How to effectively use a cashflow forecast
Forecasting allows you to predict your incomings and outgoings. Daily syncs with Xero and QBO means that your data is always in real-time. Using this current data (and a bit of help from your historical data) means you can accurately project what will happen next.
Use your forecast to its full potential
For example, if you ran a restaurant or bar, you’re going to need to know (approximately) how much stock to order in a week. The flexibility of forecasting means you can input the busy spells, and therefore predict confidently whether or not you need that extra case of Champagne. A bar owner would have each transaction logged in their Xero/QBO account, which is automatically pulled into Futrli.
Using this data, our platform will then create an estimated projection of how the next period’s sales will look, therefore giving the owner a confidence when it comes to ordering. Furthermore, they’ll be able to plan accordingly for things such as hiring more staff for a busy period, like Christmas or summer, as the historical data they already have will show how it’s likely to unfold. Not only this, the owner could share their dashboards with their managers, and the team if they see fit, so they can rely on the fact everyone is working towards the same goals.
Inputting their key performance indicators (KPIs) allows them to view their business in smaller, more digestible portions, so they can see exactly which areas need more attention, and where they’re succeeding the most.
Check it regularly for accuracy
To get the most out of forecasting, you really need to be checking and updating it regularly. A surprising amount of business owners think that once a forecast is set up it doesn’t need much attention, but that isn’t the case.
You operate your business daily, so you should be consulting your forecast almost as often. While you don’t need to be checking in with it literally every day, even once a month is too infrequent.
As Futrli CEO & Founder Hannah Dawson says:
“All forecasting is hypothetical – but that doesn’t mean it should be a monthly process. Yesterday I adjusted ours, and it makes you ask yourself can we spend more on X? Where did the sales get nailed? Where do we need to focus our attention? Have we got any accounts payable bills that we need to clear? Futrli is a hugely valuable tool for an entrepreneur to keep on top of the incomings and outgoings, and that’s why we created it.”
Checking in with your forecast weekly (at least) is best practice. We’d say you’d do well to look at it a couple of times per week, as businesses are constantly fluctuating and evolving. If you think about what your end goal was when you started your business, and if and how that’s changed since that should give you a good idea of how your company is going to change. Not only do transactions alter things, but your focus might too. Keep on checking as frequently as you can.
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