How to easily manage your business cash flow
We’ll help you understand your cash flow, show you how to create a monthly projection and budget, and provide additional tips to help you organize and keep your business expenses on track.
Apr 7, 2023
Track your business cash flow with Flume's new Projects feature
By: Grace Dela Cruz
Cash flow is the lifeblood of any business. Transparency into cash flow gives you the flexibility to make intelligent decisions and keep your business thriving. At the same time, cash flow can be challenging to manage, especially for small business owners and independent contractors. You might not always have enough money when you need it, and getting more may require tapping into funds that are already in use or turning to an inconvenient source (like a credit card or a small business loan).
So how do you keep track of your cash flow? Flume’s new feature, Projects will help you keep track of money going in, and money going out. No need to stress about who’s getting paid what and when! Flume helps you conveniently store all this information in one place. See our list below on how you can turn to Flume to easily manage your business cash flow. We’ll help you understand your cash flow, show you how to create a monthly projection and budget, and provide additional tips to help you organize and keep your business expenses on track.
Understanding your business cash flow
Before we begin you must first understand what a business cash flow means. It’s quite simple - cash flow is the difference between the money coming in and going out. It's important for businesses of all sizes, but it's especially critical for small businesses that have to pay suppliers, vendors, or employees on time.
The most important thing you can do to manage your business cash flow is to understand how much money you actually have coming in each month, as well as what expenses are coming up. You can then use this information to plan ahead and make decisions about when it makes sense for you to spend money now or save up until later--or even ask for more time from a vendor who hasn't been paid yet!
Create a monthly cash flow projection
Your projections should be based on historical data. If you're new to the business, you may not have much of a track record to work with, but that's okay--you can still create projections by using trends from previous months or years.
Your monthly cash flow projection should be updated monthly. As your business grows and changes, so will its needs for cash flow management. If things go well for one month and then poorly for another, it's important to know why so that you can adjust accordingly in the future!
The projections themselves should reflect both current conditions and future goals: what you need right now (and why), as well as where things could go if everything goes according to your plan. Keep these two factors separate while still keeping them in mind throughout all stages of planning/execution/analysis because they're equally important parts of any good decision-making process.
Create a cash flow budget
Cash flow budgeting helps you track your money as it moves through your business. It's critical to see the big picture of how much money is coming in, where it's going out, and when you'll have enough cash on hand to pay bills and other expenses. A cash flow budget will help you identify the days of highest risk for running out of funds if something unexpected happens.
You can keep track of your budget through a spreadsheet. If you have an online tool like QuickBooks, just enter your income and expenses into your program so that it can automatically calculate how much money is left over at the end of each month--or even week! Flume seamlessly integrates with the QuickBooks tool to help keep your bookkeeping in order. It’s a win-win ;)
Once your budget has been set, you can go into your Flume dashboard to add your different vendors and subcontractors, and input what their payments would be and when. You can now have a master dashboard to view your cash flow and see where your budget is going at the start of the month.
When creating a cash flow budget:
Track all incoming revenue from sales and services rendered by subtracting any refunds/returns/rebates given back out again later during this same time period
Add up all outgoing expenses such as employee salaries/vendor payments/bonuses paid out during this same period along with any other taxes collected
This is a very important step because it will allow you to see how much money is left over at the end of every month--or even week! If there is a negative number, then this means that you are operating at a loss and need to figure out where those losses are coming from so that they can be cut out of your budget.
Review your invoices and payments
This should be a regular part of your business management routine, but it's even more important when you're trying to manage cash flow.
Check for any discrepancies or issues with payments that need attention, such as late payments or payments made in error.
Check for any late payments, especially if they're from important customers who are usually prompt with their payments. Make sure you contact them if there's a problem with their payment so that it doesn't happen again in the future!
Luckily with Flume, you’re able to see late and upcoming payments at first glance so long as you’ve inputted all your information ahead of time.
Get paid faster
Nothing can slow down a business's cash flow like clients not paying on time. This can lead to other delays like not being able to pay your own vendors or subcontractors at their payment deadline, which can then lead to mistrust in your business. Use Flume’s invoicing tool to invoice your clients. It’s super simple to use, and your clients will appreciate the different payment methods your business has to offer. They’d have the option to pay you electronically via ACH transfer, digital check, flume’s instant transfer, or even paper check. This eliminates the hassle of untrackable, and slow payments.
Monthly finance meetings with your team
Having monthly meetings to discuss cash flow and goals with your team can help get everyone on the same page, and most importantly - your budgets on track. Head on over to our projects tab and discuss the following:
Updates on any outstanding tasks.
Next steps for each project. This is especially important if you're working on multiple projects at once--you'll need to know what each person's role will be in order to move forward successfully.
What's coming up in the next month, including any upcoming expenses or revenue sources that will impact cash flow (like invoices due).
How much money is available to spend in the next month? If you're running low on cash, what are your options for getting more?
What do you need from each person in order to keep moving forward successfully?
In conclusion, it's important to understand your business cash flow and make sure that you have a plan for managing it. By creating a monthly cash flow projection and budget, reviewing invoices and payments, and getting paid faster, you can reduce the amount of time spent on these tasks while still being able to monitor them more easily than ever before!
Flume makes it simple for small businesses and contractors to organize and keep track of their people, projects, and payments. Book a demo call with us today, and discover just how easy it is to manage your business cash flow!