Cash Flow Archives - Page 5 of 6 - BUSY01 and First Class Accounts Ovens and Murray

Category Archives for "Cash Flow"

create cash flow forecast

How to create a cash flow forecast for your business

How to create a cash flow forecast for your business

A cash flow forecast is an important tool for business planning. And right now, understanding the cash coming in and going out of your business is vital.

A cash flow forecast will show you how long your business can continue to survive on current sales levels, by showing you how much money you’ll have in the bank at the end of a period.

It will give you an understanding of what the revenue drivers are in your business, and give you visibility of your expenses and the things you can control. Having this information in a forecast will also allow you to plan for different scenarios, work out your priorities and understand the outcomes of different options such as diversification.

A cash flow plan can give you a proactive tool to deal with uncertainty. If you are seeking funding in the form of a loan, applying for business support or just establishing your long term survival, you'll need a cash flow plan.

What information do you need?

We can help you to create a plan for your business. The plan is only as good as the data you have. So here’s what you’ll need to get started:


Understanding where your cash is coming from

Start with revenue from sales - break your sales figures up by product line and across channels. This will show you where the cash is coming from. For example:

  • Does 80% of your revenue come from only 20% of your products?
  • Do you sell to different markets and does one deliver more revenue than others?
  • Are some of your products high value but low volume or low value at high volume?

The data you collect will enable you to ask questions, such as can you reduce margin to lift sales, can you push volume up or are there other channels to sell through?

Make sure you include all other revenue streams, such as grants, tax refunds or investment in your cash inflows.

Understanding expenses - where is the cash going to?

This will include all the costs associated with your business, including rent, wages, supply materials, bank loan fees and charges, tax bills, and electricity.

If you have a bank loan, include the details such as the length of the term and the monthly payments.

Your cash flow plan should also include tax payments when they are due and any capital expenditures.

Some of your variable expenses will directly relate to revenue such as freight or materials. When your sales stop, these will drop too, so your cash flow plan should reflect this relationship in order for you to scenario plan.

Controlling expenses - what costs are fixed and what are the variable costs that you can control? You may not be able to stop fixed expenses like rent, power and internet, but you could reduce the cash going out on petrol and travel, cleaning, and even directors' drawings.

Making informed decisions in your business

A good cash flow forecast will collate all the data from your business in one place. It will allow you to plan and work out how long your business can weather a storm. It will also help you make decisions around staffing, purchasing inventory, ordering supply materials or investing in growth.

It’s worth remembering that a cash flow plan is a different tool to a budget. Here’s one example: a budget will show sales but a cash flow plan will show the cash benefit of those sales. If you offer credit to customers, your sales may not result in immediate cash flow.


Want to get a handle on cash flow in your business?

If you’re not certain of how to get this information from your accounting software, talk to us about which reports to run. You may need a combination of accounting software reports and projected figures.


Use the information above to source the data you’ll need and get in touch. We can help you build a plan that gives you cash flow projections to assist your decision making.

Managing Cashflow

Managing cashflow and accessing emergency funding

Managing cashflow and accessing emergency funding

Working capital is a vital component of any successful trading business – providing the liquid cash needed for everyday operations. Suddenly finding your business without this cash can be a shock, but there are ways to fill these cashflow holes and get the company back on track.

In short, it comes down to careful cashflow management, and ensuring you have the best possible routes to additional finance and funding provision.

Key ways we can help include

Helping you understand your cash requirements

The starting point of any funding search will always be to understand what your current cash requirements are. This means sitting down to review your whole financial position. Then, armed with this information, we can see exactly how much you’ll need to borrow.

Liaising with banks and lenders

We can put you in touch with the most suitable banks, lenders and alternative funding providers, and can help in conversations with these lenders. For example, you may want to discuss the possibility of extending your overdraft facility, or whether you could temporarily suspend principal payments etc.

Preparing financial information for lenders

Any lender will want detailed financial reporting to back up your loan application. We can produce up-to-date accounts, cashflow statements and forecasts to help banks and finance providers understand your financial health and the risk levels involved in lending to your company.

