It’s an uncertain time for businesses, but the new cash flow planner can give you insight into your cash flow for the next 90 days. View an overview of your cash flow, and gaze into the future for your business by playing with future expense and income scenarios — without messing up your actual books.
Effortlessly manage your business cash flow right in QuickBooks
Take control of your cash flow
Sync your bank to gain insight into your cash flow. Discover ways to improve it, like chasing overdue invoices, and reviewing whether you really need those recurring expenses.
See the future of your cash flow
See how your cash flow might look in the next 90 days, by playing with potential purchases, investments and income scenarios — without messing up your actual books.
See your cash flow projection
Stay prepared by forecasting money-in and money-out transactions over 30 and 90 days. Your data imports and syncs automatically for up-to-the-minute cash flow analysis, without multiple spreadsheets.
- Gaze and play with your business’ future using the 90-day cash flow planner.
- Run and export reports including profit & loss, and balance sheet.
- Share a summary of your books with your accountant.
What is the Cash Flow Planner?
Quickbook’s Cash Flow Planner is an interactive cash flow tool that forecasts cash flow, the money going in and out for your business over the next 90 days. It looks at your financial history to forecast future money in and money out events. You can also add and adjust future events to see how certain changes affect your cash flow without impacting your books.
You also have a Cash Flow Overview to get a picture of your cash flow position and take actions to improve it including:
- Money In – Overdue invoices, open invoices, quotes
- Money Out – Overdue bills, open bills and other recurring expenses.
To view the Cash Flow Planner and Cash Flow Overview go to the Cash Flow left menu item on your dashboard.
How does the forecast work? What data is included?
The Cash Flow Planner chart uses historical data from your bank accounts connected to QuickBooks Online to forecast future recurring income and expenses. The cash flow forecasting software imports data and syncs automatically for up-to-the-minute cash flow analysis, without multiple spreadsheets. This includes categorised and uncategorised transactions. You can also manually include data to forecast cash flow by adding events that may occur in the future.
The Cash Flow Planner chart does not include:
- Credit card transactions
- Transactions you’ve entered manually into QuickBooks
- Multi-currency enabled files
How do I add events for possible money in or money out?
You can manually add events for potential income and expenses. For example, if you have a big sale coming up, add it as an event so it’s part of the forecast.
Important: Events aren’t actual transactions and won’t affect your finances in QuickBooks.
- Select the Add Event button.
- Select Money in if the event is income, or Money out if it’s an expense.
- Give the event a name and enter an amount, then select Continue.
- Select the date when the event will occur.
- When you’re done, select Save.
To edit or delete an event:
- Select and open an event.
- Select the Date, Name, or Amount field, or change whether it’s Money in or Money out.
- When you’re done, press Save.
It really is as simple as that. Quickbooks Cash Flow Planner can provide you with a cash flow chart, advanced cash flow analysis for your business, an overview of your discounted cash flow and cash flow templates to keep you and your business on the right track. Try our cash flow software for free with our 30-day trial and see for yourself.
Frequently asked questions
At its core, cash flow is a representation of the amount of money coming in and going out of a business at any time. Cash flow is an umbrella term because it covers a lot of different parts of your business. Ultimately though, it’s about balancing income with expenditures.
But what is considered good cash flow? And what are the characteristics of a strong statement of cash flows? These are questions many small business owners ask when they first start tracking cash flow and preparing cash flow statements.
What a good cash flow statement looks like
The amount of cash you should have available can vary significantly depending on the type of business you own and your operation.
There’s no ‘perfect’ cash flow statement that applies to every business – however, there are three general indicators to look out for when operating healthy cash flow:
- You record positive cash flow from your operations: The main priority of a healthy business is its ability to generate more cash than it spends. As such, your business’s core operations should consistently grow your net cash flow over time.
- Your customer payments are up to date: Late payments frequently contribute to an unhealthy cash flow, as business owners contribute to unnecessary expenses such as overdraft fees as a direct consequence. To minimise delayed payments, you should calculate your debtor days (the average time it takes for your customers to pay you) and work out what an acceptable number of debtor days is. Usually, this number will depend on your credit terms and business model, but the lower the number, the better.
- Your investments are funded by cash, not financing: Although from time to time having positive net cash flow from financing activities is necessary when expanding your business, ideally it should be the exception rather than the rule. Using cash flow from your services reassures investors that the cash flow is healthy and the business can pay for its own growth, instead of relying on one-time gains such as selling its assets or raising funds.
Quickbooks helps you manage your cash flow statements online with our cash flow management and accounting software, with access to our cash flow statement templates and much more.
Cash flow solutions
- Streamline your invoicing process: When you track payments, it’s important to be able to see what you’re owed and know how to collect unpaid invoices. QuickBooks makes it easy to create, send, track and send invoice reminders to customers, all in one place.
- Reduce outgoings: Look for areas in which you can reduce recurring monthly, quarterly and annual expenses. Can you reduce the cost of utilities, rent, payroll, subscriptions or other unnecessary expenses?
- Increase income: Consider how you can increase revenue by exploring different types of cash flow.
- Expand your payment options: Being flexible about different payment options can help get your invoices paid faster and keep cash flow steady. Giving your customers multiple ways to pay, for example cheques, PayPal, credit and debit cards is a good place to start.
- Consider your borrowing options: Injecting money into your business by borrowing is another way to boost your cash flow. Ask your current financial service provider what they can offer to help you bridge the gap in the case of cash shortfalls.
- Negotiate accounts payable: Negotiating payment terms with suppliers or other payees can help you spread your cash flow more evenly. With more working capital available, you can prioritise your most important expenses and prevent minor cash flow problems from becoming major issues.
- Customise and automate your financial reports: There are a handful of accounting reports that business owners should be familiar with. Profit and loss statements along with a balance sheet are two examples of reports that need to be checked and understood frequently to understand your cash position.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of cashflow software over Excel spreadsheets is the ability to customise and automate these reports, so you’ll always have a clear picture of your financials, including your cash flow forecast.
Tips for managing cash flow effectively
Tips for managing cash flow effectively. Whether you’re running a start-up or an established business, managing cash flow effectively is critical to long-term success.
But why does cash flow matter?
Many business owners think profitability is the most important measure of success but cash flow tells you how much money you have coming in and out of your business, which is crucial to your businesses’ longevity.
Cash flow indicates whether you can pay for essential expenses like stock, employees, rent and other operating expenses. Poor cash flow management is one of the biggest reasons businesses fail. Without access to sufficient cash, a business simply can’t afford to stay afloat.
So, what can you do to ensure your cash flow is healthy? We’ve created a handy infographic with tips for managing your cash flow effectively to help you get started.