Cash flow forecasts got you down? Creating a company’s cash flow reports is a necessary part of managing a business, but can also be downright tedious. But take heart and explore these time-saving apps and tools that can make your cash flow reporting job a whole lot easier.

In basic terms, managing your cash flow means bringing money into the company as quickly as possible while delaying taking money out of the company for as long as possible. Creating cash flow reports and forecasts gives you the opportunity to see the big picture, particularly if you’ve never created a cash flow projection for your company. You might start with the free tools for creating cash flow reports and see how far you get. If you need more fire power, try the apps that charge a monthly fee. You can always cancel later if you find they’re not helpful.

  • Free templates for cash flow reports. Why reinvent the wheel when there are many free financial forecasting templates available by download? It’s hard to go wrong with a free template that was prepared by knowledgeable professionals. The only downside is that you still have to know the company’s basic financial information for revenue and expenses. Try the free templates from SCORE, the Small Business Administration, MS Office and Google Docs. These templates might be all you need.
  • Cash Flow apps and tools. There’s been a significant increase in the number of good (and sometimes free!) business apps available online. If you require more than templates, try some of the excellent solutions for creating and managing financial reports and forecasts. At $29 per month, 60mo isn’t free but is an excellent option for managing financial reports. Pulse is another great option and a little less expensive at $14 a month. If those apps don’t fit your budget, Enloop is an app that lets you create financial forecasts and write a business plan for free.
  • Accounting Software. If you use accounting software to manage your books, then you might already have access to good cash flow tools. Check your software for a cash flow reporting or forecasting feature. QuickBooks has a cash flow tool that is straightforward, detailed and effective. These built-in features are great time-savers because your company’s data is already in the software. And if you’ve already paid for the software, you might as well take advantage.
  • Your Accountant. Unless you’re trained in accounting, including your accountant in the process of developing cash flow reports for your company is important. Your accountant might charge you for this service, but it’s better to have an accurate report than one that’s not helpful.

The approach you take may make the job easier, but beware that any report is only as good as the data you put in. A wrong report is just as dangerous as not having any report at all – and maybe even more dangerous. The wrong information can lead you down a road that might harm your company. Or an inaccurate report may prevent you from spotting opportunities. Using any of these resources can give you the upper hand in knowing where your cash flow stands long before it becomes a crisis.

About the Author(s)

Cynthia McCahon

After years of providing business planning and development services for private clients, Cynthia became acutely aware that many entrepreneurs struggled to develop accurate business plans and saw the need for a free tool like Enloop. | Facebook | @cmccahon | More from Cynthia

Founder & CEO, Enloop

Key Topics

Cash Flow