Accessing government assistance

The Government is offering a variety of ways to support businesses financially during the coronavirus crisis. We can explain what loans, grants, tax reliefs or filing extensions may be available to you, and can help you fill out all the relevant forms and applications to make a claim.

Improving your debtor tracking

Outstanding customer invoices is another key area to get under control. We can help you understand your aged debt position, and identify which invoices you should be prioritising when it comes to chasing up customers and finding mutually agreeable payment terms.

Extending credit from suppliers

The coming months will be tough for many businesses, so it’s worth having open and honest communication with customers and suppliers around when payments will realistically be made. Agreeing on small discounts, part payments or extended terms will all help to increase liquidity for everyone.

It’s likely to be a rocky road for many businesses over the next few weeks and months. So, working together as a business community to support each other will be essential.

If you’d like to get in control of your cashflow management and funding needs, we’re here to help. We can help you crunch those cashflow numbers, access the best possible routes to funding and remove some of the worry during these testing times.

Talk to us about getting on top of cashflow.

The value of cashflow forecasting

The value of cashflow forecasting

During challenging times, many businesses are seeing income either disappear completely or drop to dangerous levels.

To be able to navigate the future path of your cashflow, you need to start forecasting, so you can map out your financial position over the coming months and can take the appropriate action to safeguard your cash position.

Forecasting your future cash piepeline

Projecting your cashflow pipeline forwards during a crisis is vital. Having access to detailed forecasts helps you to scenario-plan, search for cost-savings and look for strategies that will preserve your cashflow position.

Remaining in control of the cash coming into (and going out of) the business is the real focus, so you can accurately predict your financial position and can resolve any issues.

Key ways to get more from your forecasting

Run regular forecasts

The financial landscape is changing on a daily basis at present. A cashflow forecast is not a document that remains static. Variables and external drivers are literally changing each day, so it’s vital that you run frequent forecasts and react swiftly to any projected cash issues as they become apparent.

Use the latest cashflow forecasting apps 

Cashflow forecasting apps, like Futrli, integrate with your Xero accounts, giving a drilled-down view of how your cash inflows and outflows will pan out over the coming months – information that will inform and justify the decisions you make during these extremely challenging times.

Explore the right revenue streams

Most sectors will have seen their face-to-face sales drop to absolute zero since quarantine restrictions came into place. To overcome this, there’s a real imperative to explore revenue streams and new opportunities for income. An example of this is coffee shops that now sell roasted beans online (this will depend on lockdown restrictions). The idea is to find ways to increase the money that’s coming in the door and balance out your unavoidable expenses.

Get proactive with cost-cutting

If you can reduce cash outflows to a minimum, that will have a real impact on the health of your future cashflow. Pare back your operations and aim to reduce things like unnecessary software subscriptions, or over-ordering of basic supplies. Negotiating cheaper rates with suppliers, if possible, will also help.

Review your staffing needs

Now’s not the time to make anyone redundant, but you can look at ways to reduce the costs of staffing and resourcing. Reducing working hours or redeploying staff in different roles are all options that reduce payroll costs, while also looking after your staff’s welfare.

Run a variety of scenarios

Changing the financial drivers in your forecast model allows you to scenario-plan different strategies and options. Many of these will be in a long-term plan when restrictions ease. Scenario-planning lets you answer questions and will give you some hard evidence on which to base your decision-making and strategic outlook over the coming months.

Look at various ways to access funding

If forecasts show a giant cashflow hole coming up, you’re going to need additional funding to get through this crisis. We can assist your business to investigate funding opportunities from grants, banks, loan providers, alternative lenders and crowd-sourcing funders.

Forcasting is an important step to give you the business intelligence to support your decision making.

Talk to us about setting up cashflow forecasting.  Get in touch.

Keeping your cashflow strong in tough times

Keeping your cashflow strong in tough times

Keeping your cashflow strong in tough times

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in tough economic times.

When sales are slow, there are still overheads and salaries that need to be sorted. Pre-planning and being proactive can help you weather tighter economic periods and allow you to continue to thrive.

Make sure you have a clear picture of your payroll, and any other planned expenses that will need to be accounted for.

