Edward Berks highlights five cash flow apps that could be the difference between success and failure for your clients.
It’s no secret that healthy cash flow can make or break a business, regardless of its size or industry. Without it, even the most promising ideas or firms will fail.
Yet, it’s an area in which many businesses still need help. Research conducted by Xero shows that, on a month-to-month basis, barely half of small businesses are cash flow positive.
As an accountant, you’re in a great position to help your clients improve the health of their cash flow while developing your advisory services. Below we’ve outlined five apps that can help you and your clients succeed.
1. Monitor key financial metrics with Fluidly
Cash flow forecasts are crucial for your clients to understand how their cash flow impacts their business performance, financial health and ability to reach their goals. Fluidly helps you and your clients manage the cash coming in, the cash going out and everything in between.
By using artificial intelligence to produce a baseline cash flow forecast, Fluidly allows you to monitor key financial metrics of your clients. There’s no need to spend hours inputting data manually – cash flow forecasts are provided in real-time and updated automatically from Xero for better financial decision-making.
2. Collect payments quicker with GoCardless
Digital payment services can help your clients run a more efficient accounts receivable process and get paid faster. GoCardless makes collecting payments by Direct Debit easy and efficient for both you and your clients. “Referring clients to GoCardless adds extra value to the service we provide and offers them real benefits in terms of efficiency, cost saving and cash flow,” said Ryan Percy, director of accounting firm Scrutton Bland.
Whether it’s one-off, recurring or instalment payments, this app allows your clients to easily set up a Direct Debit mandate so they’re paid on time. After that, future payments are collected automatically – reducing the time they spend on admin. There is a 1% cost cap per transaction but no set-up costs or hidden fees. Direct Debit is recommended for transactions below £5,000.
3. Spend less time on data entry with Hubdoc
When entering data manually, it takes up a lot of time. No matter how fast you can type or process information, it’ll never be as fast as it needs to be. This precious time could be utilised helping your clients grow their business.
Hubdoc automatically fetches bank statements, bills and receipts from over 700 financial institutions, utilities, telecom providers and online suppliers. It extracts the key data and publishes transactions to Xero with source documents attached.
4. Get paid on time with Chaser
Getting paid on time is crucial to reducing debtor days, increasing efficiency and boosting cash flow. If your clients are having trouble getting paid on time then it’s worth considering a debtor management tool such as Chaser.
By providing users with customisable templates and scheduling these to be sent out as email chasers at different points before and after an invoice is due, this app can help get invoices paid sooner and save time in doing so.
5. Simplify expenses with Xero Expenses
Some of your clients already wear multiple hats and staying on top of their business expenses can fall down the priority list. Xero Expenses allows your clients to scan their receipts and submit expense claims on the spot, eliminating the need for data entry and reducing errors.
“We have clients now using Xero Expenses and it’s working really well for them,” said Sam Rollins, partner at Trinity Accountants firm. “It’s definitely reduced the number of mistakes clients are making, which from an internal perspective saves us loads of time.”
This app also speeds up the reimbursement process and gives your clients complete, real-time visibility over their expenses to help them plan ahead and better manage cash flow.
The choice of apps that work best for you and your clients will depend on the features and value you want to deliver. Find out more about how to choose the right apps for your firm and clients with Xero’s new cash flow app advisory playbook.