Allan Wilson is a Director of Maidenhead-based accountancy firm, Wilson Partners. Allan’s ethos as an accountant is to “work with ambitious businesses, using historical and current data to help them look forwards, rather than backwards.”
Like many accountants and advisers in the cloud accounting space, Allan and his team are actively pushing business owners to understand their financial information to inform great decisions. Wilson Partners seeks to operate under a more profitable advisory model, rather than pure compliance.
In an effort to build a compelling advisory service, Allan noticed that lots of clients were asking for advice on cash flow planning. Their desire for this came from a number of sources, including:
- The need to understand profit extraction options without affecting business stability
- Funding options for investment in capital expenditure
- The need to plan for the cash impact of taking on new employees
- And the need to understand how upcoming VAT and corporation tax payments would affect their cash position
This would have originally required time-intensive work in a spreadsheet, so the team used to resist offering this as a solution for their clients. Allan knew this wasn’t ideal, so he decided to look for something that would work for both his firm’s billable hours and his clients’ back pockets.
Allan and his team set about evaluating several cash flow add-ons for Xero, eventually choosing Float as it gave the most flexibility, was the most visual, and had the best integration with Xero.
For Allan, “the best part of Float is the ability to update ‘expected payment dates’ to manipulate individual invoices and see the impact of that through to a client’s cash flow.”
Wilson Partners’ clients have found Float very useful. While some people assume cash flow forecasting is for cash-strapped businesses, Wilson Partners have proved that that’s not the case. “Whether your business operates with tight margins and slow payment, or high margins and regular cash inflow, being in control of your cash flow is integral to your future success. It’s not just about survival, many businesses thrive through maximising their cash inflow to their advantage allowing them to invest for growth, exceeding their goals in the process.”
One particular client has an objective of utilising excess cash to invest in other ventures.
“They need to see how their future cash flow will look, balancing the need for working capital with their investment objectives. They don’t want to have any excess cash lying around in the business, as they want to reinvest it.”
Allan uses Float with this client on a monthly basis to assist with this analysis.
“With Float we’ve been able to show this client exactly how much cash they need to keep the business ticking over, meaning they have been able to maximise their investments.”
As part of Wilson Partners’ approach is to have future-focused conversations with clients, Float has been a natural fit.
“Float fits neatly into our objective of combining cutting-edge technology with the experience and expertise of our talented, dynamic and enthusiastic team of professionals. Our progressive and proactive approach ensures we stay ahead in a competitive and fast-moving environment, as we continually strive to find new ways of doing things to exceed expectations, improve the client experience and increase efficiency and control.”
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