7 Steps to Build Float into Your Workflow
Can you see an opportunity for using Float with your clients but you’re unsure how best to incorporate it into your workflow? We’ve spoken with lots of partners who use Float regularly, and this is how they do it:
1. Test it out with your own data
First and foremost, you’ll want to test Float out for yourself. This is why we offer a free Float subscription when you join our partner program. Get Float set up on your own data and make sure you’re comfortable with how it all works.
2. Book a training webinar with us
We offer complimentary training webinars on Float to our financial advisor partners. Definitely take advantage of this to get any remaining questions answered. Sign up here!
3. Pilot Float with up to 10 clients
Now’s the time to test Float out on some of your clients. When you add your first client to Float, you get a 30 day free trial until you will be billed. This means you can test as many clients in those 30 days as you wish.
4. Decide which clients to roll Float out to
Right off the bat you want to add those for whom you are already doing cash flow forecasting – it’ll save you hours!
If you aren’t yet doing cash flow forecasting for your clients but want to, here are some common characteristics of businesses that we believe will be receptive to your pitch:
- Control – a business owner that really likes to keep tight control over their business is often successful with Float
- High growth – as we both know, growth is expensive. But it’s not always well planned (or even intended!). Float really helps businesses through growth phases.
- Need for good governance – businesses that have boards or who do monthly management reporting tend to place a high value on cash flow forecasting. Float means they can access their forecast whenever they want, not just at the end of the month. It also means that their advisors (in this case, you) can spend more time providing commentary and consultancy and less time updating a spreadsheet.
Clients who typically ignore your efforts to sell a cash flow forecasting service might be those that:
- Are in a cash crisis – clients who find themselves lurching from crisis to crisis, but have been unwilling to take steps to fix this by adopting financial systems and processes which would prevent this.
- Want to stay put – clients that are in a low-growth phase and are content to remain there.
- Have informal processes – clients that have no corporate governance or have yet to show an interest in planning and reporting against a plan.
“At first I thought the best clients for Float were the ones going through cash flow difficulties and who didn’t have great cash management systems in place. However I soon realised that the clients that got the most out of Float were the ones at the ‘top of the class’ that had their data and processes figured out, and were actively interested in managing their cash.” – Avery Dorland, Windigo Online
5. Train your clients on Float
Your clients know their business the best. They know which clients pay late, which projects are likely to go ahead, and which invoices they’ll put off paying. So they should be the ones to own the forecasting side of Float. We recommend sitting down with your client and walking them through how Float works (you could watch our training video together) and build out their forecast.
This will mean that the forecast is set up, and you can use it to speak to your clients about the business as a whole in future calls and meetings.
6. Build Float into your workflow to increase billing and margins
In order to increase your billings with Float, we recommend you create a cash flow forecasting service for your most engaged customers. This will both add value to your offering, and, we hope, entice more clients to upgrade.
We recommend using Float as a collaboration tool. This involves:
- Identify who keeps the books. If you do it, great! If someone else does it, we want to talk to them. Ensuring the books are up-to-date and accurate is what will make your Float starting point accurate or inaccurate.
- Train your client on Float
- Work through setting budgets for the future, and specifically ask clients to put in their sales forecasts for the next year, keeping these updated as they change
- Agree a set of cash-based KPIs for your next monthly or quarterly meeting
- At your next monthly or quarterly management meeting, bring Float up to go through how well the business performed against its target KPIs
- If budgets were off, adjust future budgets
“I use Float as a focal point of a cash flow forecasting package. I work with clients monthly to review performance against budgets, taking the data from Float to provide meaningful business advice. Float gives us a great starting point that means I don’t need to spend hours in a spreadsheet before each meeting.” – Daniel Mathers, Mathers & Co
6. Incorporate Float into your pricing
Cash flow is different, not just from vertical to vertical, but from company to company. Float can make people aware of what the future cash position of a business is, but it takes a finance professional to provide context, commentary and consultancy to turn that awareness into meaningful action. So while clients can ‘go it alone’ with Float, working with a professional who can help them with their ongoing operations is a value-add service any ambitious company would gladly pay for.
We’d definitely recommend bundling Float into a pricing package with your advisory services on top, as this will cover the costs for your monthly or quarterly client meetings and ongoing advice. One of our partners, SRK Accounting, has put Float into its highest pricing tier, which is now helping the company sell more of that package.
Other partners such as Hale & Company offer it as an optional bolt-on service available to clients as and when they need cash flow forecasting.
Join the free Float Partner Program for Accountants!
Are you ready to test out a cash flow tool that connects right into Xero, QuickBooks Online and FreeAgent saving you buckets of time? Just visit this link to join for free! Float partners get some great perks including substantial discounts.