If there’s even a possibility that there could be a shortfall, it’s essential to meet this head-on. Whether this means talking to your supplier or creditors to figure out an arrangement, or compromising on other business outgoings, you must make a plan to ensure that the business, or your staff, won’t suffer.

Minimise the stress of cash-flow

Invoice early

Send any invoices that you can, and in advance if possible. Perhaps consider whether you have any regular clients or customers that you could offer a retainer or similar deal to if they book services or make a purchase from you in advance.

Chase payment 

Use this opportunity to chase up any outstanding payments. Strong communication and relationships matter - talk to clients and chase invoices.

Talk to suppliers​​​​​

A little honesty can go a long way. Perhaps they can extend a line of credit for your payments to them. In most cases, a good supplier would rather offer a little flexibility to keep an ongoing business relationship.

Review Inventory

Can you find a cheaper supplier locally to avoid the shipping costs or discuss alternative products that allow you to reduce expenses?

Review your costs

It’s also a good idea to do a general review of expenses. Business costs can creep up, and it’s a great idea to make a time to check on your expenses regularly, no matter what your financial situation. Review all of your regular payments and subscriptions as well as upcoming costs. There may be travel, functions or purchases which you can decide on an alternative approach to.

Talk to the bank or inland revenue

If cashflow is tight, make sure you have conversations early so you have everything in place to see you through.

Need help? We can help you implement strategies to protect your business for the long terms and help you alleviate cashflow worries.  Get in touch.

Colourful abacus on white background

Understanding Your Balance Sheet

Understanding Your Balance Sheet

To understand the financial position of a business at a specific point of time, look at the balance sheet. The balance sheet may also be called the statement of financial position. Together with the Profit and Loss Statement, and possibly other reports such as the Statement of Cash-flow, these reports provide a complete understanding of the financial position and business performance.

So what’s involved?

The balance sheet has three sections: assets, liabilities and equity.

What are Assets?

Assets are things and resources that a company owns. They have current and/or future value and can be measured in currency.

Assets may be subdivided on the balance sheet into bank accounts, current assets, (receivable within one year), fixed assets, inventory, non-current (or long term) assets, intangible assets and prepayments.

These include banks and other financial accounts held, accounts receivable (trade debtors), supplier deposits or bonds, stock on hand, property, equipment, vehicles, investments and intellectual property. All of these can be translated into monetary value.

What are Liabilities?

Liabilities are amounts owed to suppliers and other creditors for goods or services already received. Liabilities may also include amounts received in advance for future services yet to be provided by the business.

Liabilities are generally subdivided into current, (payable within one year), and non-current liabilities.

These include accounts payable (trade creditors), payroll obligations (salaries, taxes, superannuation), interest, customer deposits received, warranties and loans.

What is Equity?

Equity includes owner funds contributed, drawings, retained earnings and stocks. The value of the equity equals assets minus liabilities.

Transactions that affect profit and loss accounts also affect balance sheet accounts. For example, providing a service increases the accounts receivable balance, which therefore increases the equity.

The Balance Sheet Equation

The balance sheet must always balance! Asset value = liabilities + equity.

For example, if you buy a new vehicle for the business at say $50,000, having paid a $10,000 deposit and taking out a $40,000 loan, the value of fixed assets increases by $50k, but the bank asset value decreases by the $10k deposit paid. The value of liabilities increases by $40k loan, thus leaving the balance sheet balanced on both sides of the equation.

The balance sheet equation shows you how much money you would have left over if you paid all your bills and debts and sold all your assets at a given date. This amount is the Owner’s Equity.

Note that the balance sheet equity total is not necessarily how much the business is worth at market value. Assets are listed on the balance sheet at their transaction value, which may be very different from the market value. Some assets may be worth more, and others may depreciate in value. Business value is calculated not just on the balance sheet figures but many other factors.


Need more information?

Talk to us. Get the complete picture of your business performance and financial position, regardless of what stage of business you are at.


Contact us here.

egain control of your business

Regain control of your business

Regain control of your business

Not all business owners want to grow their business. Some may just want more control. After all, your business is there to serve you; you shouldn’t be a slave to it. So, how do you regain that much needed control?

