During times of crisis, businesses need to consider the health of their finances now more than ever. Small businesses especially need to ensure they have tight control over their cash flow. In order to understand where your business stands, especially during times of crisis, you should have a cash flow forecast that details where you are profitable, where you need to save in order to prepare for uncertain circumstances.
Cash flow forecasting is something that needs to be done on a regular basis, especially during these times. These forecasts help your company better prepare for various potential outcomes that may occur.
Cash flow forecasting can be a lifesaver for your business during uncertain times and preparing financial forecasts in advance is always the best option. But if you have been working to navigate COVID-19 without any forecasts, remember — it’s never too late to start.
These forecasts provide your team with a better understanding of your business and how well it is functioning. This information allows you to make timely, well-informed decisions without excessive effort. Wondering where to begin? Here are our top tips for cash flow forecasting:
A Work In Progress (WIP) report consists of an accounting schedule that’s a portion of a company’s entire balance sheet. In best practices, each accounting period has a calculated work in progress report that complies with GAAP principles. These reports are required on projects where the Percentage of Completion (POC) accounting method is used. The WIP report typically consists of current period and project-to-date financial metrics that explain each contract the company is working on, however, the format does change from company to company.
When we’re thinking about cash, we have to think about the discounts that we might be offering, and how discounting affects profitability. Clearly, we want to try to take discounts if we get them. But what about discounts that we’re offering, sales or incentive discounts for people to either buy more, do different things with our products, or buy them at certain times? What about sales discounts? What is that doing to the cash and profitability of our business?
Today we’re going to be talking about the important topic of DSO. DSO stands for Days Sales Outstanding. Most importantly, it means how long it takes for your customers to be paying you. It’s important because it directly relates to how much cash you have, which is the most important factor in the health of your business.
If you sell products or services and no one pays you, you will have no cash. You might have made lots of money on paper, but if you have no cash, you’ll be out of business. It’s very important that we track DSO – days sales outstanding – to understand how long it takes for our customers to pay us.