Use our cash flow forecast template to help manage your cash throughout the year.
What is a cash flow forecast?
The objective of a cash flow forecast is to ensure you have enough accessible cash in your business to pay for the things that keep it going. Your cash flow forecast will reveal whether and when a shortage of cash is expected, giving you a chance to address this.
A cash flow forecast shows the expected monthly incoming and outgoing money of your business for a 12 month period (this could include; cash payments, bills, wages, direct debit transfers, cheques etc). It also shows your expected cash position (i.e. surplus or deficit) for each month.
Where do I start?
Every business will have its own bespoke cash flow forecast, as it will include income and outgoings that are specific to it alone. Therefore it is important to tailor the template to your business. Remember that a cash flow forecast relates to the actual monthly income and expenditure of your business, so only record items when money is received in or paid out.
What do I do with my cash flow forecast once it’s finished?
Don’t file your cash flow forecast away once it’s complete. Look at the figures and think about what they tell you about your business. For example:
- Does the closing cash balance at the end of each month meet the needs of the business in the following month? If not, what can you change about how and when cash will be coming into and going out of your business?
- If there is regularly a cash flow surplus, have you considered adjusting your borrowing requirements, investing in additional stock or equipment or updating your retail space?
- Regularly update your cash flow forecast with actual cash income and outgoings and revise your estimates for your business’s future cash flow. This will give you a good basis upon which to create your cash flow forecast next year.
- Your cash flow forecast will also be useful in discussions with any potential lender or investor as a demonstration of how you manage your business’s finances.