There are three essential tools all businesses must have:

  1. An annual Business Plan.
  2. An annual forecast.
  3. Ongoing reporting and accountability.
The annual Business Plan​

Your Business Plan shouldn’t be a lengthy document living in a dusty drawer. It should be on one page and displayed somewhere highly visible so you can review it regularly.

Best developed using an independent facilitator, your Business Plan should articulate exactly what you want from your business; the hours you want to work, the holidays you want to take, and the income you need.

You’ll identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to monitor, vulnerabilities to manage, and opportunities to act upon. You’ll set no more than four key goals for the year, breaking these down into quarterly goals with clear actions to complete in order to achieve them.

The annual forecast

Your forecast will record how cash must flow throughout the year to give you what you want from your business. Too often business owners only create a forecast because the bank has requested one.

The forecast will highlight your business's weaknesses, when cashflow problems might arise, and how you need to manage your business financially to achieve the goals in your Business Plan. Don’t wait for your bank to request a forecast; it’s an essential tool to ensure the success of your business every year.

Ongoing reporting and accountability

The value lies in the implementation of your Business Plan and annual forecast. Constantly reviewing your progress against your targets is crucial. Ongoing reporting allows you to track actual results against your forecast to ensure progress towards your goals.

The best way to ensure you don’t fail to implement the plan is to be held accountable by someone independent. Every business owner needs a coach. A great coach will work with you to get a result better than you could achieve on your own. They’ll uncover the root causes of problems in your business and empower you to do better. Most importantly, they’ll hold you accountable to getting the important stuff done.

There are no magic bullets to business success. All businesses need these three tools.

Get in touch to discuss how we can work together - to help you regain control of your business.

“Dreams x Goals x Plans x Actions = Your success” - Brad Sugars

Contact us here.

Business woman planning for seasonal dips

Planning for seasonal dips in income

Planning for seasonal dips in income

Seasonal dips in income can be highly challenging when you’re a small business. But there are proactive ways to predict, plan for and overcome these dips in revenue.

The key to dealing with seasonal dips is to know when they’re most likely to occur, and to have measures in place to spread your income and revenue pipeline over the course of the year.

Understanding seasonality in your sector

If your business is seasonal such as pool supplies, or a ski gear specialist, you’ll be used to the peaks and troughs, but many 'non-seasonal' businesses experience times during the financial year where sales and revenue peak – and, on the flipside, where sales and revenue experience a pronounced dip.

When income is low at certain times of the year, it makes for challenging times.

So, what are the key ways to plan for this kind of seasonality?​​​​​
Forecast your seasonality

It’s vital to know WHEN you’re most likely to experience any seasonal dips. Looking at bench-marking reports for your industry is one way to predict the seasonality in your niche or sector. But you can also use your own accounting data to great effect. Look back through your profit & loss reports and spot where the peaks and troughs have occurred over preceding years.

Charge a premium in peak time 

One straightforward approach is to apply premium pricing for your products/services during the busy season. By increasing your pricing, you boost your overall revenue, giving you more working capital to see you through the leaner months when sales and income are at their lowest.

Offer additional peak-time services

Offering added extras and other additional service lines during peak time is another way to maximise the season. In the months where customers are most engaged, look to upsell these premium services and offer more value. Satisfied clients will be more inclined to pay for added extras, giving you an increased revenue stream from the same number of customers.

Target other markets

Exploring other related markets is another useful tactic. When you’re experiencing downtime, look for other ways to monetise your existing assets, products or services. For example, if you’re a hotel where sales peak in summertime, offer discounted conference space in the winter months to boost revenue.

Diversify your products/services

If one product/service has a known seasonal dip, look at adding an additional product or service to offset this downtime. For example, a a ski resort could promote bike-riding or hiking breaks during the warmer summer months to keep revenue constant. Likewise a pool maintenance firm could establish an outdoor fireplace business for the colder months.

Have a regional e-commerce strategy

If you’re dependent on a small local market, broadening your marketing and e-commerce strategies can help to attract a wider customer base – and bolster sales. Paid advertising through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter can easily target new geographical markets, bringing in new customers and giving your revenue a much-needed uplift during seasonal troughs.

