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How to do a cash flow forecast in Xero

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Last editedApr 20222 min read

There are few things more important for long term planning in business than accurate cash flow forecasts. Having a good idea of the cash that will be coming into your business in the future will let you plan with confidence. Actions such as buying more stock, expanding into other market areas or purchasing new plant or premises are all much easier to do with the help of accurate cash flow figures. The good news for businesses using GoCardless is that we partner with Xero, and that generating a Xero cash flow forecast is quick and simple.

In simple terms, Xero is online accounting software which automates the kind of tasks which used to take up so much of the time of small- to medium-sized businesses. This offers two huge advantages: it frees up much more time for the actual day-to-day running of your business and, in the case of businesses which use GoCardless, it enables you to get paid twice as fast. As well as working with GoCardless, Xero integrates seamlessly with a range of other apps, some of which can be used to create an accurate and useful Xero cash flow statement.

Accurate data for your Xero cash flow management

The key to the effectiveness of any Xero cash flow statement lies in the accuracy of the data gathered to build that statement. Capturing the right data means using the right tools, such as:

Bank feeds

It’s possible to set up feeds from all of your business bank accounts. Throughout each working day, these feeds will gather data on all business transactions and import them back to Xero. This way, you’ll have a full picture of the money moving in and out of your bank accounts gathered in real time. Not only will this save the time traditionally spent manually gathering and analysing data of this kind, it will also provide the most accurate picture possible of the day-to-day cash flow of your business.


This app is built to reflect the remote and diversified working practices which many modern businesses now employ. It makes it possible to upload documents such as bills, receipts and invoices from any place, at any time, and using tools ranging from a desktop computer to a tablet, smartphone or email account. Once the material has been uploaded to Xero, the relevant data is extracted and can then be synced to your business bank accounts with just one click.

Xero expenses

Knowing how much you’re spending is just as important as tracking income when it comes to any Xero cash flow forecast. The good news is that the Xero Expenses tool makes it possible to track expenses across your business in one easily accessible place. Employees on the road can upload receipts in real time, meaning you’ll always be on top of issues such as travel expenses and how they are impacting your cash flow.

Cash flow forecasting using Xero

Once you’ve gathered the data needed to generate a Xero cash flow forecast, you can use features of the app such as the following:

Business snapshot

A business dashboard offering an at-a-glance overview of a range of key metrics, including cash-flow-sensitive figures such as the average time it takes to get paid by customers. Accessing the data regularly will enable you to identify trends and wider income shifts as they occur.

Short-term cash flow

This tool gathers all of the relevant data from across your Xero account and uses it to build a projection of your bank balance in 30 days’ time. Using the tool, you’ll be able to see how small tweaks such as paying a bill one week early or late could impact your cash flow.

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about a Xero cash flow statement, then get in touch with our financial experts. Discover how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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