Top Seven Tips for Accurate Cash Flow Forecasting

Top Seven Tips for Accurate  Cash Flow Forecasting


Do you want to know how your business will fare in the future? Apply the following methods to improve your forecasting.

Forecasting your small business cash flow helps minimize potential risks and can indicate if your business is ready to grow💰🌱.

Proper cash flow management is a given. But monitoring all the money coming and going does not always provide all the vital information you need to make accurate predictions.

The following tips and areas of focus will contribute to a better strategy for your forecasting.

Tip #1 – Estimate Future Sales

The accuracy of cash flow forecasting relies on multiple variables, of which arguably none is as important as the sales forecasts.

To improve accuracy, make estimates based on the following series of factors:

  • Market share
  • Resources
  • Competition
  • Pricing

Tip #2 - Estimate Profit and Loss

After your sales projections, factor in the projected costs, too! This gives you more information about your profitability.

Of course, you must know both the expected revenue and the cost of sales to estimate projected gross and net profits.

Tip #3 – Perform Monthly Sales Estimates

Some businesses do not turn out enough data in a single week to make accurate projections. This happens because customers sometimes delay payments. Or the money simply does not come through in time to match the daily revenue on the books.

For that reason, it is important to stick to monthly estimates with consideration to any known delays.

Tip #4 – Include Payments Due

Sometimes your small business might have to pay for expenses, services, or purchases. And those types of payments usually find their way on Profit and Loss statements.

In some cases, however, a registered payment does not mean that the money is to leave right now. That money could leave the account only in the next month, for example.

Hence, you must include projected payments in the cash flow forecast to further improve its accuracy.

The following are examples of payments due worth considering:

  • GST, payroll taxes
  • Interest rates on loans
  • Utilities

Tip #5 – Compare with Current Cash Flow

One of the causes of inaccurate forecasting is unrealistic expectations.

It is always important to check the forecast versus the current cash flow statement. Large discrepancies that you cannot back up with facts may signal missing variables in the equation.

Tip #6 – Make Consistent Predictions

Doing a cash flow forecast once may not give you a degree of accuracy that small business owners hope to achieve.

One of the best ways to improve the accuracy of cash flow forecasts is to make it a habit. Updating your forecast as often as possible with new information can drastically improve its accuracy.

Furthermore, forecasting over long periods of time helps uncover certain trends. Again, it is all data that can help improve future predictions.

Tip #7 – Account for Variable Costs

Payroll taxes and interest rates are unlikely to change from month to month. But other costs may change depending on the weather, season, and other exterior factors.

So, when calculating costs, it is critical to allow some wiggle room for the variable costs. Those are costs that may vary from month to month – utility costs, for one, and perhaps the phone bill.



Accuracy Comes from Good Data

It is nearly impossible to create a realistic forecast without using all the right information. This is especially true when many things can happen in the future that will be out of your control.

But, using as much data as possible can only lead to more accurate forecasts.

So, keep collecting the right data and use it well!!

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This document is for educational purposes only and may not apply to your tax situation.