Daily Cash Flow Forecast
Use the Daily Cash Flow Report to report on the daily cash balance and to help manage cash on a weekly basis. This tool is especially useful when entering a situation where active cash management is required for your daily cash flow. The daily cash flow report template is used best as a tactical, active cash management tool. Knowing your daily cash position as well as your weekly cash commitments gives you added impetus to collect money and/or to generate revenues. You can then take the information generated in the daily cash flow report and incorporate the information into another useful tool, the Flash Report!
Why use a daily cash report? When facing a cash crunch, CFO/Controllers often manage cash by reviewing the online bank balance. Though easy to do, this number is not accurate. It does not take into consideration outstanding checks. Another symptom of a cash crunch is that accounting falls behind in processing information. By preparing this daily cash flow forecast or projection you force the accounting department to stay current with posting transactions.
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Use in Conjunction With the 13-Week Cash Flow Report
This tool is also helpful when used in conjunction with the Thirteen Week Cash Flow Projection. It is helpful to think of the 13-Week Cash Flow Report as giving you the strategic big picture needs, while the Daily Cash Flow Report provides a more tactical level measure of your firm’s cash position. You can tie a week’s worth of cash receipts and cash disbursements as reported in the Daily Cash Report to the 13- Week Cash Flow Report.
Update the Daily Cash Report daily; remember, this process should not take more than thirty minutes to prepare. However, there is some element of planning involved insofar as weekly cash commitments are concerned. If the company is in a severe cash crunch, you may need to negotiate with vendors about partial payments.
The Daily Cash Report format should be set up and managed by the CFO/controller. However, it can be outsourced to a staff member in accounting to keep up on a daily basis. There are 3 sections to the Daily Cash Report: Today’s Cash Position, Weekly Cash Position and Payables Detail.
Prepare the daily cash flow report in the morning of each workday. Use the information on the report to help you manage cash for the day that you prepare it.
Daily Cash Position
This purpose of this section is to give you the cash position at the start of the day as per the G/L balance. The cash position for the start of today is the same as the ending cash balance from the last business day. Hence, the report you update and start off with at the beginning of today will be on the information from the last business day. (Reminder: this report is prepared the following day of the reporting period.)
If the report you are preparing for today is based on information from the last business day, then it is important to capture all the cash flow events that happened during the course of the last business day. To do so, we need to have several anchors. First, you need a starting balance. This starting balance is the beginning cash balance per G/L and any outstanding checks from last business day (usually yesterday). This beginning cash balance is the same as the ending cash balance from two business days ago. Both the cash balance and outstanding check balance should be summed together to a Reconciled Balance. Click here for more information on account reconciliation.
After obtaining the starting balance for the last business day, we need to capture cash inflows. Examples of cash inflows include cash payments, lockbox payments, credit card payments, and any checks received through the mail. Again, these cash inflows and deposits are from the last business day. Add up the total amount of cash inflows together to obtain the Total Deposits.
The third piece of financial information you need to obtain is information on cash disbursements from the last business day. Cash disbursements include payroll checks, A/P checks. Your firm may prefer to have a separate line item for certain significant cash disbursements. As long as you keep the overall report simple and uncluttered, this is fine. After all cash disbursements have been accounted for, sum up together to obtain Total Disbursements. Enter the cash disbursements as negative numbers. The report is intended for non-accountants who think in terms of expenses being negative.
Sum up all of these elements together to obtain the ending cash balance for the last business day:
Reconciled Balance + Total Deposits – Total Disbursements = Cash Balance.
Incoming monies from yesterday Disbursements (Insert Date from 1 business day ago)- Payroll Fees – AP Checks – Other Disbursements = Total Disbursements
ENDING CASH BALANCE AS OF : This is also the Beginning Cash Balance for TODAY. Reconciled Balance + Total Deposits – Total Disbursements.
Weekly Cash Position
The weekly cash position gives management an estimate of how much incoming cash and cash disbursements the company expects to have for the entire week. Remember, this is an estimate only. Update this estimate periodically so that the company improves on the estimate. Your company may prefer to have a separate line item for certain significant cash disbursements. This is acceptable as long as you keep the overall report as simple as possible.
A template follows as below:
Estimated Deposits for the week ending: Lockbox/Mail + Credit Cards = Total Estimated Deposits
The CFO/controller will need to list the different vendor/suppliers that the company intends to pay for the week. During times of extreme cash shortage, it may be helpful to make a note of which vendor/suppliers are of high priority.
Update daily. However at the beginning of the week, plan to give extra attention to prioritize which vendors should be paid. Depending on the cash situation of the company, try to think of paying only a portion of what’s owed.
List of the vendor/suppliers with the amount needed to be paid. Finally, sum up the total amount. Vendor A + Vendor B + Vendor C = TOTAL
Monitor & Review
Monitor and review the Daily Cash Flow Report on a daily basis in situations where cash management is big key part of company survival. A key part to focus on is the estimate of weekly cash deposits. Monitoring and reviewing the cash deposits will improve the accuracy of the estimates. For more ways to improve your cash flow like this one, download the free 25 Ways to Improve Cash Flow whitepaper.
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Originally published by Jim Wilkinson on July 23, 2013.