Cash forecasting models are generally organised along short, medium and longer timeframes. In this blog post we take a look at the different types of forecast templates and in what situations they are useful. There are a number of different types of Cash Flow Models that companies use to manage cash flow forecasting processes. In general these are grouped into short, medium and longer term cash flow models. The decision of what model to use is based on the underlying business needs and what view management requires of upcoming cash positions. Outlined below are the main types of cash flow forecasting templates that organisations set up to get a view on future liquidity positions.
Daily Cash Forecasting Model
Daily Cash Forecast Templates are particularly useful for short term liquidity management, where companies require a detailed short term cash position and use a cash forecasting tool to manage the day to day cash requirements of the business. At this level of detail and granularity cash flows are often tracked on a customer or supplier basis rather than broader cash classifications such as trade payments or receipts. As the name suggests, in a daily cash flow template, cash flows are classified on a daily basis. A daily cash forecast would often include a level of automation and take AP/AR feeds from ERP systems or bank accounts. The screenshot below shows an example of a daily cash forecasting template:
Weekly Cash Forecasting Model
Weekly cash forecasting templates are particularly useful for companies who want to implement a forecasting process that gives them a medium term view of upcoming cash positions. The most regularly used weekly template is a 13 week cash forecasting template. The period of 13 weeks is particularly useful as it gives a quarterly view of upcoming cash flows at all times. The period of 13 weeks is short enough that cash flows can be forecast with a reasonable degree of accuracy and long enough to give visibility on any funding or liquidity requirements. The screenshot below shows an example of a weekly cash forecast template:
Monthly Cash Forecasting Model
Monthly cash forecast templates are ideal for longer term planning purposes, they are a logical extension and follow on from budgeting processes. In terms of the time frames used for monthly cash forecasts, normally they encompass a period of 12 or 18 months. The benefits of monthly cash forecasts is the longer term visibility for planning purposes. However the accuracy and reliability of such long term forecasts need to be considered also. The screenshot below shows an example of a 12 month rolling cash forecast.