Your financial statements tell you how your business has operated over the past month or year, but you can’t drive a car by looking in the rear view mirror. You need to do some future planning to make sure that you have the resources that you need to “feed” your hungry business. You really need to look at your Cash, and how you will collect it and use it over the coming months.
The best planning tool is the Cash Flow Forecast. Just as your budget and income statement look at sales, cost of goods sold and operating expenses, the Cash Flow Forecast looks at money coming in and going out of your business over the next 13 weeks. For the layman, this is a complex set of spreadsheets, planning for every payment that you need to make, and every check you’re going to receive. The greater the detail of the forecast, the more accurate it’s going to be. For the experienced CFO, a cash flow forecast is the bread and butter of financial planning for your company.
When you examine the cash impact of Payroll, for example, the important thing is what is coming out of your checkbook each time you run payroll. Every deduction, tax payment and fee needs to be added in. The same goes for any planned and potentially unplanned payments that you may have to make.
In looking at your cash receipts, it’s important to not look at the aging of your AR Invoices to determine when you’re getting the money. You need to look at when your customer is really going to pay you. You may give a customer net 30 day terms, but if they never pay you till the invoice is 45 or 60 days old, you can’t depend on that money till then.
The skilled executives at CFO Simplified are ready to work with you to assemble a Cash Flow Forecast that will make your daily planning less stressful, assuring that you have the cash you need, when you need it.