Cashflow forecasting is always useful to keep in control of your business’s finances, and with the current uncertainty for business owners, due to COVID-19, forecasts only become more necessary. If you are worried about how the current situation will affect your cashflow, creating a weekly, and for some people, daily cashflow forecast can help you stay in control of your finances so there are no nasty surprises. We’ve created a simple spread sheet as a tool to help you assess your cashflow situation and help reduce uncertainty.
Why create a cashflow forecast?
In order to be able to make business decisions and plan, an estimate of your cashflow position is essential. You can create a forecast for different scenarios to see potential outcomes. It’s helpful to make a forecast based on what you think will happen, worst-case scenario, and best-case scenario. That will help you plan for different situations, so nothing comes as a surprise.
If you want to borrow cash it’s good to have a forecast because it shows lenders you know what you’re doing, and you have a plan. This will make the lender more likely to agree as they know your situation.
Weekly or daily forecatsing
Weekly forecasting shows you the bigger picture and helps with planning. We recommend all businesses do weekly forecasting.
Sometimes cashflow so tight that a daily cashflow forecast is necessary. Daily forecasting helps with crisis management and can let you see if you have enough cash to pay for something tomorrow. This works the same as the weekly forecast but means you stay on top of your cash and report daily.
If you think you’re going to run out of cash, having a cashflow forecast means you’ll know when and you can put a plan in place.
How to use the cashflow forecasting tool
Our cashflow forecasting tool is a simple spreadsheet to help keep you in control. You can access the spreadsheet here:
One tab is for a weekly forecast and the other is daily. Choose which one based on urgency. If you are in a critical cash situation or near to reaching your overdraft, daily is probably the best option for you. The weekly forecast is fine if cashflow is not a big issue and will show you what will happen in a few weeks.
You can have a go at using the spreadsheet yourself, however if you need any help or support just let us know.
NB**Don’t touch greyed out boxes as these contain formulae. **
Assuming you start your cashflow forecast today:
- Enter your opening balance at the start of today.
- Put all your outgoings that you know you’ll be paying in the box for each day that you know they will be paid. For example, if you know you have a payment of £100 coming out on Wednesday, £500 on Thursday, and £50 on Friday, put these payments in the respective outgoings boxes, under the appropriate category.
This will show what your bank balance will look like if you have no money coming in at all.
Next, put the figure that you think you’ll get into the daily income boxes, that will show you the cashflow if you are right.
Make sure every day that the figures from the previous day are amended to match the real-life figures, so your opening bank balance for the current day agrees. This is essential so you know you are in the correct position each day.
Play around with the figures
Open another copy of the spreadsheet and play around with the figures. For example, you can see what the situation would be like if you could cut certain costs. Try thinking about any non-essential costs, payments which could be frozen, or any terms which can be negotiated. Take these out and see what your cashflow would look like. You can then get in touch with any lenders or suppliers etc. and see if you can negotiate something with them.
We can help you
The tool is designed for you to have a go at forecasting yourself, but we are here to help if you need a hand. Just let us know if you would like us to run through it with you, we are more than happy to help. You can send us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a call if that would make it easier.
We know that cashflow is a big issue for many at the moment and we hope this information and our cashflow forecasting tool has helped. We have a couple of other blogs on the topic of cashflow on our website –
Take a look and please let us know if you want to discuss anything.