Talk to us about planning for seasonality

f your business is struggling with seasonal dips, and the resulting impact on cashflow, come and talk to us. We’ll help you identify the timing of your seasonal downtime, and come up with a clear strategy for stabilising your income across the year.

Get in touch to start beating those seasonal dips.

Financially stress free piggy on christmas holiday on beach

Have you got a strategy for a financially stress-free holiday period?

Have you got a strategy for a financially stress-free holiday period?

Christmas holiday breaks are a time to spend with family, friends & have a chance to recharge for the year ahead. We look forward to warmer weather and finally setting up an out-of-office email for the break. However, for business owners, this time can be stressful without careful cash-flow planning.

Even if you do continue to operate through the holiday shutdown season, your customers' financial behaviour may not remain the same.

It can be pretty disappointing to work hard all year only to find that once you have paid staff, overheads and creditors, you have little or nothing left in the bank to cover your own time off.

The strategies and tips shared below are generalised, however, we are here if you need to budget and prepare a cash-flow forecast. We can also help if you need assistance in applying for short term finance to get you through the break.

Why is cash-flow planning particularly important at this time of year?

Staff leave needs to be covered in addition to your normal fixed overheads like rent, creditors and tax compliance. The budget and forecasting process ensures you know your numbers and are prepared. If you are shutting down, you won't be driving revenue during this period and sales may take time to get started again in the new year.

Here are some simple strategies that can help:
Decide your Christmas and holiday break dates

Confirm these with staff, customers and suppliers.

Budget and plan for annual leave 

Remember the pay rates may be higher than standard hourly rates, also factor in statutory public holidays.

Decide

If you are going to pay out leave in full at the beginning of the Christmas break or continue to pay as usual throughout the break.

Review your work in progress (WIP)

Plan to complete jobs or services that can be invoiced and paid before Christmas (remember if you don’t invoice and get paid before Christmas, you may not see the money until mid to late January).

Capacity planning

There is often a rush to get everything done before Christmas, whether it's the kitchen benchtop installed or the beauty treatment before the break, so make sure you have the capacity to maximise on this.

Stock-take

Do you need to order in goods now to be able to complete work in progress? Check that there is stock on hand available.

Making an arrangement with the Tax Office

if you find you can not make payments, it is possible to apply for an instalment arrangement. There are costs associated with this, however it may provide a solution that gets you through the holiday period. Talk to us, we can help.


Talk to us about enhancing your financial support

If you can’t make ends meet, now is the time to organise short term financial relief like an arranged overdraft of loan, rather than hoping it will come right. Please let us know if you need any help with cash-flow forecasting, budgeting or finance applications.

Get in touch to improve your cash flow.

Business man with umbrella what is the forecast

What’s in the forecast?

What’s in the forecast?

When we set out on a fishing trip or hike, we always check the weather forecast.

It’s no different in business. The forecast tells us if there’s bad weather (poor cashflow) in store based on the direction we’re heading.

Your forecast will tell you:

  • 1
    Whether you have enough sales in the pipeline to give you the desired level of profit you want for the year.
  • 2
    Whether your margins are appropriate.
  • 3
    If you need to review your pricing or production processes.
  • 4
    If your business is running as efficiently as it could be.
  • 5
    Where savings can be made.
  • 6
    Whether you should invest more to get a better return.
  • 7
    How much money you need to set aside for tax.
  • 8
    How much money you can draw out of the business each month without running short.
  • 9
    How much debt you’ll be able to pay off.
  • 10
    Whether or not you will be able to meet all of the bank’s requirements.

The difference between a business forecast and a weather forecast is that, when the business forecast is showing bad weather, you can do something about it to make the sun come out. The forecast will tell you what’s going well and what’s not, so you can make adjustments to reduce the impact of bad weather.

Just as you wouldn’t go fishing without checking the forecast, you shouldn’t run your business without an annual forecast. So, don’t live in your raincoat, waiting to get soaked - take control and talk to us about getting your forecast done so you know what to expect.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” - Alan Lakein

We’re here to help you, every step along the way. Get in touch!