de Jong and Phillips LLP

Cash Flow Apps: Float v Fluidly

Cash Flow Apps: Float v Fluidly

By Helen Bradley

Cash Flow : a recap

Hopefully you caught my blog on the importance of managing your cash flow and the risks if you don’t. If not, no time like the present : Cash Flow: How to avoid the rapids.

If you’ve been persuaded (or perhaps worried) into taking control of your cash, the next decision is what are the apps out there to help and which ones will suit your business best.

Who are the contenders?

Xero Marketplace is crowded these days. For Reporting, there are currently 98 apps which bolt on to Xero and do various things, most of which sound great!

So I have picked two of the current award-winning, market leaders that integrate with Xero. In the battle for the undisputed champion, here is what I found.

In the Red corner...

float

In their own words:

“Float is an award-winning cash flow forecasting, cash budgeting, and cash management tool exclusively for use with Xero”..... “View your cash flow on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, scenario plan at the click of a button and forecast up to 3 years into the future!”

Our view:

That’s a pretty accurate summary actually!

It is very flexible so you can use average historic data that is in Xero to predict forward. Or if your business has less obvious trends then you can copy or type in different predictions for future invoices and bills.

The scenario function is great, enabling you to model the impact of say, a new team member on cash flow, with increased wages and (hopefully) more client sales. 

It has drill down to invoice and bill level, including Xero drafts, and you can adjust expected payment dates in Float or Xero and the forecast will update in seconds. It replaces budgets with actual cash movements when they occur so you don’t double count and generally it is easy to use and understand.

In the Blue corner...

fluidly

In their own words:

“Intuitive cash flow forecasting powered by AI. Fluidly takes transaction data from your accounting system and uses this to automagically forecast your financial future in minutes and down to invoice-level detail.”

Our view:

Very clever! Artificial Intelligence for cash flow may sound a bit Terminator-like but it’s actually impressive.

Based on historic invoices and bills in Xero, Fluidly will predict what cash flows will happen next month, next quarter, even out to a year. It overlays the predictions with buffers which you can amend or turn off if you don’t think they will occur.

It also has full upload functionality from spreadsheets if you’ve done some thinking offline already.

Fluidly has also just released Intelligent Chase which provides insightful reporting on who your late payers of cash are and how long they take. You can even send email chasers and periodic statements to clients to chivvy them along!

Blow by blow comparison:

Here’s a summary of the key functionality                                                           

 

Predictive ability

Artificial Intelligence

Historic Averages

Scenario building

No

Yes

Forecast horizon

To 1 year

To 3 years

Updating Xero data on demand

No

Yes

Sync with draft invoices in Xero

No

Yes

Granularity

Day, Week, Month

Day, Week, Month

Chasing unpaid bills

Yes

No

Client email reminders, statement

Yes

No

Multicurrency

No

No

So who delivered the knock-out punch?

Both do great things but when it comes to Agency Businesses, which one comes out on top?

With Float, I really like the scenario building, updating from Xero on demand and how simple it is to understand and use. The longer forecast horizon is also useful.

It is missing reporting on, and chasing clients who are late paying their invoices so another app, such as Chaser, will be needed if this is required.

For Fluidly, whilst AI is undoubtedly very clever, many agencies have lumpy and non-trending cash flows, meaning you have to individually turn off all the calculations Fluidly has already done. There can be delays, waiting for Fluidly to sync from Xero but it does have a much better credit control function which you don’t get with Float.

So, on balance, Float gets my vote for Agencies! However, in the fast-moving world of Xero Apps, it will need to keep listening to users' feedback and developing its functionality to not lose its title.

What next?

We have supported clients through the whole process of completing cash flow app set up, turning historic cash patterns into future forecasts and training their teams. We also provide ongoing help with how to get the best out of the information as part of the overall management of businesses.

If you are interested in hearing more, then please get in touch. We have lots of experience and love what we do! #datageeks??

Who are we?

We are Xero Accountants and business advisors based in Epsom, Surrey who work with agency clients all over the UK as their finance team. 

Copyright © 2019 de Jong and Phillips LLP  |  All Rights Reserved
2 Upper High Street
Epsom
Surrey
KT17 4QJ
UK

e: hello@dejongphillips.co.uk
w: dejongphillips.co.uk
t: 01372 708 090