How to convince your CFO to invest in better cash forecasting and visibility

cash forecasting visibility

If you are responsible for cash flow forecasting and cash reporting in your company and interested in replacing your manual spreadsheet model with an automated software solution such as CashAnalytics, you’ll first need to build a business case to bring to your CFO.

Despite building a solid business case, it’s likely you’ll have to answer further questions and manage objections. This is normal and should be expected but luckily most of these objections fall into several easy to address categories and we’ve dealt with them all before. The most common objections and how to deal with them are outlined below.



We have loads of cash

The recent increase in interest rates means there’s a huge opportunity cost of not having cash invested efficiently. This is investment in both interest yielding products (e.g. term deposits) and in the business itself. Cash should always be invested to ensure that it at least generates a return higher than inflation. Reliable cash forecasting and cash flow visibility is key to effective cash flow investing. 

We have loads of liquidity 

The recent increase in interest rates also means that external liquidity is now far more expensive. Credit lines and debt drawn unnecessarily impose a direct cost on the business that is hard to justify. Plus, changing market conditions means that external credit may not be as easily available in the future and therefore making the most of internally generated cash to meet the liquidity needs of the business is critical.   

Just improve the spreadsheet 

At a certain scale, a spreadsheet can’t support the cash forecasting and reporting needs of a business. There is too much data and too much complexity to be managed manually. Spreadsheet based models can be improved but any improvements typically unravel in the short term and there is an undue reliance on the person who built the spreadsheet to manage and maintain it. 

Get I.T. to build something 

Unless I.T. are experts in building scalable systems this won’t work. Along with just improving the spreadsheet, getting I.T. to build something can seem like the easiest and least expensive choice. However, building something internally will be the most expensive and time consuming option when all things are considered. And, ultimately, it may not provide what the business needs.  

Use a module of a system we already have

Lots of systems claim they can do cash forecasting. If you have one of these systems and are not using it for forecasting already, it’s unlikely it will meet your needs. Generally, these are systems such as ERPs or TMSs that added very rudimentary functionality as an afterthought to their core offering. Cash forecasting is a specialist task that requires a solution with the flexibility and dedicated features to truly solve your problems.  

Let’s just hire someone else to help 

There are three problems with hiring someone to manage the process of cash forecasting and reporting in a spreadsheet. Firstly, the labour/ jobs market is very tight, and it takes a considerable amount of time and cost to hire someone. Secondly, hiring someone is very expensive overall and the economics of hiring a skilled person to manage a manual process don’t add up. Finally, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find someone willing to a highly manual and unmotivating task on an ongoing basis. No one wants a role just focused on grinding a spreadsheet. 

We already have the cost in the business

This is true as someone is already doing this. However, imagine if this person’s time was freed up to focus on other higher value activities? How much value would this create? Plus, it’s likely that someone managing cash flow forecasting in a spreadsheet is only scratching the surface on what’s possible. Why do software solutions exist after all?

Again, we’ve seen all these objections before. If you want to chat through them or discuss how CashAnalytics can help you replace your cash flow spreadsheet monster, feel free to reach out.