The cashflow forecast
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The cashflow forecast

The advantage of cashflow forecasting is that it allows the business to spot in advance any shortfalls in cash during particular months, and to take appropriate action. If a deficit is anticipated, the firm can attempt either to reduce cash outflows in advance, or to raise cash inflows. Failing this, it can attempt to arrange an overdraft to cover the deficit. The cashflow forecast also allows the firm to identify where cash surpluses are likely to be made, and to plan to use these efficiently, for example, by investing the surplus or holding it over to meet a future deficit.

An example of a blank cashflow forecast statement is given below. The forecast contains columns for both predicted and actual cashflow. By comparing the two, it is possible to identify differences or variances from the plan, and to investigate these as they happen.

A cashflow forecast proforma

PERIOD (E.G. 4 WEEKS/MONTHS/ QUARTER) Budget Actual Budget Actual Orders: Net of VAT Sales Receipts Cash Sales From Debtors Other Revenue Sources Total Receipt (A) Purchases Payments Cash Purchases To Creditors Wages/Salaries/PAYE Rent/Rate/Insurance Light/Heat/Power Transport/Packing Repairs/Renewals VAT – Net HP Payments/Leasing Charges Bank/Finance charge/Interest Sundry Expenses Tax Dividends Drawings/Fees Loan Repayments Capital Expenditure/Inflows Total Payments (B) A – B = C or Cr B – A = - C or Dr Bank balance at end of Cr D previous period brought fwd… Dr Bank balance at end of period Cr carried fwd to aggregate (C+D) Dr Agreed overdraft facility

A projected balance sheet

A potential lender will also require information about:

· The total capital (money) needed by a business

· What the business intends to do with its capital

· How much of the owner’s money is being put into the firm

· Where the rest of the capital is to be raised from

This information is usually shown in the form of an opening balance sheet. A balance sheet is a statement of an organization’s assets and liabilities at a particular point in time. Assets will include premises, machinery, and equipment owned by the firm, and holdings of cash, bank deposits, or sales on credit. Liabilities refers to money owed by the business to other people and organizations, for example, bank loans, hire purchase, leasing agreements, or purchases made on credit.

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