Cash flow forecasting and cash flow management advisory should not be a marginal, on-demand proposition. Helping clients look ahead with confidence and putting in place basic cash flow maximisation strategies are core, essential and high value activities for accountants.
Let’s look at what services to embed:
- Budgeting and a cash flow forecast
- Scenario planning
- Cash flow management
- Pricing and debtor reviews
- Debt and capital review
Cash flow forecasting is perhaps the single most obvious and useful accounting output. It should also be the most profitable and valuable service, if done efficiently and sold with a ‘value-based’ mindset and proposition.
And yet many accounting firms leave cash flow forecasting out of their toolset. Why is this?
Firstly, accountants are busy or even bogged down with statutory accounting, tax returns and other compliance outputs. This leaves little time for discretionary service provision, even of the highly valuable type that can change outcomes for clients.
Secondly, tools have often been complex, over-blown and somewhat daunting. Desktop-based, expensive and intricate forecasting tools have often left the profession feeling like they’re trying to break the Enigma codes just to get a forecast done.
Thirdly, accountants have often seen forecasting as an on-demand, “the bank needs it” offering that comes off the bench when needed but rarely makes the starting line-up. This is easy and – let’s be honest – an intellectually lazy position to take.
Fourthly, it can be somewhat out of the comfort zone for many accountants to forecast – i.e. to make the judgement calls, extrapolations, and leaps of faith that forecasting requires – when they have been trained and conditioned to get things ‘right’, to balance the books, to reconcile actualities. Forecasting is pushing out into the unknown, beyond the edge of the map into new territories.
Learn what is the best riposte to the obstacles listed above in our recently released white paper 'Cash is King - Cloud Style' that is available for free download.