Money makes the world go around, but if you don’t plan your cash (aka put together a financial forecast) , you’re not going to go anywhere in your small business. Getting a handle on your company’s financial future involves ensuring that you have the right financial forecasting software to get you where you want to be. These financial forecasting tools can help you to see your projected income and expenses, figure out the weakest and strongest income streams, and whether any require your close attention.


Software for financial forecasting is a growing industry. Whether you are dealing with spreadsheets or you have apps to use for your tablet/smartphone, there are plenty of tools out there that can help you with forecasting your business figures. Let’s take a look at the top five tools for producing comprehensive financial forecasts that your business could benefit from.

Microsoft Excel

Let’s be honest, is there anything better than going old school? In the midst of all of the technology open to us, sometimes, an Excel spreadsheet is what you need the most. You can project your cash flow as far ahead as you’d like, and the templates that you can use with Excel can help you put together a financial forecast super quick. You don’t have to be a ninja when it comes to accounting when you use Excel, though there is nothing wrong with having an accountant who can do it all!

Pros

  • It’s super versatile and can be tailored to meet your exact layout requirements
  • It’s very much available, with over 450 million computers equipped with Microsoft Excel today.
  • Most people are familiar with Excel, which is why it’s so popular.

Cons

  • Excel is prone to error. All the information put into Excel is done by people, which leaves a lot of room for mistakes.
  • Zero collaboration access for multiple users across more than one site.
  • Only one person allowed per sheet, which causes a problem if you have to share the password.

Xero

Many of those who have Xero will know that while being amazing at all your bookkeeping tasks, forecasting is less intuitive. . There are two features, one that allows budgeting and one that will enable you to use the outstanding bills that are in the system to predict what your cash flow should look like. By reviewing the profit and loss reports against budgets you can get a pretty could idea of your financial forecast.

Pros

  • Xero has a rather extensive support network in that it has a massive following of people who find it useful.
  • Far less expensive than hiring in a bookkeeper, who could be too much for your small business.
  • It has all the bookkeeping and accountancy features that your small business needs.
  • Can connect to Receipt scanners to have all your bookkeeping completed in minutes

Cons

  • Need internet access to use it
  • There are limitations in that it is not like having an accountant who can give you a better-rounded service and advice

Float

Plenty of forecasting apps are making their way onto the market today, and Float is one of them. It’s a dedicated cash flow forecasting system, and it works alongside other finance software like Xero as well as FreeAgent and Xero. The data that you input is imported from the package into the app, and you can generate your financial forecasts daily or monthly. There is an excellent “what if” tool included, and this tells you what your money will look like in different scenarios.
For example, if you wanted to bring on new people, it would tell you what happens to your cash while you pay them. You can also budget to see how your budget will look, stopping you when you spend too much.

Pros

  • Simple to view
  • Available across a large team
  • True financial forecasting
  • Adaptable to changing circumstances

Cons

  • Slow to load in some cases
  • Doesn’t integrate with Teamwork

DryRun Financial Forecast App

If you need software that will take input from QuickBooks, you want Dryrun for your business. You can track your future cash flow and you’ll be able to track payments better. It’s also software that allows you to collaborate with staff and mentors so that you can all view your financial position properly. With Dryrun, you also get sales forecasting that can take information directly from the web tool, Pipedrive. Sales is just one piece of the software that you will love about Dryrun, as you can use the budget system to see your own goals and where you spend your money. There’s a similar “what if” system to other software systems, and this can let you see how your business will fair in a variety of circumstances.

Pros

  • Good for small business finances
  • Excellent customer support
  • Integrates with QuickBooks

Cons

  • Not available on iPhone devices
  • Not good for medium to large businesses
  • Only available in one language

Pulse Financial Forecast App

If you want to watch your finances weekly or monthly, Pulse can help. You can project your cash flow in the future while still monitoring your current cash flow issues. You can input data automatically from Xero and QuickBooks which works to cut down your workload. You can then use it for your cash flow in a range of reports. You can even perform cash flow tracking in more than one currency, which for businesses with an international interest, is an excellent feature. You can set up more than one user account and you can change the way those accounts are viewed and used.

Pros

  • Multiple languages and currencies
  • Can integrate with QuickBooks to make life easier
  • Cash flow tracking at a touch of a button

Cons

  • Slightly higher cost

Conclusion of Financial Forecast Tools

The winner of these all depends on what you want for your business. If you want simplicity, Excel is going to be excellent for your business. If you want ease of use in multiple currencies, Pulse is your winner. Which do you want for your business? Be honest about your financial expectations and you can choose the right tool for you.

If you want a financial forecast for your business but don’t have time, just give us a call and we’ll put one together for you.