Offering cashflow advice in uncertain times

Caroline Plumb OBE CEO and Co-Founder of Fluidly

With recent developments around the coronavirus pandemic, incredibly tough economic times are ahead for all small businesses. For accountants, it’s more important than ever to provide sensible, informed cashflow advice.

Recent data analysis by Fluidly, the Intelligent Cashflow management app, found that 1 in 5 UK businesses are in their overdraft – and that this drop in cash has got progressively worse over the course of last year. That’s a concerning statistic for accountants and advisors who are aiming to keep clients in a positive cashflow position during the economic disruption caused by the impact of COVID-19.

How can accountants get more proactive with cashflow advice? And what tools are needed to help clients through trouble in the coming months?

Caroline Plumb OBE, CEO and Co-Founder of Fluidly, believes the answer is an end-to-end approach to cash management.

Providing clients with visibility around cashflow

We’re currently in uncharted waters. Many of our UK small businesses are in danger due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the heart of concerns for businesses is cashflow. It will be difficult for small businesses across all industries to manage their cash incomings and outgoings in this new terrain.

Life was already tricky for small businesses - research conducted by Fluidly recently that showed that 20% of UK small businesses are regularly in their overdraft, and this has risen month on month for the last year.

As members of the accounting community, although we can’t solve the issues for our businesses, we can be here to provide them with the information they need to make the right financial decisions. We also have a role to play in providing advice and support. I’ve been genuinely moved by some of the conversations I’ve had with our accounting partners over the last few weeks, who really are going above and beyond to help their clients.

Our mission at Fluidly is to help small businesses sleep better at night by providing a forward look at cashflow. We’ve been making some changes to the Fluidly product that will prepare accountants to support their clients through the next months.

Scenarios and goal planning

Many businesses will need to plan and replan as the COVID-19 situation unfolds. Whether it’s modelling a drop in revenue, a delay in invoice payments or a loss of staff, understanding the impact on cash position can be complicated. Scenario planning is a key tool for accountants to help their clients during this period.

We’ve introduced our Goal Planner tool to layer scenarios over the top of the baseline forecast in a straightforward way. Accountants and business owners choose from suggested blocks that include everything you need to consider when modelling for common scenarios. It’s designed to be used collaboratively, so you can have the important conversations with clients in a format that they will understand.

Fluidly’s new Goal Planner tool helps your firm to:

  • Guide clients through cash planning in a quick, straightforward way
  • Layer and save new scenarios over the baseline forecast
  • Make clients feel comfortable they understand the impacts of their decisions
  • Share plans directly to clients from Fluidly

Funding and access to the right finance

We’ve always been keen to show accountants not just what the future cash position is for their clients, but also to help them answer the questions so what? And now what?

This is more critical than ever - for business owners, making the right decisions could be the difference between pulling through the next months and going under.

We’ve released our funding tool to provide that missing piece in the cash jigsaw. If the scenario plan advises that a business is forecasted to have a cash shortfall in the next quarter, what the client wants

then is help to fill that gap. And this is where our new tailored funding solution aims to complete the jigsaw, allowing your firm to offer custom funding advice.

Fluidly’s new tailored funding service offers:

  • Straightforward, stress-free access to funding options, when clients need it
  • A range of tailored financial products based on clients’ eligibility criteria
  • A dedicated team of funding specialists to provide a full, compliant service for accountants and clients
  • Access to an approved network of trusted lenders and funding providers, with full authorisation and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority

End-to-end cashflow advice

To get through the COVID-19 pandemic, accountants have a vital role to play in helping their clients. All businesses are going to need visibility over their cash position, and advice around what decisions they should make.

The new tools we’ve built enable accountants to have the right information to provide a full cashflow service. From visibility over cashflow position, to future scenarios, to options for getting money into the business, you have the data you need to support your clients.

Join cloud experts to discuss how to give clients access to funding during COVID-19

We’re bringing together members of the accounting community for an online roundtable to discuss how they are helping their clients with cashflow and funding through the current times, plus get a closer look at how accountants are using Fluidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can join our online panel discussion on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 @ 2:00PM GMT – get the lowdown on managing cashflow in the cloud from a range of panellists.

Click below to register for our free roundtable.

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