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Create a Cash Flow Forecast in 5 Steps

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Using Helm, cash flow forecasting takes little time to implement and deliver to clients, but can be a crucial asset to your client’s business success.

Here are the five easy steps to make a cash flow forecast in Helm:

Step One: Connect Helm to QuickBooks Online or Xero

After logging into Helm, enter the name of the company or client and create a connection to their accounting system. We’re proud to say that we support connections to both QuickBooks Online and Xero. After your chosen data source is connected, Helm will automatically scan it and import all the transactions and other pertinent information. No manual entry required!

Step Two: Choose Your Bank Accounts

The next step is to choose which bank accounts and credit cards to use as your starting point in the forecast. You might decide to “mute” certain accounts that you don’t want reflected in the forecast, like a business savings account or any other account that could skew the forecast in a misleading way.

Step Three: Review the Estimates

By now, you can see the forecast graph that Helm generated based on the account(s) selected. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Click on the Forecasting Rules button in the left sidebar menu, and take a moment to review the future estimates to make sure everything makes sense. You’ll notice that Helm populates some fields with a 12-month average, but that’s easily modifiable.

 

You easily review all of your budgets in Helm by opening the Forecasting Rule drawer.

 

Take sales, for example: If you don’t want a prior unpredicted or seasonal uptick in sales to skew the average higher, you can choose to manually input a weekly sales amount that is more realistic for the business. If you’d like to confirm the forecast against the financials from within a table view, just click on Views in the left sidebar.

Step Four: Review Accounts Receivable

Based on prior data, Helm automatically generates timing for accounts receivable. Quickly review the dates by clicking on Accounts Receivable in the sidebar menu. If you know a certain client will be sending a few invoices two weeks later than usual, you can edit the expected date in seconds. You can even select multiple lines to edit all in one batch! (That’s right, Helm has bulk editing tools. And yes, we are bragging.)

Step Five: Review Accounts Payable

Navigate to Accounts Payable in the sidebar, and simply repeat the same process from the previous step to make sure the expected dates are looking good. You’re DONE!

 

Quickly review and edit your small business' bills by opening the accounts payable drawer.

 

When we set out to create Helm, we knew one of our main objectives was to create a solution that saved accountants time. That time savings can then be turned around and used to better support clients and their businesses. These five simple steps to set up a cash flow forecast take less than an hour your first time, and then exponentially less time as you become more familiar with the system and you know exactly what to look for.

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