How to Create a Cash Flow Forecast With FUTRLI & QuickBooks Online

Posted on 31st August 2017 in Advisory

Written by Freya Hughes

Running a business without a forecast is like walking a tightrope with a blindfold on. You’re not certain where you’re stepping, and can accidentally deviate from your path all too easily. Slacklining is meant to be fun, and so is running your business, but without vision neither appeal. Instead of plummeting down from a great height, add forecasting to your day to day business, and keep yourself and your company protected. We’re looking at how to use your QuickBooks Online data to create a forecast in FUTRLI, so you can see the path ahead clearly.

From KPI dashboards to cash flow forecasts, scenario planning to white labelling, we’ve made sure you can rely on FUTRLI to be the all-in-one solution for your business. We are fully integrated with QuickBooks Online, and pick up where their software finishes. Daily syncs means that your data is always in real-time, and to take it one step further, you can forecast your QBO data for financial projections.

Here’s how to set up a cash flow forecast with FUTRLI and Quickbooks.

Back to basics

Budgeting ensures that you have enough cash to run your business. It shows your company’s intended direction, though is usually static. Following your budget will help you achieve goals, but there will be moments where you need to stop and regroup. A baseline for comparison between actuals is a vital part of your business planning, so check it (and your progress) regularly.

Similar to your budget, forecasting is crucial to running a business. While your budget is static, your forecast updates in real-time and ensures you’re constantly armed with up to date information about your business.

Read the difference between a budget and a forecast

Cloud-based software is known for its agility and speed. QuickBooks and FUTRLI are flexible, so you and your clients can make edits and adjustments with ease. Real-time data is the best way to get a snapshot of where a business stands, and using a forecast gives you a glimpse into the future.

We would compare a budget to a static roadmap, while a forecast is like a sat-nav, updating to steer you past obstacles.

A person blindfolded

Forecasting is like removing a blindfold – it shows you your immediate path, and around corners as you can project likely data for coming periods or years. Make sure you’re using your forecast regularly, or it won’t have such an impact.

Sync data

The automatic daily syncs are a great time-saving tool. If there’s any one thing a business owner needs more of, it’s time!

Any new data in your account will be pulled into FUTRLI and be ready to go. If you’d prefer, however, you can manually sync with QuickBooks. It’s very simple (though will take a few more minutes), just navigate to the ‘Organisations’ tab and click the ‘Connect’ button.

Any budgets you’ve created in QuickBooks can be uploaded to FUTRLI via CSV. Once they’re in, you have freedom to edit, copy and report upon.

Once you’ve imported your existing data, that can transform a budget into a cashflow forecast. Assign optional credit terms and VAT/Tax %s per account line to make this work seamlessly. You can create from other sources too, of course. These include: from a quick copy, from an advanced copy (where you can change the start date and duration of the scenario), from last year’s actuals, and from advanced last year’s actuals (which will let you flex accounts by amounts or %).

Importing QuickBooks data

We’ll start with budgeting. You can use an example template, which contains the appropriate formatting for your budgets. Download and paste the values from your QBO budget into the template, which can be found in the ‘Scenarios’ section. You don’t have to use the template but it saves time.

A person treading carefully

When the blindfold is removed by your forecast, you must make sure you’re treading carefully. Using a forecast at first may feel like you’re a beginner in business again, but practice makes perfect!

Create your forecast

You’re now ready to create your forecast. Navigate to the ‘Scenarios’ section of FUTRLI, the place to build budgets, scenarios and cash flow forecasts.

Hit ‘New’ (adjacent to the organisation you’re uploading to), and update your settings. Once the automation is complete, you’ll be taken to the ‘Creation’ page.

There are seven ways to create a new budget, forecast or scenario when you get to this point:

  • Create from scratch
    –  New
    – What if
  • Create from CSV import
    –  Import
  • Create from Last Year’s Actuals
    – Quick Create
    – Advanced create
  • Create from a copy
    – Quick copy
    – Advanced copy

For example, ‘Create from Last Year’s Actuals’ and press ‘Quick Create’ and FUTRLI will examine your profits, costs and overheads (month-by-month) for the 12 months prior to your scenario’s chosen start date. These will then be applied going forward, and any known varieties are taken into account. For example, if sales are peak in December and trough in January, it will be factored into your projection.

Your QBO budget is the springboard for your FUTRLI forecast. We often hear that entrepreneurs create budgets and allow it to gather dust in a corner of the office, but it’s there to guide you, just like your forecast. Now you’ve built the latter, you can log in and out and get a great idea of how your company is performing at just a quick glance.

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