Cashflow is a hugely important issue for small businesses, but if you’re looking to measure and control your cashflow position in the most effective and proactive way, there are three key areas that are essential to good cash management:
- Real-time cashflow data that shows your current cash position.
- Practical insights into your cash position so you see any potential cashflow threats.
- Intelligent actionable guidance, so you proactively maintain positive cashflow.
But how do you consolidate these three key areas into your cashflow management?
Caroline Plumb, Fluidly founder and CEO, explains the need to take your cashflow from being a theoretical reporting function and to turn it into a practical reality you can execute on.
Understanding the practical reality of your cashflow
Detailed cashflow statements and cash reporting are extremely useful when you’re a small business that’s looking to maintain a positive cash position. But dashboard-style apps that show reporting and performance don’t provide everything you need.
The main cashflow pain point is not getting access to the right insights and reporting – it’s having clear action points that you can execute on.
When it comes to a practical approach to cashflow management, what a business owner cares about is knowing that there’s cash to cover thing like payroll costs, VAT bills and that there’s enough ‘runway’ to keep you trading if cash gets low.
To do that effectively, you need to take your financial overview out of the theoretical realm – and put your cash numbers into a practical context.
Driving cashflow with meaningful data and actionable insights
With a dashboard style of cashflow management, what you see is data, rather than insights or actionable guidance. What’s needed is data, that then leads to insights that, in turn, lead to execution – so you know what to do about your cash issues.
The goal is to optimise your cash in practical ways, so you get paid faster. That’s done through automating things like sending out invoice reminders and credit control chasing emails, or having reminders in place to phone late-paying customers. So there’s an element of turning cashflow into a practical reality, so you know where to focus your efforts as a business.
With an intelligent cashflow engine, such as Fluidly, you take the historical actuals and trading performance from your integrated cloud accounting platform, providing you with cashflow outputs that are real, pragmatic and (critically) actionable.
A smart way to act, execute and avert cashflow issues
A smart software solution sits in your system and becomes your ‘anti-virus software for cashflow’. In the same way that a system like McAfee looks for online security threats, a modern cashflow app constantly monitors your financial data, looking for threats and alerting you with clear, practical instructions on how to avoid these specific cashflow pains.
With a smart financial engine, you go beyond reviewing historic data and can get truly proactive about tackling cashflow. By automating the key predictions and warnings, you’re continuously monitoring and reviewing your cashflow status around the clock.
That gives you the opportunity to then act, execute and avert any cash problems.
Consolidating the power of humans and software
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key element of many fintech solutions, and that’s moving us away from passive dashboard apps towards active smart solutions. But when it comes to proactive cashflow, the true value of AI comes is in combining humans with machines.
By combining the knowledge, experience and creative thinking of a real human finance professionals with the actionable insights of a smart software solution, you bring together all the core elements of the ideal solution for proactive cashflow management.
So, if your business wants to real control over cash, you need to put the foundational elements of modern cashflow management in place.
This means you must:
- Use a cloud platform to manage your everyday accounting – so you record all of the business’s cash transactions and turn them into meaningful data
- Integrate Fluidly with your accounting data – so you have access to a truly intelligent cashflow engine at the heart of your financial system
- Work with experienced finance professionals – who can take the key insights, actions and notifications from Fluidly and use them to drive the execution of your cashflow management.
Fluidly’s intelligent approach to cashflow
Fluidly is an intelligent cashflow engine that helps you, your finance team and your business advisers get the absolute best results from your financial model and cashflow drivers.