Float Cash Flow Forecasting for QuickBooks Online
Cash is king. And, I am very much a monarchist in that sense.
It’s no secret that the accounting profession has to evolve, along with the rest of the world, because of the recent strides in technology. But, the foundation of good accounting remains the same: helping clients with their numbers, and in turn, helping them to run and manage their business.
Fluctuating Cash Flow
The majority of my clients carry out project work for their businesses. This usually results in lumpy cash flow. And, while peaks and valleys in the natural world are beautiful, in finance they tend to be just terrifying for my clients, especially when they don’t see them coming. Keeping up-to-date with my clients’ needs for their business, and continually updating and reconfiguring their forecast in a spreadsheet, was a nightmare.
And, that’s where Float came in. I stumbled upon Float’s cash flow software on the QuickBooks® marketplace and I haven’t looked back since. For myself, and for my clients, Float is a game changer. The fear of valleys in clients’ cash flow no longer keeps me – or them – up at night.
Because Float is so visual, I can use it with my clients in order to truly understand their cash flow. For people that aren’t big into numbers, or people that just don’t know what to do, Float makes things so much easier. By using Float to monitor their own cash position, clients gained greater control over, and confidence in, the running of their businesses. And, in turn, I had the confidence that my clients had a reliable source of truth for their cash, day and night.
Getting My Practice on Board With Float
Once I’d made the decision to get on board with Float, it wasn’t long before I started offering it to my clients. I decided pretty early on to include Float in my client offering, and found that either most clients were happy to go ahead with it or at least intrigued.
I threw away my spreadsheets almost immediately. With Float’s easy-to-use interface, I was able – in no time at all – to set my clients up and send them on their way to really understanding their cash flow. Because Float is so visual, my clients can see what’s happening in their business at a glance. The reality of Float is that I only have to check clients’ forecasts when they need advice. Spending hours poring over complex spreadsheets is very much a thing of the past.
Understanding the difference between cash and profit can be difficult. People often have a lot of trouble keeping on top of their cash flow for this reason. Understanding that they need to think in advance is made so much easier with Float’s cash flow graph. Seeing a visual representation of their cash flow means that clients can better plan to avoid any potential cash flow problems.
What Float Means for the Future of Accountants
Because of the time I’ve saved in using Float to forecast my clients’ cash flow, I’m now able to extend my advisory services. Adding Float to our client offering has been a huge value-add to our practice.
In Float, expected payment dates of invoices and bills can be changed and updated with ease. In this sense, Float is much more than a simple cash flow forecasting tool. Float shows up when bills or invoices are overdue and allows you to update the date to when you think it will be paid. It allows my clients to keep on top of their credit control, and acts as a cash management tool and a cash flow forecasting tool.
The ability to walk through multiple scenarios with clients using Float’s scenario planning feature means there’s more clarity than ever into their business systems. Planning for fewer sales, or a new member of staff, would have been a huge task if we were still using spreadsheets. With Float, it’s a breeze.
Instead of spending hours manually forecasting cash flow for multiple businesses at various stages of growth, we’ve been able to outsource it, saving not only time, but also money. With more time available, and a clearer headspace because of it, I have been able to spend more time helping my clients to plan for their future.
Float and QuickBooks Online
The sync between Float and QuickBooks Online is one-way. This means that QuickBooks is always the source of truth for my clients and myself. Because Float automatically syncs with QuickBooks every 24 hours, I don’t have to spend billable hours manually reconciling data.
I have always been a firm believer in rolling with the punches and moving along with modern technology. But, it wasn’t until I discovered Float that I realized just how useful the cloud could be. Whenever my client has a problem, I can jump into Float with them to help them out. Equally, if a client needs to present financial information to investors or other interested parties, they can easily export a PDF or CSV to show a high level report of their cash flow and financial breakdown.
Because we make sure that our clients’ bank accounts are regularly reconciled within QuickBooks, we have further confidence in Float’s accuracy. No number goes unaccounted for – every penny is counted and contributes to the forecast.
I couldn’t recommend Float more highly. It’s the tool that bridges the gap between the knowledge of an accountant and the goals of a business owner.
Key points to remember:
- Float saves you eight hours a month in time otherwise spent updating spreadsheets.
- Oversee your clients’ updates and changes made directly in the app.
- Export PDFs and CSVs to share with the board or outside interests.
- Syncs seamlessly with QuickBooks every 24 hours.