business”. That is an easy value exchange between two people who trust each other.
What to charge? What do people fear most - losing their job, home, livelihoods? People will quite happily pay £100+ on Sky but not £50 ensuring their business survives (and grows)?
Our initial research has indicated that for circa £75 per month (£50 for the 15-minute check-in and £25 for the monthly Predict software monitoring) is what compliance businesses are willing to pay for your new “Client protection service” or “Covid-proofing service” or “Growth check-in service”. You know your clients - find a name that suits your practice, that will help your clients understand this is different.
It is a no-brainer for small businesses and a low-effort, scaleable service for this untapped client sector.
Even if you give the first two 15-minute sessions away for free, you will still be making a significant revenue uplift in comparison to a firm’s typical average hourly rate. Use this calculator to see how much additional revenue and profitability will be generated for your firm with this service.
Now to winning brand new business.
Put yourself in a small business’s shoes. They all want to know if they can afford to pay for staff/stock/tax/themself…? They want to know they will be ok over the coming months and have a sustainable, viable business to support their family. They aren’t finance experts, you are.
Leveling up finance know-how, building confidence in how to interpret their current and future financial trends, if presented as a low effort-high impact, regular service will differentiate your website, email comms, and social media strategy.
It’s a simple service that can be trained across the firm upskilling your team into greater fee-earning potential.
None of this has been possible before, because this game-changing software hasn’t existed before, but this is why Predict is the world’s best instant forecasting software for…winning new business.
Go on :)