Positive cash flow is a business owner’s best friend. Great for business and great for your confidence. Unfortunately, tight cash flow is the reality for many small businesses in Australia. Research shows 51% of start-ups close within four years with poor cash flow responsible for 41% of those closures.
That’s a sobering statistic. And we believe an avoidable one.
With our clients at iKeep, cash flow is high on the agenda when we talk accounting strategy with them. They ask us to manage cash flow and we push back. They get surprised and we get the chance to tell them why it’s better if bookkeepers don’t touch cash flow.
With traditional forms of accounting – think desktop and multiple manual entry – a bookkeeper would create a spreadsheet with cash flow information. This takes too long to do properly and requires somebody to continually update and monitor cash in and cash out. Not easy if there is multiple transactions and bank accounts. They pass this the business owner who doesn’t use it because the interface is too hard to manage OR the information is out of date.
It’s not an effective solution.
What we do is advise our clients to manage their own cash flow BUT do it smartly using online apps that link with the cloud accounting platform we are using to manage their accounts.
This gives the business owner the cash flow information in real time in a spreadsheet version or a visually appealing graphic. At a glance the business owner gets a current snapshot of the cash flow situation. Everything is updated automatically so no manual entries which of course means more time and money to spend on other areas of the business.
And yep! There is an App for that. Here are our picks:
Futrli: Get a grip on your cashflow and make decisions about your business' future, fast. No one likes spreadsheets, and keeping your forecasting and reporting up to date can be a challenge. Futrli shows you real-time data for a live view of business, perfect for business owners and advisors. When you view your forecasting and reporting as a wall of numbers, it's impossible to collaborate over. Integrating your future assumptions with current performance and using the past as a marker is the only way to work..
Vistr: Has a strong forecasting tool represented in a user-friendly graphic. The business owner can look ahead and get proactive about managing costs in lean times or expanding and consolidating in the good times.
We find business owners value their bookkeeper more if they can help with suggestions to improve cash flow. For us, it’s about guiding them towards online solutions that save them time and money. The longer they’re in business, the more likely they’ll need our services so it make good business sense to us.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!