Looking for a program to help with cash flow calculations for a small business
July 28, 2011 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a program to help with cash flow calculations for a small business

I work for a small business that does web development work (so no inventory) and I faithfully use Quickbooks Online for all our accounting needs. This has worked out great for taxes/making our CPA happy, but we are having trouble with trying to forecast. Right now we have a giant excel cash flow sheet broken down by week, that has past weeks information (income/expenses) and then shows future weeks (we have a lot of retainer clients, so we know (usually) when those checks come in, and when we pay things out. But, as we have grown, so has the spreadsheet, and it occasionally leads to late nights hunting down formula errors and thinking that there has to be a better way to do this.

Short Questions:
Is there a way to do this in quickbooks? I've tried playing around with their budgeting feature, but never really got it to work/got frustrated. If everyone says that this is the way to go, I'll go back and try again.

What I want is a program where I can enter our bank balance, and say every third week of the month we get paid $X amount by Client X. Every 15th of the month we run payroll. What will our bank balance look like at the end of this month? At the end of the year? Does such a program exist? If its software, we are an all Mac office, so needs to be compatible. If there is someway to do this online...double brownie points.

Thank you!
posted by zara to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The only way I've seen this done is with an Excel front end and an Essbase or SAP back end, both of which are likely too complex and expensive for a small business.
posted by dfriedman at 3:10 PM on July 28, 2011

cashcurveapp.com is a VERY minimal cashflow projection tool that is web-based and free. I use it for my personal finances and I think it does EXACTLY what you want, but no more.

It will project out about 3 months or so, which is probably just right for your needs.

You can "hide" specific transactions if you want to see the effect if someone doesn't actually pay you this cycle or you can hide entire recurring transactions (on the "Recurring" page) if you think someone might cancel their account with you.
posted by farmersckn at 4:30 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

If cashcurveapp is not enough for you, send me a PM, because I have been itching for an excuse to build a tool like this with a few additional features (like a longer timeline on the cashflow) and I'd love to hear what your needs are beyond what cashcurveapp offers.
posted by farmersckn at 4:32 PM on July 28, 2011

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