Fluidly vs Futrli: Which cashflow forecasting software is right for you?by
Are all cashflow forecasting software the same? What do you need to know when choosing a cashflow forecast solution? Marie Phillips compares Fluidly and Futrli with Lara Manton.
As a new bookkeeping practice, the most daunting decision I had to make was which software to use. I found that all cashflow forecasting websites advertised the same features. Having attended various ICB Summits, I had the opportunity to see in-depth demonstrations of Fluidly software and felt it was the right fit for me.
However, cashflow software can be as different as they are the same, and choosing the tool best fit for purpose can be a minefield. So I asked LJM Bookkeeping bookkeeper Lara Manton, who uses Futrli if we could compare our cashflow software.
Ease of setup
Onboarding bookkeeping clients
Both Fluidly and Futrli integrate with Quickbooks and Xero. Futrli also integrates with Sage and AccountRight and has a feature that allows for manual import of data via CSV. When importing clients by integration with accounting software, Fluidly charges a flat fee to integrate all clients while Futrli sells licences whereby one licence represents one client.
Setup to perform forecasting
Futrli offers management reporting in addition to forecasting, whereas Fluidly promote themselves as a cashflow management tool. The result of these differences is that Futrli requires extra setup before actually performing forecasting but has templates to make this easier. Once set up, it is easy to customise Futrli to a specific client. To assist with setup, Futrli offers detailed guidance in the form of a video that can be found on their website. Fluidly does not require as much frontend setup unless you know that a client wants to see how specific changes to their business will affect cashflow.
Overall ease of setup
From setup to actually performing a forecast, the Fluidly setup seems to be easier but once set up, Futrli will also provide management reporting. Both Manton and I agree that we would like to see both Fluidly and Futrli integrate Freeagent as many clients want to use Freeagent (which they receive free with their business bank account).
Onboarding customer service
Manton has used Futrli since it was named Crunchboards, so could not appraise their current onboarding customer service process. Having used Fluidly for the past six months, I found their onboarding to be superb. I signed up with Fluidly during a demo Zoom call in which all my questions were answered, and was immediately scheduled to have a video meeting with a ‘Customer Success and Onboarding Executive’ that took place within 48 hours of my signing up.
On-going customer service
Fluidly has attentive staff members who are accessible through online chat and email. Generally, they respond instantaneously through online chat and email (within forty minutes). After approximately a month of learning the software with a ‘Customer Success and Onboarding Executive,’ a dedicated account manager is assigned who is available via email and telephone. I have found since I transitioned to an account manager that it is easier to use the online chat feature within the software.
Futrli also assigns a dedicated account manager and offers online chat. Manton advised that generally when using the online chat feature, Futrli customer service will respond on the same day. Additionally, Futrli has help guides, videos, weekly webinars and a dedicated peer group. Manton commended Futrli’s customer service for their assistance on how to use the management reporting feature and the advanced setup when she was unsure how to proceed.
Funding: Fluidly based on the integrated information from your accounting software has a funding feature which shows pre-qualified funding options inclusive of government-backed covid-19 loans.
Credit control: Known as ‘Chase,’ this feature shows debtors in a traffic light system with red indicating those who are past due. Chase also allows reminder emails to be sent directly from Fluidly. I have found this feature especially helpful when onboarding a new client as I can quickly assist the collection of outstanding funds.
Portfolio view: Shows all clients in one place with quick snapshots of each client’s business financials.
Plan: A scenario planning tool that allows modelling of changes such as hiring a new staff member or ‘keep above water’ (a feature which shows how to keep the business ticking over) which I found helpful due to covid-19. The scenario is presented in a ‘client’ easy to read visual format of slides and graphs.
Notes: Fluidly allows for the addition of notes to an individual item within a forecast. For example, a note can be added to explain that a dip in sales was caused by the client’s servers being down for a couple of hours.
Flow: Flow is a feature within the software which shows a client’s business in an action feed of quick snapshot information such as debtors (including days past due and value of an invoice), creditors, and bank balance(s) for those who integrated from Quickbooks and Xero. There is an additional fee to view the in-depth information shown in the snapshots.
Consolidate: If you have clients with more than one business, Futrli offers a function which consolidates all financials for their businesses (that have Futrli licences) into one report.
Funding: Swoop is a third-party Futrli affiliate website that connects with Futrli, Xero and the client’s bank account(s) to identify funding options. Swoop also offers assistance with saving money on utilities and banking.
Peer: A community for Futrli users regardless of whether they are bookkeepers, accountants or a direct user. The company uses it as a platform to advise of any changes including assistance regarding covid-19 via webinars with guests like Enterprise Nation and Swoop. Peer also gives peer-to-peer assistance on using Futrli.
Certified advisor: Futrli offers a program which gives certification upon completion as an advisor. For bookkeepers, this could be a valuable additional service to offer clients.
Fluidly has two plans. ‘Fluidly Membership’ used by accountants and bookkeepers is £49 per month. For this fee, you can have as many clients as you wish on the platform. This plan includes 3 months cashflow forecasting and all the features discussed in this article. The second plan available is named ‘Fluidly Standard’ and forecasts 12 months into the future.
The standard plan is an upgrade to ‘Fluidly Membership’ and can be used for as long as needed. I have found this especially helpful if my client is trying to get financing outside of Fluidly. I generally keep ‘Fluidly Standard’ in place until they have received financing and then downgrade to ‘Fluidly Membership’. For the pricing of ‘Fluidly Standard,’ contact Fluidly directly.
Using Futrli, Manton can forecast as far into the future as required. For each forecasting client, Manton has to purchase a Futrli licence. One client (licence) is £29.99 per month, 5 clients are £99 per month, 20 clients are £250 per month or for unlimited clients, contact Futrli directly.
Manton and I both feel like we are getting our money's worth from our respective software. Fluidly is better priced as I can import all my clients and not have to be concerned with how many licences I need to purchase. Futrli can do more detailed reports and cashflow forecasting that will be helpful to larger companies such as limited companies.
After comparing Fluidly and Futrli with Manton, we agreed that the software used is dependent upon the client’s needs. If most of your clients are sole traders or small/medium-sized businesses, then Fluidly is the better software. Conversely, Futrli is excellent for larger businesses such as limited companies and companies that do business in foreign countries.