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New cash flow tool helps SMBs better manage finances

Intuit QuickBooks Australia has rolled out a first of its kind cash flow prediction tool using machine learning technology, Cash Flow Planner.

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Designed to help SMBs make informed financial decisions to manage cashflow more effectively, the Cash Flow Planner is an interactive tool that predicts cash flow over the next 90 days in real time. It enables users to better analyse their cash flow position for payroll, bills, expenses and more.

The analysis looks at money coming into the business and money being spent, using the data in QuickBooks and bank transactions to model future scenarios. Users are also able to conduct ‘what-if’ analysis by adding new events or editing predicted events. It also provides the option to play with different scenarios to help predict cash flow positions and make more financially savvy decisions.

The more the Cash Flow Planner is used, the more it learns, based on users’ previous expenses and incomes entered on the QuickBooks platform.

Intuit QuickBooks Australia director of product management, Mindy Eiermann, said over the course of June and July, 72% of Australian businesses reported that a reduced cash flow will have an adverse impact on their businesses. Yet prior to the pandemic, Australian small businesses were already struggling with money, with 52% saying they experience cash flow problems and struggle to pay themselves.

“Our machine learning technology, which will be rolled out to Canada, in addition to Australia will allow SMBs and their accountants or bookkeepers to analyse the current cash situation and develop a forecast to identify the best ways to manage cash flow. It could be the difference that helps businesses stay in business,” she said.

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The Cash Flow Planner predicts recurring money in or out, based on patterns found in users’ bank history, reducing manual inputs and in return, saving time.

“Many SMBs are fighting to survive. As such, new technology innovations that can take existing data, analyse it and make recommendations in real time, will not just save time, but give small business owners more confidence in their financial abilities,” Eiermann added.

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