This is an update to the original post written in March 2019.
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Great – let’s talk about Cash Flow!
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Which means cash flow forecasts are a great tool!
They help you:
- Predict cash movements
- Understand when you might run out of cash
- Plan the best time to invest cash back into your business for growth
- Plan you cash reserves through seasonal sales periods
- Validate your business model
- Prove to investors and stakeholders that you can be successful
Building a cash flow forecast can be time consuming and painful, but you know this already, that’s why you’re here for a template!
How to use the Cash Flow Template
In our template you’ll find:
- Automatic formulas
- An adaptable structure
- Handy notes to help you input your numbers
- Extra rows for expenditure – crucial for breaking down what’s costing your business money, and more importantly, when these costs hit your cash flow
- Extra rows for income – breaking down income sources helps you get a better grip of which products make you the most money.
All these handy features will allow you to create better, more accurate, more bespoke, forecasts for your business.
As with many things in life, the first step to learning is to try it out.
Plug in your expected numbers and the template will do the calculations for you, summing all of the totals and putting the right positives and negatives on each account line.
Cash flow projections, like the one you can make with this template, are crucial for business planning. To be blunt, having a bad understanding of your future cash flow will hurt your business.
Unfortunately, as many people discover, there’s more to “cash flow” than cash flow templates.
Improving your Cash Flow Forecasts
Cash flow projections like the one you can make with this template are crucial for business planning.
To be blunt, having a bad understanding of your future cash flow will hurt your business.
A drop in sales, or a late-paying client combined with rising or unexpected costs can cause businesses to run out of readily available cash.
It happens all the time. Forecasting your future cash flow is a way to look ahead, to be aware of what your likely income and expenditure will be and plan accordingly.
But the best thing about a cash flow template is that it provides a framework to slot your figures into. If you’re not a trained accountant, chances are this is one of the reasons you came looking for a cash flow template in the first place.
You just need to ensure you don’t spend more time tinkering and fixing your spreadsheet than looking at the future and making better business decisions!
What’s better than a cash flow forecast template?
While what you can make is good cash flow projection, there isn’t much more I can do with it.
I can’t test it, I can’t move activities around in time, and obviously this is just a cash flow – if I wanted charts, a profit and loss report or a balance sheet I’d have to make these from scratch too.
And even though I’ve tried to make my cash flow template a simple one, it still doesn’t completely reflect what my business is doing.
What projects has the business got going on, what are their costs, what are the financial consequences of completing them on time?
All of these questions relate to the way my business exists in the Real World.
All too often the Real World is kept separate from financial planning when the exact opposite should be the case!
A business’ real world activities should be clear parts of a forecast – it makes the forecast easy to understand and easy to adapt and test.
This is why we made Brixx, a financial modelling app that puts business activities first and handles the accounting for you. Brixx uses simple inputs to generate financial reports and dashboards up to 10 years long, catering for any kind or scale of company.
While you’re here, why not take a look and see if it suits your needs better than a cash flow template?
Creating a cash flow forecast can be a tricky task, despite templates making things easier, you still need to understand what you’re doing. You might encounter jargon and you’ll need to understand what you’re looking at!
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered, here are some resources to help you along your way:
- Financial Projections Guide for a Startup Business Plan
- A Beginner’s Guide to Forecasting Business Cash Flow for Startups
- 18 Actionable Cash Flow Forecasting Tips
- Cash Flow, Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss – The Key Financial Reports
- How to create a Cash Flow Forecast in Brixx
- How to avoid making a mess of your cash flow forecast in Excel
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