From XU Magazine, 
Issue 29

Why Do Small Businesses Use Float?

Cash flow forecasting without the pain of spreadsheets

Cloud-based app Float is helping business owners and their accountants harness the power of an accurate cash flow forecast.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Most business owners understand the importance of cash flow forecasting. Yet many view the process of creating and keeping a forecast up-to-date as painful and time-consuming. The frustration of woefully out of date spreadsheets is all too real. And let’s not even talk about version control.

Step in Float. Float is a cash flow forecasting add on for Xero that integrates seamlessly with your clients’ accounting software. Visual, easy to use and always up-to-date, Float makes it easy to highlight the value of cash flow forecasting with your clients.

This cloud-based app has helped thousands of businesses and their accountants keep track of cash flow. Whether used in times of crisis, or for the scenario planning feature to make big business decisions, many of Float’s loyal users simply cannot imagine running their business without the software.

“Float helps me escape spreadsheets and helps me understand my cash flow instantly. Before it was all pretty manually updated. The problem that any spreadsheet really has, is that it’s out of date as soon as you’ve built it. A forecast needs to have all the right historical data in it, which a spreadsheet typically doesn’t.

“I think the things that Float has helped me achieve in my business is largely from the confidence that it’s given me in the numbers. I’ve found that I can map out different scenarios which are probably a bit more ambitious than I might have done before. Along with knowing what the downside risks are - losing a client or any sort of negative impact - Float leaves me very reassured that my business is in a healthy state.” Nick Boyce, MD and founder of Pollenary digital advertising agency

Let’s look at a typical example of how an accountant might use Float with a client: what if your client wanted to hire someone new?

In Float, you can map out the scenario of what adding a new employee looks like on your cash flow graph, so together you can decide which outcome is best for their business.

You can run as many different scenarios as you like, such as looking at different start dates or what salaries they could potentially afford to offer until you find the one that works best for you - this means you’re basing your hiring decision on your own, real-time data and getting an accurate picture of what’s going to happen with your future cash.

Float also has exportable reports for you to easily share these forecasts and scenarios with their team, business partners or board members and makes cash flow easily understood by everyone.

Why leave it there?

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