Cash-flow is the life blood of every business, especially small and start-up businesses. Managing their cash-flow properly can make the difference between success and failure, especially in those early years. In fact, statistics show that around half of all start-up businesses will fail during their first five years in part due to failure to meet cash-flow challenges… can’t pay their rent, can’t pay their utilities, can’t pay their vendors, or can’t pay their payroll or payroll taxes.
The ability of a small businesses to properly monitor and project cash-flow is critical to their success. That’s one of the big reasons why Intuit has introduced their new Cash Flow Planner as a prototype feature within the QuickBooks Mobile App(in the newly redesigned Mobile App the feature will appear as one of the new ’tiles’). Leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this new planner enables small businesses to predict their daily cash-flow over the next 90 days.
The development team at Intuit that’s been working on this new feature has conducted extensive testing over the past 12 months to ensure that the combination of the power of AI with full transparency and data from the QuickBooks platform (the largest small business platform in the world) provides the best ‘modeling methodology’ that will give the most accurate cash-flow forecasts possible.
“QuickBooks leverages anonymized data across millions of customers with more than 26 billion touchpoints to generate predictive scenarios with accurate cash flow forecasts.”
Designed for regular use, the app predicts recurring expenses and income and then proactively alerts business owners when a negative situation is on the horizon. But circumstances may not be exactly what they seem from the numbers alone, that’s why small businesses also can modify the inputs based on what they know about their business. In response the planner will then generate a new forecast and alerts as appropriate.
Beyond automatically alerting business owners when a cash crunch is coming up, the QuickBooks Cash Flow Planner shows what is causing the crunch, and provides recommendations around the situation, so owners can decide how to navigate the upcoming challenge. For example, rather than dipping into personal funds to make an upcoming payroll run, with advanced notice the Cash Flow Planner should (one day) be able to recommend that small businesses delay paying a specific vendor bill, or send an automated request that a specific customer invoice be paid faster, or take perhaps even take advantage of available short-term financing from a lending source like QuickBooks Capital.
But actual cash flow situational analysis isn’t all that the new planner feature can do. The new the planner can also be used for scenario planning to help users answer questions like: “Am I going to be OK if I hire another part-time employee working 24-hours a week, based upon my forecasted cash-flow over the coming six months?”
The goal is to provide a tool that can help QuickBooks users not only eliminate cash-flow crunches, but avoid them while still being able to plan and budget for business growth and success.
The Cash Flow Planner has been available on a ‘test basis’ to a small number of QuickBooks subscriber over the past few months as part of early product release. Many of those users report that the new app has not only resolved issues and prevented negative cash-flow situations, but it has actually changed the way that they look at cash-flow with respect to their business as a whole.
Coming Soon: Intuit expects the Cash Flow Planner to begin phased-in release during late November or December of 2019 with major roll-out and phased-in releases during January 2020, so be on the lookout for this new feature to appear as one of the ’tiles’ of your newly redesigned QuickBooks mobile app.
This post first appeared on InsightfulAccountant