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.
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 whitepaper 'Cash is King - Cloud Style', available for free download.
Firms that can overcome these obstacles with the right tools and right mindset. By doing so, accountants open their practices up to high-revenue recurring services that deliver value to clients.
How to Offer Cash Flow Advisory Services:
- Recognise cash flow services as a core revenue generator and proactively make time to offer forecasting to clients.
- Explore new cloud-based tools that can generate forecasts quickly.
- Add scenario planning sessions to the annual budgeting and forecasting process.
- Consider how to convey the value of a forecast to clients.
Our CEO, Richard Francis has written a comprehensive guide on embedding cash flow services into their key offering. Get started with our free ‘Cash is King’ whitepaper here.