Cash flow

Maximizing Cash Flow

After you analyze the current cash situation and develop a forecast, you can focus on identifying the best ways to manage cash flow. You’ll likely need to implement a combination of approaches to both increase money coming in and decrease what you spend. As you did with the forecasting, use the data from key QuickBooks reports to come up with recommended courses of action.

Increase money in

Speeding up existing revenue streams or finding new ones can result in an infusion of cash that you can use immediately to continue running the business.

Accelerate accounts receivable

QuickBooks has a few capabilities to help you reduce accounts receivable outstanding and collect revenues faster.

As your financial source of truth, QuickBooks has reports to help you quickly identify outstanding balances and who owes the most.

You can then choose how to manage these accounts to increase cash on hand.

To see which customers owe the most, use the Open Invoices report. For a detailed breakdown of how much each customer owes and the due dates, check the Customer balance detail report.

Explore relief funding options

There are many options available for eligible businesses and organizations to apply for loans, grants, and other funds. The Intuit COVID-19 Resource Centre is a free resource to help you protect your businesses and your employees.

You can also read the latest on Federal Aid Programs by visiting the Canadian Government’s Support for Small Business Page. The two largest federal relief programs to read about are the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA).

Other options

You can try to implement creative ways to adjust your business models and increase revenues. Here are some ideas to get started:

  • How to offer services remotely
  • Personalize and send invoices out immediately to increase the chances of receiving payments on time.
  • Offer discounts for customers who pay within a shortened time frame.
  • Make it easy for customers to pay by accepting payments online.

Learn more about adjusting your business model during COVID-19.

Reduce money out

The less money you spend, the longer your cash reserves will last. Several strategies can help manage your expenditures and have an immediate effect on your cash flow.

Lower or defer essential payments

Work with suppliers, lenders, and government agencies to explore options for deferring payments or restructuring terms and rates. Use report data from QuickBooks to help prioritize who to contact.

Get tips on communicating with suppliers

Reduce fixed expenses

Large monthly expenses are the easiest to identify. Lowering them can have a substantial impact on available cash for the business.

It may be most helpful to start with the bills that are already due. Suppliers may be flexible on timing or be able to offer payment plans.

For a snapshot of due and overdue bills, use the Unpaid bills report.

To see how much you owe each of the suppliers, use the Expenses by supplier summary.

Explore options to defer loans and taxes

To identify lenders or other note-holders to contact about requesting the deferral of loan payments, use the Transaction detail by account report.

For a list of tax agencies, use the Taxable sales detail report.

To calculate how much payroll tax you should pay, use the Total payroll cost report.

These calculations are based on the information that you provide.

Cut back discretionary spending

There’s a wide range of expenses that you can control. Identifying items that aren’t necessary—either in the short term or at all—can alleviate some of the stress around negatively affecting cash flow. If you use autopay for your bills, suggest that you turn it off until you prioritize the spending.

Marketing and advertising

Marketing budgets typically have some flexibility, and you should be able to adjust them for the next few months. To see average spending, use the Transaction detail by account report.

Subscriptions and memberships

You may have subscriptions or memberships that aren’t necessary in the short term. Cancelling or suspending them can result in immediate savings. To track dues or ongoing subscription expenses, use the dues and subscriptions Transaction detail by account Report.

Meals and entertainment

Try to minimize spending in this area for the next few months. Use the Transaction detail by account report to see average meal expenses.

 Next: Stay a step ahead>>


Coronavirus relief programs are evolving regularly. Please visit Canada’s COVID-19 website for the most up to date information.

The funding described is made available to businesses located in Canada and are not available in other locations.

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