Some 54% of accountants have said that cash flow forecasting has become the “number one priority” for their SME clients due to the impact of Covid-19, ahead of business planning, credit control and bookkeeping.
In a ‘Future of Cashflow’ survey commissioned by Fluidly, more than 200 accountancy firms with tens of thousands of SMEs on their books shared their insights.
Prior to Covid-19, cashflow management advice was regarded as a specialist offering by many firms, but small businesses are now requesting it as a core part of the service offered by accountants.
Over half (55%) of accountants who participated in the ‘Digital Accountancy Show’ survey plan to permanently change the way they offer cashflow services in response to Covid-19, and 80% believe the impact of Covid-19 will continue to affect their service offering for at least the next six months.
Some 54% of firms felt their cash flow forecasting services have been most heavily affected since lockdown began, followed by business planning (16.5%), practice management (14.4%), and bookkeeping (8%).
Credit control (4.3%) and tax and compliance (3.2%) were least affected. Also, nine out of 10 accountants said that cashflow services are more important now than before Covid-19.
Caroline Plumb, founder and CEO of Fluidly, said: “Since Covid-19 we have seen accountants are now embedding cashflow forecasting and management as part of their onboarding offering.
“This is being deployed on a monthly basis. We’ve certainly seen this trend among existing clients, with an increase in businesses using Fluidly’s Goal Planner tool to plan for surviving a shortfall.”
Dan Cockerton, founder of the ‘Digital Accountancy Show’, added: “The next few months are going to be tough. It’s really important for clients to see the cash that is going in and what is going out. Especially with CBILS loans, small businesses need to have their finger on the pulse when it comes to cash flow management.”