Cash flow forecasting challenges for CEOs make predicting cash inflows a multi-layered process. Getting cash flow projections integrated into business operations without impacting current cash flow cycles is challenging for most companies.
Profitability requires understanding where your money is going and where you can cut costs.
Accurately predicting future cash flows is essential for any organization. Businesses should structure themselves to ensure they have adequate funds and can withstand potential problems.
Understanding the most common cash flow forecasting challenges CEOs face will help you improve your cash flow management processes.
What is Cash Flow Forecasting?
Cash flow forecasting is the process of predicting the future cash flow of a business. Forecasting revenue, expenses, and other cash flows are essential because it helps you plan for future costs and estimate whether your business will be profitable.
Why is Cash Flow Forecasting Important?
When making strategic decisions, a cash company’s cash flow forecasting is important because it allows businesses to see their future cash position, enabling them to make informed decisions.
From a strategic viewpoint, cash flow forecasting is critical for identifying how much money will be available for investments, hiring employees, or purchasing new equipment. A more mundane but essential aspect is that you’ll need cash to pay bills and meet other financial obligations as they come due.
5 Common Cash Flow Forecasting Challenges
Here are five common challenges that CEOs face regarding cash flow forecasting and how you can overcome them.
Manual mistakes in invoices, receipts, and billing statements lead to inaccurate data—which can cause money to be over-budgeted or under-budgeted, making cash flow management exceptionally challenging. By implementing automated systems that help you keep track of invoices and other documents, you can ensure that your company is working with accurate financial data.
Lack of Communication
The whole team needs to be on the same page for a company to make accurate cash flow forecasts. It’s essential to be open to communication about where the company is, where it’s going, and why cash flow forecasting and management are crucial.
If you’re a CEO making cash flow forecasts, you need a good understanding of how your business works. Accurate predictions require input from all departments, including:
Only Using One Forecast
As a CEO, your business needs multiple forecasts to get the most accurate results. If you only use one forecast, there’s a risk that it will be incorrect and put your company in the wrong position if it relies on inaccurate information to make crucial decisions.
For example, if you are planning on buying new equipment and only use one forecast, your company could end up with too much or too little equipment if the forecast turns out to be wrong.
Up-to-date information is essential for data-driven business decisions, and relying on out-of-date information can be dangerous. For example, you might miss an investment opportunity because of a change in the industry or overlook an issue with your cash flow, leading to problems paying bills and employees.
To ensure your forecasts are up-to-date, consider reviewing them at least once per month. Regularly assess each product or location to see how each site or product/service performs and where you can improve.
Also, historical data can improve forecasts (even if it’s last month’s data), possibly surprising you with how much better your projections will be. Historical data can also help you pinpoint the variables that influence your performance. As these variables become clear in real time, the historical data will help you make better decisions
Forgetting About Taxes
When revenue increases, so do your tax liabilities. Of course, bringing in more money means paying more taxes. Because of this, it’s critical to keep taxes in mind when making cash forecasts.
CEOs need to keep an eye on the tax burden their businesses face and the amount of taxes owed by their company at any given time. Taxes can impact cash forecasts and cause a business to run out of funds faster than expected if they aren’t considered.
Ensure a balance between keeping cash and using flexible tax payment options to promote the efficient use of cash.
Need Help with Cash Flow Forecasting?
One of the biggest challenges that CEOs face is forecasting cash flow. Companies can plan for future budget periods using cash flow forecasts, which consider receivables, inventories, and payables.
A good cash flow forecast will make it easier for a company to prepare for its operational needs, such as bond payments, debt repayment, and budgeting. But getting started on your own with cash flow forecasting can take time and effort. That’s where the expert business financial advisors at Founder’s CPA come into play. Contact our experts today to overcome the cash flow forecasting challenges most CEOs face.