3 Dec, 2020
There are several considerations that are worth thinking about when offering forecasts as part of your service lines. Here, we look at some of them in a bit more detail.
What’s my client’s long term cash flow position?
Cash is the oil in the engine of a client's business, and without it, everything seizes up. And while short term cash flow forecasts might let you see the available funds balance down to the last penny, you'll need more than that for future planning. Forecasts in Fathom are all about the medium to long-term view that powers overall business growth. They help you advise clients on how they can structure their finances to fund their future plans, and show them when's the best time to action those plans. And because any forecast is linked to the rest of Fathom’s functionality, you can feature it in management reports, add it to a dashboard, and benchmark it against other clients or parts of the business.
How do I create a Business Roadmap for my clients?
You’re probably confident when it comes to delivering management reports to clients. Now designing and delivering a Business Roadmap is just as easy. Reports tell clients how they got to here, roadmaps guide them to the next stage on their journey. By combining three-way forecasting in an easy-to-understand visual way, clients can understand the financial impact of decisions, enabling them to make better choices and know exactly when to take action.
How do I help clients model specific asset purchases and choices?
So you’ve got the long term cash flow sorted, and have created a roadmap. But what about individual purchases or other changes to the business? What do you do when clients want to invest in things like a new asset, infrastructure or staff member and want to see how that will grow their business over time? This is where Microforecasts and scenario planning comes in. These mini functions within Fathom let you quickly design and model choices and see the effect they’ll have. These go on to become the detailed building blocks of your overall forecast.
Are my numbers really up to date?
Benjamin Franklin famously said ‘fish and friends go off after three days’, and you can add static forecasts to that list too. A forecast based on out of date or legacy financial information is, over time, going to lose relevance. What’s more, forecasts should be smart, not static. They can and should evolve based on new data, actions taken and detailed financial modelling. Fathom Forecasts do all these things, and refresh daily with the previous days’ numbers so everything is bang up to date. Not only that, every single number is auditable; meaning you know exactly where it has come from and can follow it back to the source.
How can I get a good forecast without using spreadsheets?
Configuring forecasts manually in Excel can be time consuming and complicated. And to most clients, that painstakingly crafted sheet might just look like a swimming sea of numbers. From our research with hundreds of accountants, the average time to generate one complete forecast in Excel can be anything from several hours to several days. With Fathom, you have a fast, dynamic forecasting tool that brings financials, visuals and people together.
Try Forecasting in Fathom today
Accountants face a barrage of questions and queries from clients every day; Forecasting in Fathom lets you answer those questions quickly, easily and in greater detail. All this means you can offer more insight, advice and value to clients.
If you're a Fathom user, you can find out more about Forecasting in Fathom here. And if you're not, and you’d like to speak to one of the team to arrange a demo or explore how Fathom can help you and your clients, get in touch now.
Written by Andrew Webb
Andrew is Fathom’s Content Strategist based in the UK. He has a background in journalism and has worked for companies like the BBC and HuffPost, as well as start ups in education and technology. Andrew has also published 5 food books and makes a great pie.