Working with your accountant to make the most of cash flow software

31 August 2018

Running a business often involves making complex financial decisions. Cash flow forecasting software can provide you with the insight you need to make those important decisions with confidence.

So why would you need to involve your accountant in these decisions?

What can a cash flow forecast do for you

Your cash flow forecast can help you to understand the journey of your cash over a specific period of time, making it an essential tool for good business planning. It can show you both the peaks and troughs of your finances - allowing you to act before you fall into the red.

Nowadays, there are plenty of tools in the Xero and Quickbooks Online marketplaces that can help you to track your cash. Gone are the days when a spreadsheet was your only option.

Cash flow forecasting is essential to good business planning and a forecasting tool that syncs with your accounting software can grant you time back in your day, and hours onto your sleeping schedule.

Cash flow software that syncs with your accounting package, like Float, makes your forecast visual and easy to understand. Float allows you to break down your budgets into smaller increments and track your budgets vs actuals.

Float even allows you to create various ‘what if’ scenarios to help you better plan for the future of your business. You can plan for multiple eventualities and visualise the future of your business whether you plan for a new hire, the loss of a client, or a blue sky scenario.

Although a cash flow forecast can show you when a cash gap will occur, it can’t tell you how to tackle it. This is why the experience and financial knowledge of an accountant can be essential to helping you make the right decisions for your business.

What an accountant can do for you

It’s an accountant’s job to be good with numbers. But it’s also their job to help you to understand your own.  

Traditionally, an accountant’s main job was to help clients with issues around compliance. This type of work would often include, and be mostly limited to, services such as tax, auditing and payroll management.

But the role of accountants has been evolving for some time. Now, most accountants offer traditional compliance services alongside more innovative services such as risk analysis and business management.

As a financial advisor, an accountant can help you to avoid the perils of managing your small business’s finances. An accountant will provide a different perspective to your cash flow issues, and can help you to see the wood through the trees.

To properly plan for your business’s future it’s important to get a good understanding of where you are now. A realistic picture of your current financial situation can give you the clarity you need to look ahead.

And when there’s an impending cash gap or dip into the red it can be hard to decide on how to avoid it and what to do.

With the benefit of the knowledge and experience of your accountant, you can be proactive in securing preferential loan rates, tightening your credit control, and avoiding future cash gaps.

How to seek advice

Speaking to your accountant shouldn’t be something to dread. In fact, it’s the job of any good accountant to make financial management as accessible and comprehensible as possible.

With more and more accountants moving into the realm of business advisory, and strategic planning for businesses, advice on cash flow isn’t hard to come by if you’re willing to ask for it.

An accountant that speaks your language will be able to recognise concerns over cash flow before they even lay eyes on your forecast. A good accountant will understand that concerns over making payroll at the end of the month, or fear over a dip in sales, are actually all related to cash flow.

Accountants or financial advisors shouldn’t be silent members of your team. Instead, they should be used as an essential part of your financial planning.

For most businesses, it’s essential to have a 13 week view of cash flow. This allows for a more granular view of operational cash flow.


An accountant that speaks your language will understand that fears over payroll or a dip in sales are masking deeper cash flow concerns. Using visual and accurate forecasting software with your accountant can lead to productive conversations that help you plan for a better future.  

Tackling the problems associated with cash flow can be difficult. But getting help from your accountant can resolve those problems with fewer headaches, and less time wasted. After all, a problem shared is a problem solved.

Catriona Bane works in the marketing team at Float, a Xero, QBO and FreeAgent add-on for cash flow forecasting.