February 15, 2022 min read
Leah ReidSenior Member Coach, Rootworks
That’s why maintaining a healthy cash flow should always be front of mind with clients. It ensures that the business can pay common expenses such as salaries, utilities and taxes while also having funds to put toward growth and business expansion.
Because cash is at the heart of any enterprise, cash flow forecasting is an ideal advisory service to offer small business owners. Effectively forecasting future cash flow means that you can help your clients predict cash shortages or surpluses. This information can then be used to make smart, informed business decisions—such as hiring new employees, investing in significant purchases or cutting back on expenses in certain areas.
If you’re interested in offering cash flow forecasting services in your firm, read on for our top four tips on launching this much-needed product.
If you’re going to sell cash flow forecasting services to clients, you have to be able to articulate the benefits with great clarity. And there are a lot of benefits!
Be sure that your clients understand every value proposition:
The success or failure of a new product or service offering relies in large part on internal processes. Firms must be able to deliver services with speed and accuracy…and that demands an operation that runs at peak efficiency.
As most know, when it comes to efficiency, all roads lead back to technology—advanced cloud-based technologies that is. Modern firm leaders are taking advantage of integrated, browser-based applications and automation via APIs (application program interfaces) to customize their tech stacks with the apps of their choosing.
Because today’s applications are built to support seamless data transfer via easy integration, firms really can pick and choose the apps required to build a custom tech stack. The days of relying on integrated suites are all but over.
When systems talk to one another and data flows seamlessly among them, what you get is a single source of truth. That is, real-time, accurate data on which to build powerful, detailed cash flow forecasts.
Accurate, timely cash flow forecasting requires that you have access to real-time data from all areas of the business. Having the right technology in place helps you achieve this with relative ease.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not the future. It’s here. And machine learning continues to gain momentum in the accounting profession with the goal of reducing mundane tasks. This frees accounting professionals to spend more time on higher-value, higher-impact tasks.
When you combine AI with other technologies, it’s a true game-changer. Some key benefits include:
The big takeaway here is that AI has the power to help firms improve the quality of services (output) and support better-informed, proactive decisions.
Deciding how you price this service should be a core component of initial planning. As a high-value, recurring advisory offering, setting a fee that represents the true value for clients is recommended.
It’s important to note that value pricing takes time and practice. Some firms may choose to start with a fixed fee and advance to value pricing after the service is up and running for an ample amount of time.
Once ready to venture into value pricing, using a fee calculator is highly recommended. This allows you to think through all aspects of service delivery, including prep time, meetings with client managers and partners, and the complexity of cash flow reporting.
Below is a good example of a cash management/forecasting fee calculator:
There are numerous opportunities for firm owners to open up new revenue streams. Today more than ever, small business clients need dedicated advisory support to ensure long-term growth and sustainability. And who better to offer that support than their trusted accounting partner?
Applying a few (or all) of the tips in this article can help you cash in on the cash flow forecasting services opportunity. A new revenue stream awaits!
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Rootworks members can now use an early access version of Insights, which delivers customer segmentation and pricing data as well as reports for your firm and clients. Connection to QuickBooks Online is required for firms and/or clients.