April 2, 2020
Monthly & Daily Cash Flow Forecasting Using Adaptive Insights
Posted by Bryan Rogers
Cash flow forecasting has become a necessary activity in this current environment. Many of our clients have monthly financial planning models but they are not sure how to convert from a monthly view to a daily view when it comes to cash flow planning. Here are some step-by-step instructions with screen shots to show you how you can do cash flow forecasting in Adaptive Insights either on an indirect, direct or daily basis.
Step 1: Plan Your Balance Sheet
Most clients have a good set of models for their income statement, but some have not spent a lot of time on planning their balance sheet. Basic balance sheet planning includes, at a minimum, assumptions and drivers for receivables and payables. Utilize days sales outstanding to project your accounts receivable and days payable outstanding for accounts payable, among others. Assumptions for a balance sheet might look like this below.
Step 2: Plan Your Indirect Cash Flow
The easiest and fastest way to begin cash flow forecasting is to create an indirect cash flow forecast. In Adaptive Insights, we plan our balance sheet accounts and create attributes for each one and put them into the proper cash flow categories including changes in operating, investing and financing activities. Once these attributes are in place, formulas can be used in custom accounts to create the following indirect cash flow statement.
Step 3: Plan Your Direct Cash Flow
Direct cash flow takes a different approach than indirect cash flow by detailing the sources and uses of funds. In the example below, customer receipts are recognized in the sources section with uses including payroll and other operating expenses.
Step 4: Break Down Your Cash Flow Forecast into Days
In Adaptive Insights, we can take either one of these cash flow statements and break them down into more granular time periods such as days or weeks. In the example below, I have taken the direct cash flow on a monthly basis as a starting point to create a daily cash flow. The estimated revenue receipts by customer are shown in the sources section. For uses, assumptions have been added for the number of days in the month and the payday. Similar assumptions can be made for other expense accounts. This can be a starting point for daily cash flow forecasting including supporting schedules for loans, pre-paids, etc. Actual daily direct cash flow results can provide a foundation for better forecasting as you build your expertise.
Did you miss it? Check out this blog on how to Reforecast for Sudden Changes Using Adaptive Insights.
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Bryan has over 25 years of financial executive, operations and consulting experience in public and private companies. He has held positions as Principal, Vice President Finance, Director of Finance and Financial Unit Manager. Bryan’s background includes extensive experience in FP&A roles from multi-billion dollar corporations and as a consultant for many Adaptive Insights implementations .