Cash Flow Forecast Model

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Overview

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The Cash Flow Forecast Model flow is a comprehensive model of your company’s current financial position driven by 3 financial statements with bite-sized insights and useful charts. The model imports your Xero/QuickBooks data and uses a machine learning forecast to predict your company’s finances for the next 12 months. Your accounting data will also update automatically or when you refresh your flow, so that your model is always up-to-date.

With this flow you will be able to:

  • Know your cash position now and in the next 12 months
  • See your runway at a glance
  • Plan for your next loan or funding round
  • See the financial impact of a hire
  • Keep stakeholders informed
 

Included Sheets

Cash Flow Forecast Model

The Cash Flow Forecast Model sheet is the primary control centre for this model. In this sheet, you will be able to:

  • Apply specific forecasting methods and assumptions through built-in forecasts or your own custom input, and
  • See charts and insights summarising your financial position
 
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The “Assumptions” section of this sheet gives you control over what forecast method you want to use for each assumption, including Revenue, COGS (as % of Revenue), Overheads & Expenses, and Working Capital assumptions. You can select from a list of forecast methods ranging from our Machine Learning Revenue Forecast to exponential regression or previous 6-month averages.

 
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If you require more control, you can expand the “Custom Forecast Inputs” table, where you can specify your month-to-month custom assumptions. To apply your custom assumptions to the model, simply select “Custom” in the dropdown for each assumption you want to use your custom inputs for.

Financing/Capital Planner

The Financing/Capital Planner is where you can create a plan for future funding/financing, which you can later apply to your model by checking the checkbox in the “Assumptions” section of the Cash Flow Forecast Model sheet.

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In the “Financing Assumptions” section of this sheet, you can select your financing transaction type, specify the value of the financing, and set a date that financing will occur.

Headcount Planner

The Headcount Planner is where you can create a plan for future hiring/firing staff decisions, which you can later apply to your model by checking the checkbox in the “Assumptions” section of the Cash Flow Forecast Model sheet.

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You can input your new employee’s role, monthly salary, benefits and expenses and tax (as % of salary) to get a total monthly compensation value. Setting a start date for a new hire will calculate the impact on your operating expenses in the future. The hire’s first month salary is automatically calculated on a pro-rata basis based on their start date.

3-Statement Model

The 3-Statement Model is where you will be able to find all your month-to-month financial data including 24 months of historical data and 12 months of forecast data. As the name suggests, this sheet includes 3 financial statements that serve as the logical backbone of the model itself, including:

  • Income Statement (also known as Profit & Loss)
  • Balance Sheet
  • Cash Flow Statement

Unlike other sheets in this report, this sheet has no editable input cells and should not be edited. However, you can expand column W to view historical data going back further than 6 months.

Monthly Report

The Monthly Report sheet is a utility sheet that you can use to quickly generate a PDF/printable financial report that you can share with your stakeholders. In this report, you will find a “Financial Overview” chart, a “Cash & Runway” chart, and a “Headcount Planner” chart. There are also editable text sections with prompts to help you create a summary report for your stakeholders.

To generate a static copy of the report that you can print or share, navigate to the Monthly Report sheet, then in the Google Sheet topbar menu, select File > Download > PDF (.pdf).

 

Creating the model

To create the model, find the “Cash Flow Forecast Model” flow in the gini webapp. Ensure you have connected the required apps - this flow requires at least one accounting app (either Xero or QuickBooks) and Google Sheets.

Then from the flow page, select the organisation you want to create the model for and click the “Create Model” button.

Once your flow is created, you will be able to find it in the “My flows” section of the dashboard. Click on the “Open flow” button to see the model in Google Sheets.

 

Using the model

This model is intended to help you manage a comprehensive financial model with minimal effort. To help with this, your model will update with your most recent accounting data whenever you refresh your flow in the gin webapp.

Tweaking the assumptions of your model is also made simpler by allowing you to just select a forecast method for each key driver from dropdown menus (e.g. Revenue, COGS, Overheads & Expenses, Working Capital).

You will also find other editable user input sections in the model, which are indicated by blue coloured text and a light blue highlighed background. This means that you can input a value or make a selection (if it is a dropdown cell) to make changes to the model.

Here is one examle in the “Custom Forecast Inputs” section:

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FAQ

My model’s forecast starts at a month that has already passed. What is happening?

This model is designed to account for an absence of financial data in recent months. If there has been no recorded transactions in Xero or QuickBooks for your company in recent months, your model will set the last historical month as the month where a transaction was last recorded. If this is the case, you will be shown a small alert in the cell directly below the Cash Flow Forecast Model sheet’s title.

This is a default setting of the model intended to avoid presenting a wildly inaccurate AI-generated forecast. In order to resolve this issue, please bring your accounting app up-to-date with the current month and refresh your flow.

My model has a few #REF! and/or #VALUE! errors. What should I do?

This can sometimes occur when you create a flow due to the complex nature of some formulas in the model. In such cases, a forced recalculation of formulas can often resolve these reference errors.

A simple way to force a recalculation is to use Google Sheet’s “Find and replace” function. Follow the instructions on the short tutorial below to try it yourself:

If this does not resolve your errors, please contact us for further help at help@gini.co.

Can I make edits to this model?

This model has many complex interdependencies between its sheets. Rearranging sections, moving cells, and adding new rows or columns can easily break the model.

We recommend only making edits to the cells designed to be changed based on your input, which include:

  • Input cells indicated by blue text
  • Checkboxes
  • Dropdown cells
  • Expandable sections indicated by the [pointer] emoji

If you are looking for additional functionality on this model, please reach out to us at help@gini.co for feature suggestions.

Can I make copies of this model?

While you can make copies of the model to a new spreadsheet by using Google Sheet’s copy spreadsheet or copy sheets features, the newly generated copy will not sync with subsequent updates from your accounting app. Only the original model sheets in your gini spreadsheet will sync with your accounting app.

 
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