Money Management Tools Help SMBs Predict Cash Flow

By Kim Mays | Posted April 17, 2014
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Top Issues Affecting SMB Employees Today

For a small business or startup, nothing is more frustrating than sitting down at the beginning of a new week, trying to figure out if you have enough money in the business account to cover bills and payroll. Often, small business owners are too busy to get ahead of all the financial responsibilities and many put off until Sunday night or early Monday morning the worry of predicting cash needs for the upcoming week.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Several companies provide online tools to help with money management, bill payment, and even cash flow projections for months in advance. Three such tools:

Small Business Payments Company, a subsidiary of Acxsys, offers its Small Business Workbench to help SMBs avoid the need for emergency loans because of sudden cash flow shortages. According to Pymnts.com:

The tool was designed to help businesses determine whether they can make capital investments in addition to having enough funds for day-to-day operations. With it, small businesses can forecast projected cash positions for the future, planning for payroll, taxes, capital purchases and other events. In addition, they can create action plans to minimize or avoid potential problems. Small Business Workbench users purchase additional solutions from an inventory of apps that will feed directly into the Workbench tool for make the forecast more accurate. The app offerings cover inventory, payables, payroll and managing receivables.

Bill.com’s Cash Flow Management offering reduces the reliance on spreadsheet comparisons to attempt to predict company cash flow. It’s online, updates automatically, and is a lot more accurate than a spreadsheet. According to the site, receivables, payables and balances can be projected up to three months out, and you can review projections as graphs. Once a user gets the hang of the flow of the company’s bills and payments, the plan can be updated to reflect dates for payments, etc. And cash can be set to transfer on specific dates to meet payment schedules.

WiseCash is an online tool that allows small businesses to input their current incoming payments and outgoing expenses. The tool then gives a “fairly accurate” prediction of cash flow for the coming year. Using the charts and the dashboard, a business owner can decide whether they can afford upcoming upgrades to equipment or if they may need to try to stir up more business. The easy-to-read dashboard also helps owners see whether they may run low on cash during the coming year. This helps keep financial surprises to a minimum and allows businesses to plan accordingly by taking out a loan, raising rates, or increasing product production. The tool sends the owner an email each Sunday showing all transactions for the following two weeks to help owners set up accounts for payments, which means no more late Sunday night spreadsheets.

Originally published on IT Business Edge.

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