Macro uncertainty, paired with tech progress, bring the application of cash flow forecasting software to the front of mind for many CFOs and their teams, The Global Treasurer notes in an overview article on the various entry routes to choose between.
Depends on who you are
Not least does the right pick depend on the company’s size, activity and ambition level.
Whatever route chosen, treasury teams need to have an intimate understanding of their organisational requirements, and what they want and need in terms of cash flow forecasting.
Don’t overdo it
A common trap is to choose a solution that is too complex, lured by flexible functionality.
“In reality, though, it won’t be designed to suit your business, and your team will spend a long time configuring and customising, trying to create reports that would come out-of-the-box with a more appropriate solution” says James Fellows, director at system vendor Finanscapes, in the Global Treasurer article.
”If you’re not careful, you’ll end up hand-crafting everything and you might as well go back to Excel.”
Automation – consider it basic
The article argues that to qualify today, any cash flow system today should feature automated data collection functionality which can collate and harmonise data from various sources and statements.
Else the firm will risk excluding data from forecasts or failing to schedule it.
Thanks to rapid developments in artificial intelligence, key market players have started to roll out solutions tackling those risks. Among other benefits, an AI system can continuously learn and adapt to source data, so that cash flow forecasts become more accurate over time.
Connectivity to other systems, not least treasury management systems, is another important concern. According to The Global Treasurer, the boldest startups and market players in 2019 ”are now rolling out products in which integration is a core USP”. In fact, ”hyper-integration” is predicted to be one of this market’s key trends this year.