With cash flow being the number one stressor of owning a business for many entrepreneurs, it’s no surprise that there are DOZENS of options of software that can forecast and manage cash flow. While many are similar, each has its own set of functions and price that will work best with your business. Consider what unique features you would like your cash flow management system to have:
- Invoice creation
- Project management
- Expansion forecasting
- Inventory management
- Customer relationship management
- Email marketing
- Tax preparation
- Financial analysis
Accounting software tracks the money moving in and out of your business through accounts payable and accounts receivable features by connecting to your bank and credit card accounts. Those are the basic bookkeeping features software to forecast and manage cash flow should have. Then, ideally, the program will integrate with the other features you need it to that are specific to your business, as listed above.
As a small business, bookkeeping software and accounting software are interchangeable. The software you choose should let you record transactions as well as analyze your business’s financial performance and forecast future projections. The software should also generate financial statements to be used for filing taxes.
Below are five programs to help you forecast and manage your cash flow, but there are many, many out there that may offer different additions to help you better run and grow your company.
Price: Plans start at $26.95/month
QuickBooks is at the top of many cash flow management apps lists because so many businesses already use it that it is extremely easy to use and integrate with vendors and customers. QuickBooks is a cash flow management tool that offers basic cash flow forecasting by inputting receivables, bank balances and credit card ledgers to get a more accurate cash-flow model. QuickBooks can be used by nearly every type of business and has plans for businesses of all sizes, from self-employed individuals to small businesses with basic accounting needs to established businesses that need advanced features such as time estimates, project management and inventory tracking.
Price: Starting at $14/month
Pulse is a web app (not a software) that allows you to track income and expenses, monitor your cash flow, generate reports and essentially improve the way you manage your money. You can input financial information manually or from a spreadsheet to generate a cash-flow model that can be viewed day-to-day, weekly or monthly periods. Pulse offers a number of graphics and charts for visualizing how money moves in and out of your business. The app also includes significant collaboration features allowing multiple users to edit and view cash flow as well as add notes to income and expenses, which makes Pulse handy for sharing information with a team or with consultants. For a more comprehensive tool, Pulse is a great choice to review your company’s cash flow online in unlimited detail.
PlanGuru integrates with basic bookkeeping platforms (such as Quickbooks) to provide users with both current cash-flow data as well as forecasting capabilities. It can create financial forecasts for up to 10 years out and provides automatic management of company income statements and balance sheets. From that, PlanGuru generates a statement with up to 20 different methodologies. You can use it to forecast just about any hypothetical business situation. Several tools are offered to analyze financial data, but not as many as other programs, making PlanGuru best for small businesses.
Price: Starting at $59/month
Float’s name says it all, the company helps to keep you afloat by aiding in cash flow management. Float is geared towards forecasting and connects with accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks. You can view your reports with budget bars and transaction notes to get an idea as to where your business is headed, letting you plan more effectively. A major time saver, Float gathers information automatically, which means you don’t have to spend time manually inputting data.
Price: Starting at $9/month
Zoho Books is cheap for a reason: it’s built for very small businesses in need of basic services. This simple accounting software offers the bare bones services that micro businesses need, such as an online retailer who utilizes project billing and time tracking. If you’re just starting out but see growth on the horizon, you can always integrate other software along the way. Zoho Books has the best value for all of its offered tools.